Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade Support Canada United to Help Local Businesses and Accelerate Small Business Recovery

Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade Support Canada United to Help Local Businesses and Accelerate Small Business Recovery

OCTOBER 21, 2020
News Release
For Immediate Release

Government of Canada announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

(Milton – October 20, 2020) – Small businesses are at the heart of Canadian communities. They are critical in helping Canada turn the corner on COVID-19 and their success is essential to Canada’s economic strength. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. Today, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.

The pandemic has created substantial uncertainty for small businesses. They are facing mounting losses, increased costs to reopen and shaky consumer confidence. As part of the Canada United movement, RBC brought together more than 70 of Canada’s leading brands, the national Chamber of Commerce network and business associations to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local. Meanwhile, more than 40 municipalities across Canada made official proclamations in honour of the Canada United Weekend, which took place over the weekend of August 28 – 30.

“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities—creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support now more than ever. A sincere thanks to Minister Ng and the federal government for providing critical support to small businesses when they need it most,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The actions of Canadians during the campaign helped establish the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.

“While the pandemic has undoubtedly challenged us in many ways, it’s also highlighted Canadians’ unwavering commitment to supporting one another during difficult times,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC. “We are incredibly grateful for the ways Canadians have supported their local businesses when they really needed it, and for the commitment of our partners who helped bring Canada United to life. And, now, with the Federal Government’s support, we are confident that the Small Business Relief Fund will make a significant difference in helping businesses prepare for the road ahead.”

Through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, grants up to $5,000 are available to small businesses so they can cover the costs of PPE as well as physical modifications and digital enhancements to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements. The grant can also be used to help firms with the cost of Personal Protection Equipment and enhance their e-commerce capabilities so they can do more business online. Canadian small businesses can learn more and apply for the grant online.

“Along with chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country, we’re proud to support small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, helping small businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19,” added President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell.

The new application window will for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be open on Monday, October 26, 2020. Click here to learn more about Canada United.

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Quotes

“The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is helping our small businesses offset the cost required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online at a time when they need it most. Chambers of commerce and boards of trade from coast, to coast, to coast have come together to start the Canada United movement, to show local businesses all the support they deserve.” — Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce

“By teaming up with the Canada United campaign, our government is able to give yet another lifeline for small businesses during Small Business Week. On the road to economic recovery, we will continue to do whatever it takes to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in every corner of the country.” — The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.

Media Contact

Lindsay Stevenson
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com

SMALL BUSINESS: TOO BIG TO IGNORE

SMALL BUSINESS: TOO BIG TO IGNORE

Chamber and Partners Kick Off Small Business Week Conversation About Digital and Skills Access

(Burlington – October 15, 2020) – The pandemic has highlighted challenges for small businesses: their access to digital technologies and skills. In advance of Small Business Week 2020, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, and partners are kicking off a vital conversation today about these gaps with the launch of their report, Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills. The report is a Skills Next project and a collaboration between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, Public Policy Forum, and the Future Skills Centre.

“We are deeply concerned about the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities, and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario,” said President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell. “They are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of jobs in the private sector. Yet they face critical labour shortages, skill mismatches, and challenges related to broadband internet access that threaten their competitiveness.”

“Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience,” added Ashley Challinor, Vice President, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “For businesses and workers, particularly those practicing physical distancing, connectivity is necessary to ensure they can remain productive by using digital tools such as video conferencing. Without adequate access, those in rural and remote regions will be vulnerable to additional layoffs and business closures.”

Canadian Small Business Week takes place during the third week of October every year. This year, the celebration will occur October 18-24, 2020. Over the course of Small Business Week, the OCC and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce will be participating in the “Small Business: Too Big To Ignore” campaign across the province, actively engaging small businesses in discussions about the top obstacles impeding their growth and the ways in which these challenges can be overcome.

Read the Skills Next project report: Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills, Skills Next is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.

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Media Contact

Lindsay Stevenson
Strategic Communications Coordinator
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com

Burlington Safe Restart Program First Round Funding Recipients Announced

Burlington Safe Restart Program First Round Funding Recipients Announced

Burlington to provide $124,689 to 59 Burlington Businesses in first round of Burlington Safe Restart COVID-19 Business Relief Gran

October 15, 2020 – Burlington, ON – The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for small businesses who need to adapt quickly to public health guidelines. Burlington’s business support organizations, known as Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), heard about these challenges and took decisive action in partnering with the City of Burlington and POST Promise to launch the Burlington Safe Restart COVID-19 Business Relief Grant on September 29.

The response to the program has been extremely positive, with more than 95 applications received in the two-week application window that closed on October 13th.

Today, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was joined by the Honourable Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Member of Provincial Parliament for Burlington to announce the Burlington businesses that will receive a grant in the first round of funding. Through the grant, $124,689 in funding will be released across 59 businesses. These businesses fall across a broad range of industries including hospitality, retail, health, wellness & sports. A full list of companies supported can be found online here.

The Burlington Safe Restart COVID-19 Business Relief Grant is an innovative municipal program that aims to support businesses through a one-time grant of up to $2500 that can be used towards related COVID-19 costs such as PPE and renovations to physical space to allow businesses to properly adhere to public health guidelines. As part of the eligibility requirements, recipients are also required to make the POST Promise, a private sector-led initiative that provides essential information on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Watch the full announcement here, and find more information on the Burlington Safe Restart program here.

QUOTES

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

“I’m glad to see our local small businesses have taken advantage of the first round of the Burlington Safe Restart Program relief grants and, at the same time, made the POST Promise. As the backbone of the local economy, our small businesses need all the support we can give them to help adapt and make their shops as safe as possible. This, in turn, will help the public feel more confident in participating in the economy again and in visiting their favourite local stores.”

The Hon. Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction

“The POST Promise and the Safe Restart program are shining examples of the tools available to small businesses to help address the need to keep customers and employees safe. I commend the City for their leadership on combatting COVID-19 and I am certain we will emerge stronger than ever from this virus.”

Anita Cassidy, Executive Director, Burlington Economic Development

“The Burlington Safe Restart Program will help ease some of the financial impacts that COVID-19 has had on our business community. The importance of restarting the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust was something Team Burlington was hearing loud and clear from our business community, and we knew we needed to find a way to provide direct, hands-on support. We are thrilled that The City of Burlington has stepped up to support our business community. Additionally, the partnership with POST Promise has equipped us to ensure our businesses are doing everything they can to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers, and I’m thrilled to have them on board.”

Aidan Tracey, POST Promise Founder and Chair of the Board of Directors

“The POST Promise is proud to be partnering with Team Burlington, the City of Burlington and the Burlington Safe Restart Program to support local small businesses. We congratulate all grant recipients and businesses who have made the POST Promise and are doing their part to let Canadians know they can confidently return to public spaces.”

Carla Y. Nell, President & CEO, Burlington Chamber of Commerce

“We are pleased to champion the Burlington Safe Restart Program that will provide much-needed relief to businesses across our City. We are very proud that Burlington is the first municipality we know of to launch a program of this kind and to be taking actionable steps toward helping businesses reopen safely and effectively. Restoring consumer confidence is key to economic recovery and the steps businesses take to protect employees and consumers is an essential part of that process, and we encourage all businesses to take the POST promise.”

Media Contact

Claire Green
Manager, Marketing and Attraction
Burlington Economic Development
Claire.Green@burlington.ca

Team Burlington Announces the Burlington Safe Restart Program

Team Burlington Announces the Burlington Safe Restart Program

Burlington Safe Restart Program to provide eligible small businesses with grants of up to $2500 to purchase PPE equipment and/or renovate their physical space to adhere to reopening guidelines 

September 29, 2020 – Burlington, ON – Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), has teamed up with the City of Burlington and POST Promise to deliver an innovative new program to provide financial support to Burlington’s small business community during COVID-19. A direct outcome of the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN) also led by Team Burlington, the one-time grant of up to $2500 can be used towards related COVID-19 costs such as purchasing PPE, renovating a physical space to adhere to public health guidelines, purchasing of signage and/or barriers, and much more.

Carla Y. Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce offered a statement on behalf of the Team Burlington organizations. “As a result of COVID-19, public-facing businesses such as food services and retail stores have seen a decline in revenues anywhere from 60-70%. These businesses are under tremendous pressure to adapt their physical spaces to adhere to reopening guidelines. Through speaking with stakeholders, it became clear that the City could support in restarting the economy and rebuilding consumer and employee trust by offering financial support to adapt to the reopening guidelines laid out by the province.” She continued, “We are very proud that Burlington is the first municipality we know of to launch a program of this kind and to be taking actionable steps toward helping businesses reopen safely and effectively.”

The Burlington Safe Restart Program is also proud to be partnering with POST Promise, a private-sector initiative, in collaboration with various levels of government, designed to help Canadians confidently and safely visit public spaces and the workplace. Businesses who apply for the Burlington Safe Restart grant are required to make the POST Promise, which provides education and training on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The POST Promise is honoured to be a part of the City of Burlington’s Safe Restart Program, and Team Burlington’s efforts to support local businesses during this challenging time,” said Laura Hearn, President & Executive Director of the POST Promise. “This initiative not only provides businesses with the tools they need to keep their customers and employees safe but is also critical to rebuilding consumer confidence and supporting our economy. I applaud all businesses who have already made the POST Promise and encourage all others to learn more at postpromise.com.”

Grant recipients will be able to display Burlington Safe Restart signage as well as the POST Promise logo in their storefront window, demonstrating their commitment to doing their part to protect the public’s health during COVID-19.

“The Burlington Safe Restart Program grant is another way to support our local businesses in adapting, as well as helping to increase consumer confidence in participating in the economy again – that, in turn, will hopefully help the public feel more comfortable in visiting their favourite local shops,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “Businesses are already putting in safety and health protocols, and that’s good to see. Connecting the grant to the POST Promise is also a great idea because it’s a simple and visible way for businesses to let their customers know the steps they are taking. Once people start seeing the same logo at many businesses — and you’ll also see it at City Hall — it’ll start creating confidence again in participating in the economy. I want to thank the Burlington Economic Recovery Network and Team Burlington for spearheading and supporting these initiatives and encouraging businesses to participate.”

The Burlington Safe Restart program will be accepting applications from eligible businesses from September 29 to October 13. More information on the program including eligibility requirements and the application form can be found at www.investburlington.ca/covid19.

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Media Contact

Claire Green
Manager, Marketing and Attraction
Burlington Economic Development
Claire.Green@burlington.ca

Small Business Week 2020

Small Business Week 2020

2020 Small Business Week Virtual Conference

Small business week is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has organized for over 40 years. Each year, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce champions local educational and networking opportunities to keep the Burlington business community informed and connected.

The Small Business Week Virtual Conference will provide participants with insight and inspiration from prominent thought leaders and experts to help organizations become more resilient and develop the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the new normal.

We recognize that different industries are facing unique barriers and pressures during these turbulent times. With the rapidly changing landscape that COVID-19 has brought on, industry experts will speak to important topics in business operations including, human resources, finance, accounting, Chamber support and marketing & branding.

Whether you are business as usual or facing unforeseen challenges, we invite all Chamber members and guests to take part in this virtual conference!

All participants will receive signed copies of our wonderful Keynote Speaker, David Kincaid’s latest publication, The Brand-Driven CEO: Embedding Brand into Business Strategy, valued at $32.95.

The Brand-Driven CEO demonstrates how senior leadership can use their brand to align and guide the behaviours, decisions, and operations of their entire organization and drive brand and shareholder value. Author David Kincaid delivers practical assessments and game plans for senior executives and managers across functional areas, clarifying the confusion.

Keynote Speakers 

David Kincaid, Founder & Managing Partner, Level5 Strategy

As the Founder of Level5, David has had the opportunity to build a firm dedicated to creating value for client partners’ most important asset: their brand. This has provided David with a unique insight into a global range of market sectors.

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As a result, he has been able to work alongside progressive, brand-driven business leaders in creating and delivering brands that have been successful financially, socially, and culturally. David’s rich corporate and consulting experience allows him to thrive in uncovering provocative insight and potential – in people, brands, and businesses. He has a proven strategic business sense and is both a world-class communicator and facilitator.

Entrepreneurs, business professionals, and students want to hear what David has to say. He is a frequent lecturer and speaker at Canada’s leading business schools and conferences – David is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at both the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and the Schulich Executive Education Centre at York University. He has published three books: The Brand-Driven CEO, The Value of a Promise Consistently Kept, and Brand Forward, Brand Back. In 2013, he was honoured for his outstanding work and contributions by being inducted into the American Marketing Association’s Marketing Hall of Legends.

David loves music, golf, and travelling with his family, where together they can laugh and learn.

Kenna Danyliw, President & CEO and Founding Partner, Danyliw & Mann Professional Corporation

Kenna is the President / CEO and founding partner of Danyliw & Mann, a boutique firm that specializes in providing business management, tax and accounting services to the music industry.  The business started 15 years ago in the spare bedroom of her family’s home while she had two young daughters, a stepson and one very supportive husband.  

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Danyliw & Mann has grown out of that bedroom and into one of the leading Canadian firms in the industry and represents several Juno and Grammy award-winning or nominated artists across Canada, the United States and beyond.  Kenna is a CPA, CA who started her career with Coopers & Lybrand and also worked with Laidlaw and Pricewaterhouse Coopers before founding Danyliw & Mann. Kenna and her family are Burlington residents who have lived in the community for 20 years.  Kenna is the Treasurer on the Sarah McLachlan Foundation board, is the former Vice-Chair of the Art Gallery of Burlington Board of Directors, is a new member of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Women4Change group, is a member of the JR Digs Acoustic Christmas organizing committee, volunteers services for The Avril Lavigne Foundation and was on the board of the Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and Planned Parenthood Hamilton.

Leadership Development Speakers

Carolyn Swora, Workplace Culture Architect, Author, Speaker

Carolyn is on a mission to shift our workplaces from transactional jobs to places where people can grow, transform and thrive while feeling energized, inspired and motivated to do their best work. She designed Purposeful Workplace Experiences (PWE) to empower individuals and teams to transform workplace culture by becoming change agents and driving culture from the bottom up.

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As a Workplace Culture Architect, Carolyn works with business leaders who place their people at the core of business success to create organizational systems and practices that are people-centred, forward-thinking and prepared for demanding and challenging business climates.

Carolyn is the owner of Pinnacle Culture. She has a 25-year track record helping organizations enhance the employee experience and evolve their workplace culture. She has worked with clients across various industries, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, and as a Senior Business Leader in the pharmaceutical industry leading teams through significant change. Her real-life experience is bolstered by her love of learning.

She has a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Adler University in Chicago, a Human Resource Management Diploma from Sheridan College, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster. She is also proud to be part of a global team of independent Certified Dare to Lead Facilitators who are trained and certified to bring the Dare to Lead™ research by Brené Brown to organizations.

Her podcast PWE & ME, now in its fourth season, is designed to inspire people at all organizational levels to create purposeful workplace experiences and close the gap between what people say should happen to transform the workplace and what is actually happening. She is also the author of Amazon best-seller Rules of Engagement: Building a workplace culture to thrive in an uncertain world.

Lisa-Marie Winning, Executive Consultant, Winning & Associates – IG Private Wealth Management

With 24 years of experience in wealth management and financial planning, Lisa-Marie has worked for both bank-owned and full-service brokerage firms before making the choice to join IG Private Wealth Management in 2005.  

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She holds 5 designations in the investment industry: Financial Management Advisor (FMA), Registered Retirement Consultant (RRC), Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP), Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute which is reserved solely for financial services professionals who meet the highest standards for advanced education, ethical conduct, industry experience and endorsement from peers.  Lisa-Marie also holds the Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM) designation, which recognizes her unique expertise in managing the complex requirements of affluent clients.

Lisa-Marie believes in balancing one’s professional and personal life.  She is married with 3 children and lives in Downtown Burlington.  She is also very active in supporting her local community, is involved in many charitable organizations and has competed in several prominent sports events, including the New York and Chicago Marathons.

Joseph Tassoni, Owner & Head Designer, Joseph Tassoni

Designed, sourced and made-in-Canada, the award-winning Joseph Tassoni brand is a celebration of Canadian quality, craftsmanship and creativity. Joseph came from humble beginnings, starting his fashion career by studying at the Ryerson School of Fashion, where he
then worked in corporate apparel for 18 years before starting his own, successful brand that exists today. 

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 In 2017, Joseph launched his outerwear label to great reception during Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. The Joseph Tassoni brand is known for its best in class materials and inventive designs that ensure the women and men wearing this clothing don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style.

Joseph’s design aesthetic is one of bold femininity and high fashion, while remaining focused on uncompromising fit. From his Cashmere 2016 winning bathroom tissue gown to outfitting red carpet looks for TIFF 2017, 2018 and 2019, where his heart-shaped backless silhouette was a favourite among photographers and media, Joseph’s designs are always of high calibre. His capsule collection for Toronto Women’s Fashion Week’s runway celebration of Canada’s 150th brought luxury and couture to the runway in a powerful way that was uniquely Canadian.

In addition to constantly elevating his brand, Joseph remains passionate about elevating the state of Canadian home-grown fashion through mentorship programs at George Brown, Humber College, and through his advocacy towards made-in-Canada brands. In 2020, Joseph paved the way for fashion designers in Canada by pivoting his studio to produce protective equipment, including masks and gloves, to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Joseph was the first made-in Canada fashion label to bring masks to the market, with proceeds from each purchase going towards his local hospital in Burlington. His passion for his craft, and for the country that inspires him, is evident in everything Joseph does; where his designs and brand model are representations of his passion and love for the Canadian fashion industry.

Julie Ellis, Co-Founder, Mabel’s Labels

Julie Ellis has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and was most recently the Chief Operating Officer for a privately held omni channel retailer in Canada, responsible for driving the company’s growth toward operational excellence, team integration and market expansion.

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She is the co-founder of the successful Canadian small business Mabel’s Labels and has been involved in the business and startup communities for many years. She was Chair of the Board at Innovation Factory in Hamilton, ON., which offers programs that accelerate the innovation process for up-and-coming companies through collaboration with community-based resources from business, science, government, academia and finance. She is the current Board Chair at Angel One Investor Network, one of the most active angel groups in Canada. Julie has extensive experience mentoring leaders of all levels across several industries to achieve their professional goals and is a sought-after speaker and presenter on topics ranging from leadership development to corporate culture building, to growth and scale. Julie is also a two-time winner of the Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, in the category of RBC Momentum (2009) and Profit Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship (2014). 

Ask the Expert: COVID-19 Response Team 

Lynn Beechey, Owner, Beechey Management Resources

Lynn Beechey is a Certified Personnel Consultant, at Beechey Management Resources.  She has business experience in almost all industry sectors. She specializes in providing Recruitment/Talent Acquisition & H.R. Solutions to strengthen her client’s teams and develop structure for their businesses. 

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Lynn started her career in a Chemical Manufacturing firm in Mississauga, as an H.R. Generalist.  After being laid off, she quickly found a home in the recruitment world.  Lynn spent several years with a full-service executive search firm in Mississauga, learning the recruitment craft.  She developed the Company’s hiring processes, created their in-house Policies and Procedures as well as a full onboarding & orientation program.  She was instrumental in creating an enhanced industry specific training program to develop and teach new talent acquisition professionals.  The organization grew from 5 full time staff to over 20 staff across 3 locations in a few short years.

Lynn decided to start her own business, Beechey Management Resources in 2001!  As an extension of her clients’ own teams, she brings a strategic approach to identifying and evaluating top talent, ensuring skill and culture fit every time.  For many of her small business clients, who would not have the capacity to have a full time H.R. Professional, she provides a variety of H.R. support on a consulting basis ensuring they have the right programs in place.  These programs include strategic planning, policy development, onboarding & orientation development, performance management programs and employee relations support. 

Lynn has been an active member of the Burlington Community, leading fundraising initiatives for Breast Cancer causes as well as support services and continues to be an active member of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. 

Mary Ann Wenzler-Wiebe, Vice President, GTA West, Business Development Bank Canada

Mary Ann looks after the GTA West Area of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).  In this role, she leads a team of professionals dedicated to serving Canadian businesses through financing, venture capital and advisory services with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. 

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 In addition, she is the Regional Sponsor for Ontario Women Entrepreneurs.  She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Mississauga Board of Trade and One Spark Foundation Board.

Before joining BDC, she spent a number of years working in commercial banking in the Windsor area.  Mary Ann is a former director of St. Joe’s Hospital Foundation in London and Board of Governors for Grand River Hospital Foundation.  She sat on various committees supporting entrepreneurship and automotive growth in Ontario & Canada.

Alex Doma, CPA, CA, LPA Manager, Bateman MacKay LLP

Alex is a Manager of the Assurance Team providing audit, review and notice to reader financial statements and preparation of corporate income tax returns. Prior to joining Bateman MacKay, Alex held a role with one of the big four accounting firms as a key member in their Financial Institutions and Real Estate Group, specializing in the real estate sector.

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Alex is committed to delivering financial services that meet the specific needs of each of his clients. With a thoughtful approach, he consistently provides professional and proficient expertise to his client base.

A dedicated learner, Alex became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) in 2013 and earned his Public Accountant (LPA) license in 2018. He graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (accounting) from Wilfrid Laurier University.

In his personal time, Alex enjoys soccer, snowboarding, and golf and is well-travelled. 

Carla Y. Nell, President & CEO, Burlington Chamber of Commerce

Carla Y. Nell has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and is widely known for her transformational and collaborative leadership style. Prior to taking on her role with the Chamber in July of 2019, she recently served as the Vice-President, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations at the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC). 

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Throughout her career, she has also gained extensive experience as principal of a professional services consulting firm, has served as a trusted strategic advisor on complex issues to a diverse range of clients, stakeholders and organizations, and was previously a part-time professor at Seneca College in the Faculty of Business. She holds numerous degrees and professional designations and is a sought after contributor and speaker by organizations and associations serving both the private and public sectors with provincial, national and international profile. Carla is a highly regarded thought leader whose commitment to customers and partnerships is a signature of her leadership.

Lara McCulloch, Chief Shift Disturber

Lara is an award-winning, results-driven brand positioning expert with over 25 years as a Business Growth Consultant. Basically, she teaches business owners how to become the ONLY one in their industry instead of being one of the many. She’s advised multinationals like Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Shell and Benjamin Moore as well as small businesses around the globe.

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 Lara travels the world as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator. She’s the recipient of Connect Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, Rejuvenate Magazine’s Top 40 under 40, has been bestowed the title of Industry Innovator by BizBash magazine, received the coveted Spirit of the Industry Award by the CEIA and is proud to have been honoured with Dedication & Leadership Awards by ILEA. She graduated from Ivy Business School’s Executive Program, but it’s the title of Mom that brings Lara the most pride. When she’s not building Lego with her son, she’s been known to board down active volcanoes, spelunk 16 stories underground, camp in -10 degree temps beside a glacier, bungee jump over a rainforest, swim with sharks and jump from a plane at 15,000 feet.

Support our Local Restaurants during Small Business Week

To further support the business community and to accommodate for not being able to host this workshop in person, we encourage you to visit a local Chamber member restaurants from October 18 – 24th! The following restaurants have special offers that week.  

Enjoy 20% off food and non-alcoholic beverages.

$15 Lunch &  $25 Dinner special.

$25 Lunch and $40 Dinner special.

Interested in having your restaurant featured? This offering is exclusive to Chamber members. Please contact ashlee@ourforte.ca to learn more.

2020 Small Business Week Sponsors

Sponsorship Opportunities are available! Please contact ashlee@ourforte.ca to become a sponsor and help us celebrate entrepreneurship and small businesses in Burlington. 

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Small Business Sponsor