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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: May 3, 2023

In this edition:

Canada’s poverty rate remains below pre-pandemic levels

Today, Statistics Canada released results from the 2021 Canadian Income Survey, which showed that the growth in median market income more than offset the decline observed in 2020 and brought the median market income 3.5% higher than its 2019 level. The results also showed that Canada’s overall poverty rate was 7.4% in 2021, following the end of temporary emergency pandemic benefits that were provided in 2020. This is below the 2019 pre-pandemic rate of 10.3%, and nearly half the 2015 rate (14.5%), the baseline year for Canada’s legislated poverty reduction targets.

In 2021, there were close to 2.3 million fewer Canadians living in poverty compared to 2015, including 653,000 fewer children,11,000 fewer seniors, and 556,000 fewer persons with a disability. The Government remains committed to reaching its goal of a 50% reduction in poverty by 2030 based on 2015 levels.

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Grimsby director of finance exits for job with the region

In addition to their search for a new chief administrative officer, Grimsby will be on the hunt for a new treasurer.

It was announced at the council meeting on May 1 that Beth Brens, who has been treasurer/director of finance for the town for a little over a year, would be stepping away from her role.

During a small farewell at the meeting, Brens thanked town staff and council for their dedication and support.

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Niagara Health Research Day returns to in-person celebration of ideas and innovation

The annual showcase of findings and ideas from researchers across Niagara and the Greater Toronto Area will be held in person at Brock University. The event highlights research dedicated to improving overall health and well-being, patient outcomes and how care is delivered.

“Niagara Health Research Day is an incredible opportunity to learn about and celebrate the remarkable work of our staff, physicians, students and community partners to advance healthcare knowledge and innovation through research,” says Elaina Orlando, Niagara Health’s Manager of Research. “We are thrilled to gather in person again and give prominence to some of the latest healthcare research while generating ideas for research growth that will benefit patients in Niagara and beyond.”

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85-unit build approved for Doran Avenue and Main Street in Grimsby

An upcoming development in Grimsby is undergoing some minor plan changes.

The building planned for 6 Doran Ave. and 21-23 Main St. E. in Grimsby, the old Roxy Theatre site, was approved to have 87 residential units, with commercial space and a restaurant at ground level and 158 parking spaces (two levels underground).

In a report received by council at their May 1 meeting, councillors learned that the developer, DeSantis Homes, would like to get rid of the proposed restaurant and merge four residential spaces.

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U.S. central bank hikes rate but signals it may be done with them

The Federal Reserve reinforced its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate by a quarter-point to the highest level in 16 years. But the Fed also signaled that it may now pause the streak of 10 rate hikes that have made borrowing for consumers and businesses steadily more expensive.

In a statement after its latest policy meeting, the Fed said that while the banking system is “sound and resilient,” the upheaval in the financial system could slow borrowing, spending and growth. It reiterated that the impact of pullback in bank lending “remains uncertain.”

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Tim Hortons, Burger King lift Restaurant Brands earnings

Restaurant Brands International Inc beat Wall Street estimates for first-quarter revenue and profit on Tuesday, boosted by higher traffic and prices at Tim Hortons restaurants in Canada despite closures of some U.S. Burger King locations.

The company’s global comparable sales rose nearly 10% in the March quarter, versus analysts’ estimates of 6.5% according to Refinitiv IBES data. Tim Hortons Canada sales grew 16% and Burger King International’s were 12% higher. Shares were up 1.5%.

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New Canadian retail chain set to launch from ashes of former Bed Bath & Beyond locations

Serial entrepreneur Doug Putman plans to launch his latest retail venture by taking over most of the remnants of Bed Bath & Beyond, in a new chain called rooms + spaces.

Putman, who has made similar moves when HMV, Toys ‘R’ Us and DavidsTea went insolvent, plans to open the home store brand in 21 former locations of Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY storefronts later this summer.

“We certainly think that it’s a growth area, the market is massive — billions and billions of dollars,” Putman told CBC News in an interview.

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Did you know?

25.5 million people joined the Indian workforce in April 2023. Canada’s entire workforce has only 21.1 million people.

Focus on Climate

Local food is not enough — we need a sustainable transition in the food system

Having highlighted the failures and fragility of a globalized food system, the COVID-19 pandemic created a sudden infatuation with local consumption, which was widely encouraged by the Québec government as a measure to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

On one hand, delays in the arrival of foreign workers and the disruption of slaughterhouse operations were among the greatest difficulties faced by Québec farmers. On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges for smaller-scale local ecological producers was to promptly satisfy an overwhelming demand for fresh, local food.

However, this is not a trend that has lasted: while there was a sharp return to normal in 2021 (compared to 2020), some local farmers even reported a drop in demand for their products in 2022.

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Cement Association of Canada releases Concrete Zero

The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) – together with its members and partners in the concrete sector – released Concrete Zero, an Action Plan to ensure Canada’s cement and concrete industry achieves its carbon emissions reduction goals by making cement net-zero by 2050.

The industry has charted a course towards achieving its goal of 40% emissions reduction by 2030 as part of the Roadmap to Net-Zero Carbon Concrete by 2050 – a unique joint government-industry collaboration. It is also trying to transition to lower-carbon fuel sources, producing carbon-reduced cements and concretes, and using clean technologies. The cement and concrete industry is also the first to join Canada’s Net Zero Challenge.

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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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