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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: March 30, 2023

In this edition:

Canadian Chamber launches SME Institute

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched the SME Institute, a first-of-its kind, one-stop service, developed in collaboration with RBC. The SME Institute will provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs) the training, support and advice they need to adapt, grow and thrive — all while benefiting from the Canadian Chamber’s public policy advocacy and its Business Data Lab’s insight on the economy.

By helping Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses prepare for a rapidly evolving future, the SME Institute will ensure the strength of this critical segment of the economy as it faces a new era of higher costs and slowing growth.

Members of the GNCC can receive a 20% discount on all training programs by using the code Chamber20 when registering.

Click here to read more.

Applications open for St. Catharines Summer Company program

Entrepreneurial students interested in being their own boss this summer can apply to receive support to launch their business.

The St. Catharines Enterprise Centre is now accepting applications for the 2023 Summer Company Program. Made possible through funding by the Province of Ontario, the program is designed to help students aged 15 to 29 start their own businesses. Successful applicants can receive a $3,000 grant ($1,500 to help with start-up costs and an additional $1,500 when the program requirements have been completed successfully), and dozens of hours of business training and mentorship with the support of the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre.

Click here to read more.

Service sector led rise in number of Canadian employees in January

The number of employees receiving pay or benefits from their employer—measured as “payroll employees” in the Survey of Employment, Payrolls and Hours—rose by 71,100 (+0.4%) in January, following an increase of 53,700 (+0.3%) in December 2022. Overall payroll employment has generally trended upwards over the previous five months, resulting in cumulative gains of 275,400 (+1.6%) from September 2022 to January 2023.

Payroll employment in the services-producing sector increased by 79,000 (+0.6%) in January. Gains were recorded in 12 of the 15 sectors, led by retail trade (+22,700; +1.1%), transportation and warehousing (+12,800; +1.6%) and public administration (+10,000; +0.8%).

Click here to read more.

Tourism spending up for 7th quarter running, but still below pre-COVID levels

Tourism spending in Canada grew 2.1% in the fourth quarter, the seventh consecutive quarterly increase. Tourism gross domestic product (GDP) (+2.1%) and jobs attributable to tourism (+1.5%) also rose in the fourth quarter.

Despite the tourism sector’s continued recovery in the fourth quarter, tourism spending was 16.2% lower than the pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Click here to read more.

Businesses praise credit card fee relief but consumers savings not guaranteed

Small business owners are praising a measure in the federal budget to lower credit card interchange fees, but some industry representatives argued the move will do little to save costs for consumers.

Ottawa announced it has reached deals with Visa and Mastercard to lower such fees by up to 27 per cent from their current average rates for more than 90 per cent of credit card-accepting businesses.

The government estimated this would save businesses $1 billion over five years.

Click here to read more.

Focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Small businesses are left out of big contracts without ESG reporting: BDC study

A new BDC study finds almost every large company requires ESG reporting from their suppliers, and small businesses unable to meet ESG requirements will lose the opportunity to win big contracts.

BDC launched a new study entitled “ESG in Your Business: The Edge You Need to Land Large Contracts,” which surveyed major buying organizations in the public and private sectors about their use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria.

Click here to read more.

Ontario investing in economic development initiatives in First Nations communities

The Ontario government is providing $6.8 million to help the Ontario First Nations Economic Developers Association (OFNEDA) deliver training for Economic Development Officers and funding to First Nation communities to support the recruitment and retention of qualified individuals.

The $6.8 million funding is a result of recommendations made by the First Nations’ Economic Growth and Prosperity Table led by the Chiefs of Ontario. The funding is part of the province’s $25 million investment over three years to support Indigenous economic growth.

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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