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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 19

In this edition:

  • Inflation rate continues to slow, reaching 2.8% in February
  • Job vacancies decline at a slower pace in the fourth quarter
  • Ships will start moving across Niagara’s Welland Canal this week
  • Project intake for NC Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre ongoing
  • Canada Post accepting applications from small businesses for Tales of Triumph contest
  • GNCC Lunch & Learn explores grant funding opportunities for hiring and training
  • Focus on Finance & Economy

Inflation rate continues to slow, reaching 2.8% in February

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.8% on a year-over-year basis in February, down from a 2.9% gain in January. Notable contributors to the deceleration included the indexes for cellular services, food purchased from stores, and Internet access services. Offsetting the deceleration was a year-over-year increase in gasoline prices, which rose 0.8% in February, following a 4.0% decline in January.

Excluding gasoline, the headline CPI slowed to a 2.9% year-over-year increase in February, down from 3.2% in January. Prices for rent and the mortgage interest cost index continued to apply upward pressure on the headline CPI.

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Job vacancies decline at a slower pace in the fourth quarter

Job vacancies fell by 25,400 (-3.6%) to 678,500 in the fourth quarter of 2023, marking the sixth straight quarterly decline from the record high reached in the second quarter of 2022 (983,600).

Meanwhile, payroll employment rose by 37,700 (+0.2%) in the fourth quarter of 2023. Total labour demand (the sum of filled and vacant positions) in the fourth quarter was virtually unchanged from the third quarter and was up 0.5% from the fourth quarter of 2022.

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Project intake for Niagara College Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre ongoing

Niagara College’s Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre (BCIC) provides media services that are designed to support businesses as they ‘level up.’ The College works with small businesses who need that extra support in media execution to take their business to the next level.

The BCIC team can also provide strategy services. New or established businesses can benefit from the support of BCIC’s strategy services with go-to-market strategies, product launches, or helping you understand if a new market is worth the investment for your product.

Project intake is ongoing with funding available to help make these services accessible to small business, covering a portion of the cost of a total project.

Click here to read more.

Canada Post accepting applications from small businesses for Tales of Triumph contest

Canada Post’s small business contest, Tales of Triumph, returns this year with another opportunity for companies to win big by sharing their small business stories.

The annual contest, in its fifth year, recognizes small businesses by celebrating their unique journeys and successes. Canadian companies with less than $5 million in annual gross sales are eligible to enter. Prize packages include credits for Canada Post Parcel and Smartmail Marketing™ services, paid advertising and personalized support, with the grand prize worth more than $150,000.

Click here to read more.

GNCC Lunch & Learn explores grant funding opportunities for hiring and training

Stay ahead of the curve in employee attraction and retention by harnessing the power of job grants to fuel training initiatives for both current and prospective team members. Unlock opportunities for grants and funds to invest in the growth and development of your workforce, ensuring a competitive edge in talent acquisition and retention strategies.

Click here to watch the video.

Did you know?

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Focus on Finance & Economy

If we ignore the benefits of the gig economy, we risk making it worse for everyone

As the world of work continues to transform, app-based platforms have created new opportunities for people and businesses across Canada to participate in the economy, supplement traditional income streams, or reach new customers. As a result, we simply cannot ignore the multiple benefits the gig economy has brought to our lives.

In a recent op-ed in the Globe and Mail, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Director, Future of Work, Diana Palmerín Velasco, explained why we need a balanced approach to regulating the gig economy, so that we can support those who are part of it without destroying it altogether.

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Industry Perspectives Op-Ed — Canadian public sector bid ‘no shows’: Why contractors aren’t bidding projects

A common theme in public sector forums and in the course of conversations with real property leaders and practitioners is that a significant challenge for their teams right now is attracting sufficient bidders — or any bidders — to their construction project tenders. Part one of this two-part Industry Perspectives Op-Ed explores the how and why this is the current industry climate.

Why is this happening? After all, in theory, if the demand is there, you can find some place on that Economics 101 supply curve that intersects at a given price and quantity. The qualitative benefits to the business of building public projects are numerous, including the positive exposure of the firm, certainty of payment, and the steady flow of investment that is less sensitive to lending rate fluctuations.

Click here to read more.

Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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