Canadian Chamber Asks Goverment to Freeze Unfair Alcohol Tax During Pandemic and Economic Downturn

Canadian Chamber Asks Goverment to Freeze Unfair Alcohol Tax During Pandemic and Economic Downturn

Canadians, and their local restaurants and pubs, already pay some of the highest alcohol taxes anywhere in the world. Next April 1, the government is going to want even more money from cash-strapped Canadians and desperate small business owners.

The timing could not be any worse as the global pandemic continues to crater the Canadian economy. Just as households are struggling to make ends meet and local restaurants are disappearing, the federal government continues to apply an automatic tax increase on beer, wine and spirits.

 “Surely, amid a global pandemic and a once-a-century economic downturn, there is cause to stop an automatic tax increase to ensure we help everyday Canadians to cope with the impacts of COVID-19. That’s why asking the government to freeze this unfair tax increase to give consumers a break and to support the economic recovery of Canadian bars, restaurants and domestic producers,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Few Canadians are aware that the alcohol escalator tax automatically increases the excise duty rate on beer, wine and spirits every year on April 1. This automatic yearly increase was introduced by the federal government in Budget 2017 without any consultation or economic analysis of its impact on consumers, the foodservice industry, producers and their agricultural suppliers.

Canadians and business owners believe this automatic increase is unfair under normal circumstances, and inexcusable amid COVID-19. That is why the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Beer Canada, Spirits Canada and various Canadian hospitality industry businesses launched the Freeze the Alcohol Tax campaign, which calls on the federal government to put an end to the unfair alcohol escalator tax in the next federal budget and give Canadians a much-deserved break.

“Hotels, restaurants and bars having been hit the hardest by the pandemic, with over a million jobs lost and thousands of restaurants closed permanently. Keeping the escalator tax in place does nothing but cause harm to businesses and the thousands of Canadians they employ,” says Luke Chapman, Interim President of Beer Canada

“Canadians wouldn’t stand for automatic tax increases on their take home pay, and they shouldn’t stand for it on their favourite Canadian whisky or cocktail that they enjoy as they socialize or celebrate key life moments with family and friends. Canadians elect parliamentarians to scrutinize how money is collected as well as spent, and taxes going up without such scrutiny is completely undemocratic”, said Jan Westcott President of Spirits Canada.

The Freeze the Alcohol Tax is a campaign led by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and is supported by:

  • Arterra Wines Canada
  • Barley Council of Canada
  • Beer Canada
  • Big Rig
  • Boston Pizza
  • CWB Franchise Finance
  • Firkin Group of Pubs
  • Foodtastic
  • Grain Growers of Canada
  • Northland Restaurant Group
  • Ontario Federation of Agriculture
  • Restaurants Canada
  • Service Inspired Restaurants (SIR Corp)
  • Spirits Canada
  • St. Louis Bar and Grill Restaurants
  • The Beer Store

For more information on the Freeze the Alcohol Tax campaign, who is already involved and what you can do to help, visit: https://www.freezethealcoholtax.ca/.

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:
Phil Taylor
ptaylor@chamber.ca (preferred and fastest response time)

Support for Women Critical to Canada’s Economic Recovery

Support for Women Critical to Canada’s Economic Recovery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     

Support for Women Critical to Canada’s Economic Recovery

 Ontario Chamber Network’s latest report offers timely solutions to confront the most pressing challenges currently faced by women

(BURLINGTON, SEPTEMBER 9) –Today, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce released, The She-Covery Project: Confronting the Gendered Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Ontario. This policy brief lays out a path to Ontario’s economic recovery offering practical recommendations to confront both immediate and longer-term challenges faced by women.

“With women’s labour force participation at a record low, decades of progress towards gender equality are at stake,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This is not only a watershed moment for women but for Ontario’s economy and society more broadly, as women’s participation in the labour market is a precondition to its fulsome economic recovery and future prosperity.”

“The economic impacts of the pandemic were direct and immediate for women in Ontario,” said Carla Y. Nell, President & CEO. “Temporary business shutdowns during the state of emergency most severely affected sectors that predominantly employ women. Restrictions on schools and paid child care facilities have shifted additional hours of unpaid family care onto parents, and this work has largely been taken up by mothers.”

Major takeaways from the report include:

  • Leadership and accountability begin with a commitment from stakeholders to set collective targets, reward diversity, include women in decision-making bodies, and apply a gender and diversity lens to their strategies, policies, and programs for recovery.
  • Child care requires a short-term strategy to weather the pandemic and longer-term, system-wide reforms to improve accessibility and affordability.
  • Workforce development initiatives should focus on defining critical skills, accelerating women’s reskilling, and ensuring their skills are utilized – with a focus on increasing their participation in skilled trade, technology, and engineering roles in fast-growing sectors.
  • Entrepreneurship should be understood as a pathway to economic growth, and an inclusive ecosystem is critical to supporting women entrepreneurs.
  • Flexible work arrangements are one way to level the playing field for women and improve organizational outcomes.

Click here to read the full report.

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For more information, please contact:

Lindsay Stevenson
Strategic Communications Coordinator
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com

Recovery Activation Program Expands to Burlington

Recovery Activation Program Expands to Burlington

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:

Rebecca Tsehay
Toronto Region Board of Trade
647-216-2686
RTsehay@bot.com

Burlington Chamber Joins Canada United to Support Local Businesses

Burlington Chamber Joins Canada United to Support Local Businesses

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.”

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
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
289-208-2844
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com

Local Supreme Cheerleading Inc. Gets $10K Grant from Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce

Local Supreme Cheerleading Inc. Gets $10K Grant from Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Salesforce

(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.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
ptaylor@chamber.ca

Lindsay Stevenson
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com

2020 Business Excellence Awards Winners

2020 Business Excellence Awards Winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 24, 2020
BURLINGTON, ONTARIO

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!

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Media Contact

Lindsay Stevenson
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
lindsay@burlingtonchamber.com
289-208-2844