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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 29, 2023

In this edition:

Calling all Black Female Youth Entrepreneurs!

Niagara-based non-profit Future Black Female is launching a 12-week Marketplace Bootcamp for Black women aged 18-25 to help them start and run a successful business. Entrepreneurs will get access to a fully-equipped retail/service space, entrepreneur workshops, networking events, coaching, and mentoring in a series of hands-on, experiential courses.

Feminist-informed Future Black Female (FBF) is a non-profit organization that works to empower Black girls and women to take charge of their education and career paths as well as their social, political, and civic engagement.

Only one in fifty Canadian businesses are Black-owned, and less than a third of those are owned by Black women. This gap is bigger than in either White or other racialized business owners, and it is widening. Statistics Canada reports that Black-owned businesses in Canada also tend to be smaller and less profitable. Black business-owners face systemic barriers, including far smaller peer support networks and a lack of access to capital both through institutional lenders and through White-dominated investor networks.

Black female youth in Niagara are particularly under-served. Small business enterprise centres in the region run an Ontario Summer Company program, which supports youth entrepreneurship. Although it has been running for a quarter of a century, no Black female youth have participated in recent years. Black female entrepreneurs are wary of debt and reluctant to access available credit. A business training program run by the Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre trained many immigrant women, but found that they took an average of two years to apply the skills they’d learned.

Aiming to help close these gaps in Niagara, Future Black Female is tackling the issue head-on with direct support for young Black women looking to start or grow a business.

The program will run for two years, with the first sessions starting in May 2023. Over three months, participants will develop their business skills in team-based practical exercises under the guidance of expert coaches and mentors. At the Future Black Female marketplace, they’ll put their training to the test with stalls and service desks that help develop their business acumen in a hands-on, experiential environment. Participants in the program will learn all the practical skills they need to run a successful business. Workshops will tackle key talents such as creativity and innovation, opportunity recognition, critical analysis in decision-making, strategy and communications, resource management, and interpersonal skills.

Young entrepreneurs will create advertising and marketing campaigns to attract customers and clients, and then gain experience selling goods and services in a market environment. They will be guided through the process of registering their business, creating budgets, accounting, preparing tax documents, and developing business and growth plans. Successful graduates of the program will have further opportunities to pitch their business to Niagara investors, with all the tools they need to succeed.

Anyone interested in participating can apply by emailing their business plan to Applicants should be Black women aged 18-25, able to commit to at least 25 hours per week (including Saturdays), and in the start-up/operational stage of their business.

Sponsored content from Future Black Female

Ontario launches Clean Energy Credit Registry and Future Clean Energy Fund

Ontario has launched a clean energy credit (CEC) registry and is establishing the Future Clean Electricity Fund (FCEF), which will help keep costs down for ratepayers by supporting the future development of new clean energy projects in Ontario.

The CEC registry is an online tool that allows for the recognition, display of certification, and tracking (including transfers and retirements) of CECs generated in Ontario. Eligible Ontario-based non-fossil fuel generation facilities can be registered online and the generation from the facilities verified and tracked. Registered customers can search for CECs that meet their needs.

Proceeds from the sale of CECs held by the IESO and OPG will be directed to the government’s newly established Future Clean Electricity Fund.

Click here to read more.

Household consumption climbed by record amount in 2022

Household actual final consumption (HAFC) increased by 10.2% (+$175.4 billion) in 2022—the largest increase observed for these estimates, which date back to 2008. Growth in HAFC has been strong in 2021 and 2022, as household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) accelerated alongside inflationary pressures and increasing economic activity due to the easing of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions. At the same time, social transfers in-kind (STiK) grew strongly in 2022 (+8.1%), led by growth in health, education as well as social protection and housing-related support.

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Welland rebrands, releases new logo

Welland is getting a make-over, including a new logo. Council approved the new brand for the city last night, after public consultation and research.

The logo features a ‘W’ with the words of ‘The City of Welland’ beside.

The old logo featured the East Main Street Bridge, was built in 1927-1930 during the construction of the Fourth Welland Canal.

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Bank of Canada watching for potential spillovers from global banking stresses

A senior Bank of Canada official says the central bank is keeping a close eye on the stresses to the global banking system ahead of its next interest rate decision and monetary policy report in April.

In a speech to the National Bank financial services conference, Bank of Canada deputy governor Toni Gravelle said Wednesday the bank is watching for any further effects from the recent banking problems in the U.S. and Europe.

“We will consider the macroeconomic impact of this evolving situation as we put together our next projection,” Gravelle said.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Climate

Canada needs to synchronize its climate policies for effective emission control

National, provincial and territorial governments across Canada have implemented a myriad of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. However, these stubbornly high emissions have only just started showing signs of falling.

In principle, each level of government is working toward the same goal. Yet, the approaches they use vary in effort, design and coverage — with some emissions sources covered by multiple policies while others remain unregulated.

To achieve our emissions goals, we need federal, provincial and territorial policies paddling in the same direction in addition to synchronized efforts to maximize our impact.

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2023 budget “most consequential in recent history for accelerating clean growth:” Canadian Climate Institute

“This is the most consequential budget in recent history for accelerating clean growth in Canada,” said Rick Smith, President of the Canadian Climate Institute. “Climate action and economic policy are one and the same—the world’s major economies know that investing in clean energy is the catalyst for future competitiveness, and Budget 2023 takes decisive steps to ensure Canada won’t fall behind in the global race to net zero.”

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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