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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 10, 2023

In this edition:

Three ways smaller businesses make a bigger impact

There’s power in numbers. And to say that Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have numbers is an understatement. These businesses:

  • Employ 70% of Canada’s workforce.
  • Represent 98% of all businesses in the country.

That’s power. SMEs touch more lives and employ more people than big businesses as a group. You, and entrepreneurs like you, have an opportunity to combat climate change, promote diversity, and make plans for a cleaner, greener economy that benefits everyone. Whether you’re a team of four or 400, you’re part of something big.

Discover how small businesses will drive the future of a sustainable economy.

Sponsored content from Meridian Credit Union

Non-residential building up 32% in March

The total monthly value of building permits in Canada advanced 11.3% in March to $11.8 billion. The total monthly value of non-residential permits sharply increased 32.0% to a record-high $5.2 billion, with 10 individual non-residential projects valued at over $100 million each.

The largest project of the month was the $570 million new General Motors and POSCO Chemical cathode active materials facility in Bécancour, Quebec, which led the value of building permits in the industrial component to sharply increase by 16.7% nationally.

Following a promising February, March saw the value of new residential permits taper off (-0.9%) to $6.6 billion. Nationally, permits for 21,400 new dwellings were issued in the month.

Click here to read more.

Number of Ontario homelessness support workers increased almost 80% in last 5 years

Nationally, nine provinces saw the homelessness support sector grow in 2021. Ontario (4,000 workers) and British Columbia (2,270 workers) accounted for the largest number of workers in the sector, which is mainly driven by the size of the population and number of large cities where services for homeless individuals and families are most commonly available. While accounting for more than half of the workers in the sector, the number of workers in Ontario (+79.0%) and British Columbia (+63.9%) also grew faster than the overall growth rate (+60.7%) of the sector.

Homelessness support sector workers were more likely to be in poverty (6.7%) than all workers in all sectors (6.0%) in 2020. This gap was also present in 2015 where 11.6% of homelessness support sector workers were in poverty compared with 10.7% of all workers in all sectors.

Click here to read more.

Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses of Canada release statement against Electricity Advisory Council

On May 5, Natural Resources Minister Wilkinson launched the Canada Electricity Advisory Council to help build Canada’s “clean electricity future”, with a net-zero emissions goal for 2035.

The Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers and Businesses Canada (CCMBC) President Catherine Swift says that “Canadians should pay close attention to this development as they will be paying dearly for the results of this exercise in future. A 30 to 50 per cent increase in hydro bills for both consumers and businesses is not only likely, but may be an underestimate of the impact.”

They say that billions of tax dollars will also be spent to subsidize businesses involved and the many consultants, advisors and others involved in the “green” revolution.

Click here to read more.

Niagara emergency managers release joint short film

Emergency Managers from all 12 municipalities in Niagara and the Niagara Region proudly launch an emergency preparedness short film this year in celebration of Emergency Preparedness Week.

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness campaign that has taken place every year, during the first full week of May, since 1996. It is an opportunity to educate the community about steps individuals can take to prepare for an emergency. The short film highlights three different types of hazards that residents of Niagara could be faced with and demonstrates the importance of being prepared in advance to stay safe.

Click here to read more.

St. John Ambulance Niagara Falls honoured for training leadership

St. John Ambulance Niagara Falls has been recognized for its leadership in promoting first aid training.

The agency, which offers a wide variety of training programs, was honoured at the St. John Ambulance Ontario annual conference in Richmond Hill on March 31 with the First Aid Trophy for a branch serving a population of under 300,000 people. The award goes to the branch that has sold more first aid training than any other branch in the same population category in the last year.

Click here to read more.

Niagara celebrates European Union Day

Niagara Region Economic Development was proud to host a delegation of 16 Consuls General from the European Union, Ukraine as well as a representative from the European Union Delegation (Embassy in Ottawa) yesterday to celebrate European Union Day.

To commemorate the occasion, a flag-raising ceremony was held at the International Plaza of the Niagara Region Headquarters. The ceremony was attended by various dignitaries and partners from Niagara’s business community, highlighting the strong ties between the European Union and Niagara.

Click here to read more.

Canada Labour Code to ensure access to menstrual products at work starting December 15

Today, Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan Jr. announced that, as of December 15, 2023, federally regulated employers will be required to make menstrual products available to workers at no cost while they are in the workplace. That means putting pads and tampons in washrooms (or another space controlled by the employer) so that any worker who needs them while on the job has access.

This initiative is inclusive of all workers who menstruate, and it will improve the well-being of nearly half a million workers who may require menstrual products during their workdays, including cisgender women, non-binary individuals, transgender men, and intersex individuals.

Click here to read more.

Did you know?

Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard flipped a coin to decide whether their company would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett.

Focus on Climate

How shading crops with solar panels can improve farming, lower food costs and reduce emissions

If you have lived in a home with a trampoline in the backyard, you may have observed the unreasonably tall grass growing under it. This is because many crops, including these grasses, actually grow better when protected from the sun, to an extent.

And while the grass under your trampoline grows by itself, researchers in the field of solar photovoltaic technology — made up of solar cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity — have been working on shading large crop lands with solar panels — on purpose.

This practice of growing crops in the protected shadows of solar panels is called agrivoltaic farming. And it is happening right here in Canada.

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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