New Program Will Help Local Businesses go Digital in Response to COVID-19
Recovery Activation Program expands to Burlington
BURLINGTON, JULY 24 – COVID-19 has changed everything, requiring telecommuting, on-demand delivery and services, supply chain resiliency and virtual collaborations. Even as the province begins to reopen, the pandemic has heightened the urgency for businesses to digitize to survive.
To address this change, Toronto Region Board of Trade and World Trade Centre Toronto created the Recovery Activation Program, or RAP. RAP offers businesses the know-how, blueprint and partners to address the conditions that COVID-19 has created by implementing digital solutions to their front, middle and back-offices. It will not only equip them to come through COVID-19 intact, but to thrive.
With the support of a $7.7 million investment from the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario, RAP is now expanding to businesses of all sizes throughout the province, including Burlington. The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has been selected as an important partner to help ensure local businesses benefit from the customized services and mentorship that RAP offers. The goal is to help participants develop an effective strategy to attack their unique barriers to connectivity and support their digital restructuring.
“The Burlington Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to offer this timely and important support for our membership and the Burlington business community. As we continue moving through the staged approach to reopening, this program will allow business to strengthen their digital presence and infrastructure to support their economic recovery in the long term,” said President & CEO Carla Y. Nell.
By enabling this partnership between the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and the Toronto Region Board of Trade, the governments’ investment in RAP will also help make sure at least half of RAP’s participants are based outside of Toronto.
“The Recovery Activation Program is a direct response to what we’re hearing from our members and the business community at large: digital tools and services are crucial to success, but challenging to implement,” said Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. “The Burlington Chamber of Commerce’s involvement in this program will result in the digital transformation of businesses outside of Toronto who will now be in a position to shore up their current business offerings, create new businesses opportunities and explore new markets.”
With recruitment currently open, the first RAP cohort will run through July 2020. Interested businesses can apply here.
ABOUT THE TORONTO REGION BOARD OF TRADE
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential chambers of commerce in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic growth agenda. Backed by more than 13,500 members, we pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally. We want Toronto to be recognized as one of the most competitive and sought-after business regions in the world, and believe this reputation starts with our businesses. Learn more at bot.com and follow us at @TorontoRBOT.
To book an interview, please contact:
Toronto Region Board of Trade
Burlington Chamber of Commerce joins Canada United to support local businesses and accelerate small business recovery
Created by RBC in collaboration with the national network of Chambers of Commerce and over 50 corporate partners Burlington Chamber of Commerce to support local businesses as part of the nationwide movement
July 22, 2020 (Burlington, Ontario) – The Burlington Chamber of Commerce announced today it is joining Canada United, a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. As part of the movement, RBC has brought together more than 50 of Canada’s leading brands, Business Associations and the national Chamber network to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local.
“The Burlington Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support the Canada United movement and help bolster businesses in and around our community. Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy and key to a thriving community,” says President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for businesses in the Halton Region and across the province. We need to continue to support SMEs who create jobs, drive innovation, and generate wealth for communities across Ontario – they will play an integral role in helping the province bounce back.
Canadians are invited to join the Canada United movement by buying and dining local, including celebrating and supporting local businesses during the Canada United Weekend from August 28 to 30, 2020.
Canadians are also encouraged to watch the Canada United videos online at GoCanadaUnited.ca, like posts from @GoCanadaUnited on social media and use #CanadaUnited to demonstrate their support. For each of these actions until August 31, 2020, RBC will contribute 5 cents up to a maximum contribution amount of $2 million to the new Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, while working with government and corporate partners to source additional contributions to the fund during the course of the campaign. The Fund will provide small businesses with grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE) renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving e-commerce capabilities.
Small Canadian businesses across the country will be able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding. The program intends to support small Canadian businesses of all kinds from across the country. The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the national Chamber network. Small business owners who are interested in the program can visit GoCanadaUnited.ca to learn more about grant application details, including eligibility criteria, and to apply.
“We are excited to welcome the Burlington Chamber of Commerce to Canada United to help local businesses and Canada’s economy come back strong,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, Royal Bank of Canada. “Canada United has created to kick-start an economic rebound by rallying consumers to give local businesses the support they need to re-open during these uncertain times. By bringing together government, business associations and corporate Canada, we are looking to start a movement to get Canadians to buy local and support businesses across the country. We are genuinely excited by the energy all of our partners are bringing to this effort.”
“If there has been one silver lining in all the tragedy and sacrifices of the current crisis, it has been the spirit of collaboration and unity of purpose that has been evident between levels of government, across provinces and across sectors,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
“We are calling on that same unity of purpose with Canada United. Small, local businesses are the heart of our communities, our Main Streets and our economy. Together, it is time to show local some love.”
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.
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
(Burlington) – June 29, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced 62 $10,000 grant recipients from its Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund today, including Supreme Cheerleading Inc., located in Burlington, Ontario.
“We are delighted to see a hard-working and dedicated Chamber member receive this $10,000 grant from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce. Owners Tracey Page and Vicki Seguire are active members of the Burlington community and among our membership. Supreme Cheerleading Inc. have adapted to the challenges that have been brought on by COVID-19 by offering virtual training options for their Supreme Cheerleaders at the onset of the outbreak. We are excited to see how they will continue to innovate over the next few months and beyond the pandemic.” said President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell.
More than 1100 small businesses across Canada applied for the 62 grants available. The lucky recipients were those that best demonstrated their financial strain, how the business will use the grant to change or innovate, how the change or innovation will sustain the business’s recovery and allow it to prosper, and how the grant will support the role each business plays in their community.
The fund was managed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and made possible through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM). The funding was designed to help small businesses across the country stay afloat and support their recovery efforts, paying salaries, retrofitting their workplaces and acquiring technology to adapt their business model. Salesforce has also provided grants to small businesses in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, in addition to providing other resources.
“Reviewing the applications was both heartbreaking and inspiring, We saw how seriously small businesses across Canada have been hurt by the pandemic, but we also saw how determined these entrepreneurs are to preserve their employees’ jobs and to serve their customers and their communities. Today is a happy waypoint, not an endpoint, and we won’t stop finding new ways to help Canada’s businesses reopen and recover. We’ll be with them every step of the way,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber.
“It has been incredible to see the resilience coming from Canada’s small business owners over the last few months. We know it hasn’t been easy,” said Margaret Stuart, Canada Country Manager, Salesforce. “The applicants have further demonstrated what we at Salesforce already knew to be true – that Canada is rich with innovation and entrepreneurial talent. We’re hopeful that these grants will provide essential support to small business owners as they return to work.”
A complete list of the winners can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 24, 2020
Burlington, Ontario (June 24, 2020) – The Burlington Chamber of Commerce was delighted to host the 2020 Business Excellence Gala through a reimagined, community-driven, virtual experience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the original date was set for April 2nd, 2020 and was rescheduled for last evening, June 23rd, 2020.
As the voice of business in Burlington and beyond, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has been working tirelessly to create new virtual opportunities to connect leaders. We were pleased to continue the tradition of supporting Chamber members, showcasing leadership, and celebrating business excellence by transforming our annual Business Excellence Awards into a live, virtual awards ceremony.
As always, the Business Awards Task Force Committee was impressed by the calibre of companies represented this year and every company that is nominated receives careful attention. All nominated companies are evaluated based on the following criteria: Business Leadership, Technology & Product Innovation, Community Contributions, Environmental Leadership, Customer/Stakeholder Relations, Sales and Market Growth, Entrepreneurship, and Employee Welfare. This year, winners were chosen for the following categories: Not-for-Profit, Retail/Wholesale, Service – Micro, Small, Medium and Large, and Young Entrepreneur. A special award was also added this year at the Task Force’s discretion – the Heritage Award – to recognize an organization demonstrating an outstanding legacy of success in Burlington.
The 21 finalists have shown great resilience overcoming the challenges that businesses are currently facing by adapting their operations and stepping up as community leaders. We were thrilled to be able to celebrate and honour them during this particularly challenging time for business.
The Burlington Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Business Excellence Awards Winners are:
The Mayor’s Community Service and Burlington Economic Development Award Winners who were also honoured at the Gala are:
Mayor’s Community Service Awards:
Burlington Economic Development Awards:
“We were pleased to move forward with this time-honoured tradition despite not being able to host in person. While this year’s award ceremony may have looked different, we were delighted to recognize and honour this year’s finalists through a reimagined, virtual experience. The priority for this event was to not only adapt to the changing landscape that COVID-19 has brought on but to showcase business excellence while at the same time reinvesting in our community and local economy,” said President & CEO Carla Y. Nell
Taking advantage of the opportunity to support and reinvest in our business community, ticket holders were given exclusive access to the live, interactive event production. As a part of this one-of-a-kind experience, each ticket holder also received their choice of an awards night 3-course meal and gift bags showcasing a broad array of products from Chamber members and the broader business community.
Thank you to our event sponsors and everyone who attended this one-of-a-kind experience! It was wonderful to take advantage of this opportunity to celebrate business excellence and leadership despite not being able to connect in person. Sincere congratulations to our 2020 Business Excellence Award Winners!
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 22, 2020
SPOTLIGHTING ONTARIO SMALL BUSINESS #DIFFERENCEMAKERS
(BURLINGTON, JUNE 22, 2020) – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been at the center of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Faced with reduced revenue, poor liquidity, disrupted supply chains, and a host of unprecedented challenges, many small businesses have used this as an opportunity to pivot their business model and grow. The Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) latest policy brief, Small Business, Big Impact: How SMEs are Pivoting During COVID-19, highlights a range of Ontario’s SMEs that have successfully adapted during this difficult time.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and key to thriving communities,” says Carla Y. Nell, President & CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. “Ontario is home to almost 430,000 SMEs, employing 88 percent of the workforce. These small businesses create jobs, drive innovation, and generate wealth for communities in Halton Region and across Ontario.
Throughout the pandemic the Ontario Chamber Network has been highlighting #DifferenceMakers, businesses who are successfully pivoting their operations and finding creative ways of supporting their communities.
“Given the important role SMEs play, it is critical for organizations like the OCC to help shine a light on how smaller firms are showing resilience, despite the odds. Equally important is ensuring that policies and programs are developed with urgency for the SMEs in sectors and regions that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, an issue explored in depth in RBC’s latest report, Small Business, Big Pivot,” states Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The OCC’s latest policy brief highlights 28 SMEs from the Chamber’s network that have adapted their operations and displayed tremendous leadership. Some quickly retooled their operations to manufacture essential products while others modified existing products or services to continue serving clients and remain resilient. Throughout the economic crisis, other SMEs featured in this brief found creative ways to support frontline workers in their communities.
“The SMEs profiled in this brief are true difference makers. Many of these companies recognized the shifting business environment and new economic trends, such as digital delivery, and took immediate steps to fill a gap, leverage technology, or develop critical partnerships during this challenging period. Together, they demonstrate the nimbleness, ingenuity, and generosity of Ontario’s SMEs,” explains report author, Catrina Kronfli, Senior Policy Analyst.
Small Business, Big Impact is the third in a series of COVID-19 policy briefs to be released in the coming months, providing insights on the impact the pandemic is having on the business community.
Read the report.