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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 18, 2022

In this edition:

Call to Action for businesses to help Ukrainians
Inflation rises again in April
i.d.e.a. fund offers seed capital
Niagara launches lobbyist registry
Lincoln and Grimsby win award for shared services
Consultation for Federal Tourism Growth Strategy
RFP: Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Call to Action for businesses to help displaced Ukrainians

The Government of Canada is making an appeal to Canadian businesses interested in providing support to displaced Ukrainians arriving in Canada. Canada has partnered with the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance (CISSA-ACSEI) and its national network of settlement organizations to provide direct and critical support to those in need. Donations from Canadian businesses will go to Ukrainians and other displaced persons making Canada their home.

If you own a business or run an organization in Canada and are interested in providing assistance, please click here to learn how you can help.

Inflation rate rises again in April

In April, Canadian consumer prices rose 6.8% year over year, a slight increase from March (+6.7%).

The year-over-year increase in April was largely driven by food and shelter prices. Gas prices increased at a slower pace in April compared with March, moderating the acceleration of the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) in April.

Excluding gasoline, the CPI rose 5.8% year over year in April, after a 5.5% gain in March. This was the fastest pace since the introduction of the all-items excluding gasoline special aggregate in 1999.

Canadians paid 9.7% more in April for food purchased from stores compared with April 2021. This increase, which exceeded 5% for the fifth month in a row, was the largest increase since September 1981. For comparison, from 2010 to 2020, there were five months when prices for food purchased from stores increased at a rate of 5% or higher.

On a year-over-year basis, increases in food prices have been broad-based, with consumers paying more for nearly everything at the grocery store. Basics, such as fresh fruit (+10.0%), fresh vegetables (+8.2%) and meat (+10.1%), were all more expensive in April compared with a year earlier. Prices for starchy foods such as bread (+12.2%), pasta (+19.6%), rice (+7.4%) and cereal products (+13.9%) also increased. Additionally, a cup of coffee (+13.7%) cost more in April 2022 than in April 2021.

Click here to read more.

i.d.e.a. fund offers seed capital for innovation

i.d.e.a. Fund is a program that fosters inclusion, diversity, environment and acceleration while contributing to a green recovery, and is delivered in partnership with the following Ontario Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): Innovation Guelph, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, WEtech Alliance, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario, to support a more sustainable economy while fostering an inclusive and equitable recovery in Southern Ontario.

This program will provide specialized industry expertise to develop growth plans and related strategies in the areas such as talent attraction, raising follow-on investment, product development and quantification of product benefits/market value propositions, commercialization of intellectual property, and market diversification. Each RIC will distribute up to a maximum of $30,000 in matching seed funding to select innovative businesses in various sectors.

Click here to read more and apply.

Niagara Region launches lobbyist registry

As part of a commitment to increase transparency and enhance the public’s trust in Regional government, Council has launched a lobbyist registry to track all lobbying activities directed towards members of council and staff.

The publicly accessible and searchable registry can be found on the Region’s website and is designed to meet the requirements of Niagara’s lobbyist registration by-law. Penalties under the new lobbyist registry by-law will be enforced by the Region’s lobbyist registrar.
Under Niagara Region’s Lobbyist Registration By-law, lobbyists are required to register themselves as a lobbyist and submit the subject matter they discussed with both members of Regional Council and staff. Lobbyists are required to register their lobbying activity within five business days of their interaction.

Click here to read more.

Towns of Lincoln and Grimsby win national award for shared Fire and Emergency Services pilot project

The Town of Lincoln and the Town of Grimsby are honoured to be recognized nationally for their Niagara West Fire & Emergency Services pilot project from the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA). The Towns were proud to receive first-ever 2022 CAMA Collaboration Award for a partnership between municipalities during a Virtual Awards of Excellence Ceremony held earlier today.

Click here to read more.

Consultation for Federal Tourism Growth Strategy

Today at an event with the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, announced the launch of the formal engagement period for the renewal of Canada’s Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.

Minister Boissonnault will work with the tourism sector, provincial and territorial counterparts, and Indigenous tourism partners to renew the strategy and set a course for growth, investment and stability. The Minister also spoke about supports for small and medium-sized enterprises and his vision for the tourism and hospitality industry in the coming years.

Tourism stakeholders, business owners and employees, as well as members of the public, are invited to visit New Federal Tourism Growth Strategy to provide input and help lay the foundation for the future of Canada’s tourism industry.

Click here to read more.

RFP: Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced the launch of the Call for Expressions of Interest under the renewed Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI). Announced in Budget 2021, VCCI is increasing investment in the venture capital sector by $450 million. When leveraged with other public and private capital, the renewed VCCI could inject at least $1.5 billion in the venture capital market.

This new round of investments will focus on three areas. The government plans to invest $350 million in funds of funds, $50 million in life sciences and $50 million in inclusive growth.

Click here to read more.

Reading Recommendations

Why Elon Musk can’t just walk away from the Twitter deal


Elon Musk tweeted Friday morning that his deal with Twitter was “on pause,” based on nearly two-week-old news that bots made up less than 5 percent of Twitter users — something Musk has vowed to eliminate if he becomes the owner of the social media platform.

He later tweeted that he was “still committed to acquisition” but that didn’t stop people from speculating that this was his first step toward walking away from a Twitter acquisition, which has gone through more fits and starts than a baby blue bird desperately trying to leave the nest.

If Musk does decide he is done with Twitter, it’s not like he can just pay the $1 billion termination fee and walk out the door. So what would he have to do? And is it likely he’ll try? Grid Tech Reporter Benjamin Powers spoke with Brian Quinn, an expert on corporate law and mergers and acquisitions, about Musk’s contract, his tweets and how this may be a renegotiating technique rather than a ploy to bail out of the Twitter deal.

Click here to read more.

Microsoft officially raises pay for some employees


Microsoft will raise employee pay through merit salary increases and larger stock grants, CEO Satya Nadella wrote in an email to employees on Monday. The decision follows similar salary bumps from other big tech companies.

Nadella announced that the company is doubling the global budget for merit increases, as well as increasing the range for stock-based compensation by 25% for employees under the senior director level. Business Insider reports the changes are effective Sept. 1.

Despite falling tech stocks, growing layoffs and hiring freezes, the job market is still favorable for engineers and other corporate tech workers. Amazon doubled its base compensation from $160,000 to $350,000 earlier this year, and doled out a record number of stock grants. Nadella acknowledged the competitive talent market in his email to staff announcing the change.

Click here to read more.

The Election Section

Watch the 2022 Election Debate for the Riding of St. Catharines

Niagara poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

Provincial poll tracker

Chart by Visualizer

The 338Canada project is a statistical model of electoral projections based on opinion polls, electoral history, and demographic data.

GNCC election platform

The GNCC asks that the next Government of Ontario create an economic environment for success by conducting an economic cost-benefit analysis of electricity rates and time-of-use billing. Rates and time-of-use have an impact on businesses, and for these programs to have maximum effect, a full analysis not just of environmental but also business and consumer impact should be made.

Click here to read the full platform.

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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