Business Today Newsletter
Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Advocacy Update
Sault Chamber Meets with Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath
On Saturday, February 2nd, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce took the opportunity to meet with Andrea Horwath, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP) during her visit to Sault Ste. Marie. For this meeting we were joined by members of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber Board of Directors, Government Relations Committee and the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation for this meeting. At this meeting following a presentation by Andrea Horwath, there was a round table discussion and dialogue noting various business community priorities brought forward to the Leader.
The following is a snap shot of what we view the Sault Ste. Marie Business Community would like to see all Ontario political parties move forward provincially:
- Stability at Queen's Park - reduce uncertainty in Ontario's economy
- Deficit reduction without service interruption in Northern Ontario – economic impact is proportionally larger
- OLG Head Office and job preservation in Sault Ste. Marie
- Support for the Regional Harbour Project
- Support for the Green Energy Economy ‐development has occurred over the past 3‐5 years
- Continued support for the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) ‐ i.e. do not reduce the program budget or siphon it to other purposes (e.g. Growth Plan)
- Support for Skills Development and Training – aging population, skills shortage.
Some of the other items raised to the Leader questioned what the NDP Party Policies were regarding:
- Northern Ontario Growth Plan implementation
- Energy Policy
- Corporate Taxation
Sault Chamber Hosts A Provincial Cabinet Minister’s Luncheon
On March 1st, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce hosted a Provincial Cabinet Minister’s Luncheon at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre. This was a unique opportunity to meet the Cabinet Ministers who were seated among the participants that attended this event.
Sault Chamber Business Breakfast Events with Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government Leaders
As an advocacy strategy of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee, we continued with hosting a series of Business Breakfast events with MP Bryan Hayes, MPP David Orazietti and with Mayor Debbie Amaroso. These events were scheduled in January through to April 2013. It’s an opportunity for attendees to receive an update and an overview of anticipated developments for Sault Ste. Marie in 2013. These series of Business Breakfast events has been an ongoing effort of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce to provide Chamber members and the business community with insight into what’s happening at the federal, provincial and municipal
Sault Chamber to Attend the 2013 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Convention
A delegation will travel to Chatham / Kent, Ontario to attend the 2013 Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) & Convention May 3‐5, 2013. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber has submitted three policy resolutions for discussion and debate during the policy session of the OCC AGM & Convention.
Sault Chamber Policy Resolutions to be brought forward include background information and recommendations regarding the following issues:
- Decentralization of Ontario Government Offices Out of the Greater Toronto Area;
- Increase Tax Incentives for Experiential Learning; and
- MTO Connecting Link Funding Cancellation.
Also at this years OCC AGM & Convention, The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber will host a reception with the delegates to encourage attendance at the 2014 OCC AGM & Convention to be hosted in Sault Ste. Marie.
Sault Chamber To Host 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Convention in Sault Ste. Marie
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce was successful in it’s bid and will host the 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Convention in Sault Ste. Marie April 30 to May 3, 2014.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) & Convention is a provincial conference that draws approximately 200 delegates from across the province. One of the key agenda items for the OCC AGM & Conference is the policy session where policy resolutions are reviewed, debated and formulated to set the advocacy strategy of the OCC.
The 2014 Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting and Convention will be held in conjunction with the Sault Chamber’s 125th Anniversary milestone.
Our Mission Statement
"We are the recognized voice of business committed to economic prosperity in Sault Ste. Marie." We will accomplish our Mission by:
- Advocating on behalf of our member businesses and agencies in conjunction with efforts undertaken by the Ontario and Canadian Chambers of Commerce;
- Educating our members on issues that impact their business;
- Communicating effectively with our members and always conveying the benefits of doing business in Sault Ste. Marie;
- Networking with other agencies and individuals that impact business locally and creating opportunities for our members to build stronger business relations;
- Providing services that allow and encourage our member businesses to succeed and grow.
Throughout the last few months there has been quite a bit of activity at the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber from events to the Chamber’s Advocacy work. Please take a look at some of the highlights noted in our advocacy update published in our Business Today section of the Sault Star.
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce would like to extend thanks to our elected officials, Bryan Hayes, MP; David Orazietti, MPP; and Debbie Amaroso, Mayor, for their recent presentations at our 2013 Business Breakfast series of events held in the months of January to April 2013. We appreciate the time taken to address our business community to bring forward their views on the direction for the Sault’s business community in the year ahead. We extend our congratulations and best wishes to David Orazietti, MPP on his recent appointment as Cabinet Minister.
As we go forward, we look forward to working with all of our elected officials on behalf our members in the business community to help improve the Sault’s economy and that our voice is heard on the issues that have an impact on the growth of our business community and for Northern Ontario.
As we prepare for our attendance at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting & Convention (OCC AGM & Convention) in May 2013 the members of the Chamber’s Government Relations Committee will review and provide input to the proposed draft policy resolutions submitted by various Chambers across the province for this years’ debate at the OCC AGM & Convention. We expect that a copy of the draft policy resolutions submitted to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce will be posted and made available on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce website www.occ.on.ca shortly. We invite members to review these policy resolutions and provide us with your input.
In closing, The Chamber’s Awards Task Force will soon be putting out the call for nominations for the sponsored Chamber Business Awards. Help us to identify business success stories by sending in a nomination for these awards. Be sure to check the Chamber Website and watch for further member communications for the release of the award nomination form.
Sault Ste. Marioe Chamber of Commerce
New Members January & February 2103
Andrew’s Tree Removal - Contact(s): Andrew deGroot. Address: 25 Grosvenor Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 2L8. Phone: 705-575-7769. Membership Category / Services: Tree trimming and tree removal services.
Bath Fitter - Contact(s): Scott Cress. Address: 61 King Street, Unit#13, Barrie, ON, L4N 6B5. Phone: 705-733-8822, Fax: 705-722-6169, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.bathfitterbarrie.com. Membership Category / Services: Home improvements, Bath tub and bath wall renovations.
Bottom Line Bookkeeping Service - Contact(s): Mike Ivany. Address: 157 Trelawne Avenue, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 2N3. Phone: 705-942-1691, Email: email@example.com. Membership Category / Services: Bookkeeping and Tax Services.
Cavera Studios Inc. - Contact(s): Jeff Greco. Address: 9 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 1Y4. Phone: 705-998-1241, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.caverastudios.com. Membership Category / Services: Web development, interactive and online marketing, social media management.
Cenlo Enterprises Inc. (o/a Soo Radon) - Contact(s): Don and Toni McEwen. Address: 199 Old Garden River Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 5A7. Phone: 705-256-0398, Email: email@example.com, Web: www.sooradon.com. Membership Category / Services: Radon testing, soil gas testing.
David Ellis Architect Inc. - Contact(s): David Ellis. Address: 255 Pim Street, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 2T3. Phone: 705-253-4333, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership Category / Services: Architect.
Diamond Engagements Inc. - Contact(s): Stephen Findlay & Jeannette Adderley. Address: 77 Hadley Park, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 6W8. Phone: 705-943-4345, Email: email@example.com, Website: www.facebook.com/diamondengagements. Membership Category / Services: Wedding planning, party supplies, D.J. services.
Dr. Lynda Myles, Optometrist - Contact(s): Dr. Lynda Myles. Address: 118 Brock Street, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 3B5. Phone: 705-946-4498, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership Category / Services: Optometrist.
Kris Rooley Contracting Group - Contact(s): Kris Rooley. Address: 142 Industrial Court “A”, Unit #4, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6B 5W6. Phone: 705-987-5160, Fax: 705-253-5775. Membership Category / Services: Basement waterproofing, property maintenance, sewer & water installation.
Orlando Professional Corporation - Contact(s): Eugene Orlando C.A. Address: 489 Bay Street, 2nd Floor, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 1X6. Phone: 705-989-5923, Email: email@example.com. Membership Category / Services: Chartered Accountant.
Scootz - Contact(s): Jay and Colleen Scott. Address: 625 Trunk Road #20, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 3T1. Phone: 705-255-6666, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.scootz-soo.ca. Membership Category / Services: Gas and Electric Scooters, ATV’s Dirt bikes and Accessories.
Soo Tree Experts - Contact(s): Glen Chiblow. Address: 65 Wolf Street, Garden River, ON, P6A 6Z6. Phone: 705-257-5507, Email: email@example.com. Membership Category / Services: Tree Trimming and tree removal services.
Sunlife Financial / Sam Bihler - Contact(s): Sam Bihler. Address: 405 Queen Street East, 3rd Floor, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 1Y9. Phone: 705-206-2312, Fax: 705-945-0952, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.sunlife.ca/sam.bihler. Membership Category / Services: Financial planning and services.
Super Shell Homes - Contact(s): Glen Chiblow and Ross McLean. Address: 65 Wolf Street, Garden River, ON, P6A 6Z6. Phone: 705-257-5507, Email: email@example.com. Membership Category / Services: New home builds, Home inspections.
Viotto & Sons Construction Inc. - Contact(s): Ollie Viotto. Address: 11 Palomino Drive, Sault Ste. Marie, ON, P6A 0B1. Phone: 705-256-2773, Fax: 705-575-5634, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Membership Category / Services: Excavating, Waterproofing, Landscaping.
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) is pleased to announce that Gerry Bugyra has joined the organization in the position of Business Development Manager. Best of luck Gerry!
Congratulations to Thymely Manner who are celebrating their 29th year anniversary.
Congratulations to Michael Pratt who is the new Chief Operating Officer at BioForest Technologies Inc. Phone: 705-942-5824, Website: www.bioforest.ca, Email: email@example.com
After many years with Sault This Week, Carmen Camirand decided to change careers and join Superior Business Solutions to market Toshiba and Ricoh multi Functional network products. She brings with her many years of marketing and media experience and customer service. Best wishes, Carmen.
Superior Business Solutions has also acquired ownership along with working partner Ben Biocchi of McClelland Johnstone Ltd. Formerly located on Queen Street, McClelland Johnstone is now located at 531 Second Line East. Wishing you continued success!
Congratulations to Algoma Central Corporation ("Algoma") who recently was named as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies for 2012. Best wishes for continued business success!
Congratulations to Richard Kim and Studio Dance Arts who are celebrating their 10-year anniversary.
McDougall Energy Inc. was a winner of Canada’s Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and for a second consecutive year has been hounored once again in 2012 and maintained their status as a Best Managed Company. Congratulations on the great accomplishment and also on celebrating their 20th anniversary.
Professions North/Nord and its partners are bringing Northern Ontario employers face-to-face speed networking events with qualified and pre-screened trained professionals. The upcoming events are taking place May 1st in Ottawa and June 5th in Toronto. To learn more information and how your company can be involved with these events, please contact Sharon Mosker - PNN Employer Outreach Officer at 705-759-0909 ext 4244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Homes Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma is now on Twitter! Follow them to find out what they and their advertisers are up to @OurHomesALGOMA. Our Homes Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma (published by SuccessBiz Inc.) is located at 111 Elgin Street, Suite #305 (Elgin & King St.) Drop by the office to pick up a current copy or any back issue of Our Homes Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma and visit their website at www.ourhomesmagazine.com/algoma to view any issue of Our Homes Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma and catch the latest in decorating and design videos, room of the week, pick of the week and more. The Publisher, Katherine G. MacRae can be reached at 705-253-1991 or by email at KGM@ourhomesmagazine.com. Be sure to pick up your copy of their Spring 2013 issue on stands now and enter their advertising partner’s (North Shore Quality Homes) contest for your chance to win a 55” HDTV.
If your Chamber-member business has news, we want to know about it! If you have undergone renovations or significant upgrades, launched a significant new product, hired new team members, received awards or are celebrating an anniversary, contact John Offidani at the Chamber office at 705-949-7152 or e-mail email@example.com. Please include ‘What’s Happening’ in the subject line of your e-mail.
Recent SSM Chamber of Commerce Events
The Essar Community Room inside the new Korah Branch of the SSM Public Library was a fantastic venue for the Chamber’s February Take 5. Hosted by the SSM Public Library, the event offered a chance for many guests to see the new library for the first time. Everyone agreed that the new community room will be a great resource for both the community and businesses. Joining us for Take 5 that afternoon, were event sponsors, Trillium Office Furniture, who supplied many of the furnishings for the room. Kudos to both the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and to Trillium Office Furniture, not just for a fantastic event, but also for creating a fantastic meeting space and resource for families, community and business people!
On February 22nd, the Chamber hosted its annual Women In Business Breakfast. Always one of our most popular breakfast events, this year’s event drew close to 150 participants who came out to hear 2012 ATHENA Award2 recipient, Donna Hilsinger who presented insights drawn from her own experiences as a successful business and community leader. This year’s Women In Business Breakfast was sponsored by proud supporter, TD Canada Trust.
Upcoming SSM Chamber of Commerce Events
Make plans to join us on Thursday April 18th, from 5 to 7 pm for Take 5, hosted and sponsored by Prouse Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac. Join us Join us at the ALL NEW Prouse Chevrolet- Buick-GMC-Cadillac (851 Great Northern Rd) for a little food, a little fun and a lot of great networking! Take 5 is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for non members.
We’ll be at Wild Bluff Golf Resort at Bay Mills Resort and Casino in Brimley MI on Thursday, June 20th for 9 holes followed by a bbq dinner. Take in a relaxed round of golf with fellow Chamber members and then enjoy some great networking following. Registration begins at 5pm, followed by a shotgun start at 5:30pm. Format of play is best ball. Registration is $58+hst for Chamber members, $70+hst for non-members. Registration includes 9 holes of golf, cart rental and dinner. Advance registration is required. 48 hours advance notice is required for cancellations. To register yourself or a team, contact the Chamber office at 705-949-7152.
The Chamber website (www.ssmcoc.com) always has up-to-date information on upcoming Chamber of Commerce events. The site also features an extensive calendar of other events happening in-and-around our community. Bookmark us today! The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is also on facebook (www.facebook.com/ssmcoc). ‘LIKE’ us today and keep up to date on all Chamber news and events as soon as details become available!
Strive YPG Makes Strides
Submitted by Aliesha Moore Office Administration & Marketing Support Assistant for the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and Stephanie Pagnucco, Community Engagement Coordinator for The Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie
Young professionals groups have been popping up all over the country, from Nanaimo, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia. With the current state of the economy and high unemployment rates, it’s not a surprise that young professionals throughout the country have begun to take an active role in asserting their qualifications and value. As a result, an empowering ripple effect has taken place in an effort to create networks of support, recognition and opportunities geared toward young professionals. Sault Ste. Marie’s young professionals have also answered the call.
In response to the growing need for professional support, The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce’s Strive Young Professionals Group (Strive YPG) was developed in the latter half of 2012, primarily to address the needs of youthful professionals aged 19-40. Through targeted consultation, Strive YPG has learned that young professionals in the community are eager for opportunities that will allow them to invest back into their community through individual professional development. In this effort to give young professionals a platform to make significant contributions, as well as develop a voice within the community, Strive YPG has dedicated itself to providing meaningful professional development initiatives, networking opportunities, as well as creating community interaction, participation and recognition.
Since Strive YPG’s official launch in December 2012, the group has created tremendous momentum within the community. Strive YPG’s first event took place at Chamber member Algoma’s Water Tower Inn. This social networking event was a huge success, with over 100 young professionals in attendance. Strive YPG has continued into the New Year by hosting a second successful networking event in February at the Essar Centre in support of the Soo Thunderbirds. With this at the forefront, Strive YPG continued into March and kicked off the Local Leader Series at the Art Gallery with guest speaker, Susan Hunter, Director of External Affairs for Sault College, garnering positive reviews.
Strive YPG’s success is a result of support from both the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and the efforts of Strive YPG’s dedicated executive committee. With Strive YPG still in its first year of development, committee members will continue in the positions in which they currently sit, however, in the future, there will exist an opportunity for Strive YPG members to become part of the executive committee on an election basis.
While Strive YPG’s initial events have been a success, its members recognize the need to contribute back to the community. “It is imperative that we, as a younger generation of working professionals in Sault Ste. Marie, recognize and support each other through a group like Strive YPG”, says Robert Running, Event Co-ordinator for the OCE-Discovery 2013 project with the SSM Innovation Centre. “It is with organization and collaboration that we can mobilize and move forward together to create a creative and nourishing environment for ourselves, colleagues and citizens in this great community”.
To find out more about Strive Young Professionals Group, and to learn about upcoming events, or to receive information on how to join, follow @StriveYPG on Twitter and Facebook. Strive is dedicated to assisting young professionals reach their highest potential through community development, networking events, training opportunities, and recognizing achievements for the purpose of attraction and retention in the community.
Minding Your Business
Beware of Director’s Liabilities When Your Corporation Becomes Insolvent
Contributed by John C. Thompson, MBA, CPA, CA.CIRP
I am often consulted by individuals whose corporations are unable to meet their obligations, cannot continue to operate and are therefore insolvent. One of the most common questions involves what impact the corporate debt has on the owners of the corporation. Are the owners personally responsible? If the corporation declares bankruptcy or just does not pay its debts can the creditors of the corporation pursue the owners of the corporation?
Generally, the debts of the corporation remain with the corporation and shareholders are not personally liable for this debt. Often, however, shareholders of corporations are required to personally guarantee the debts of the corporation. This process usually involves the shareholder committing to pay corporate loans and/or accounts payable if the corporation fails to do so.
Certain corporate debts also become the personal responsibility of the directors of corporations. Directors are not generally the same as shareholders or officers of the corporation. Directors are formally appointed to the board of directors and this action is usually documented in the corporate minute book.
Some of the corporate debt that directors are personally responsible for should the corporation not be able to pay them include:
- Employee source deductions, including unremitted amounts that have been deducted from employee pay such as Canada Pension Plan contributions, Employment Insurance Act premiums and income tax.
- Unremitted GST / HST.
- Wages for up to six months payable to each employee for services performed for the corporation.
- Vacation pay owing to the employee for not more than twelve months based on the provincial Employment Standards Act.
- Certain liabilities under environmental legislation.
This listing of potential liabilities for directors covers the most common areas of their personal liability. Depending on the nature of the business operation, numerous other director liability scenarios could exist.
So what can a director do to reduce the risk of director’s liability? Directors should be proactive in ensuring compliance with statutory responsibilities. Being proactive throughout the process may allow for a due diligence defense. This type of defense argues that the director took the necessary steps in their capacity as a director and therefore should not be held personally liable for the debt. Having good documentation will be a significant factor in this process.
Other steps that can be taken to minimize risk include:
- Assessing who should act as a director at the commencement of corporate formation. Is the potential director willing to assume the risks of the position?
- Asking for reports on remittances from financial officers of the corporation.
- Asking for financial reports on a timely basis and reviewing them with management.
- Obtain insurance. Insurance will typically not cover a director when he or she fails to act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interest of the corporation.
If you are uncertain about your status in a corporation, are concerned about the possible liabilities resulting from the failure of a corporation or wish to be proactive prior to a crisis situation, you should contact your professional advisors including your accountant and lawyer as well as seek the advice of a Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional.
The comments in this article are general in nature and are not meant to be relied upon for specific advice.
John C. Thompson is a Senior Vice President of BDO Canada Limited the Financial Recovery Services arm of BDO Canada LLP. John, a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional and Trustee In Bankruptcy assists Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma District individuals and corporations facing financial difficulties. John’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Choosing a Benefit Plan for Your Small Business
A common misconception is that benefit plans are not available or unaffordable for small businesses. Yet most small businesses and their employees recognize the importance of protecting their most valuable assets: their employees and their families.
Since health and dental premiums are not taxable benefits, providing coverage is a very tax effective way to enhance employee's finances and well being. Protection from unexpected expenses such as necessary prescription drugs can save employees from financial hardship. Also, relief from common expenses such as vision care, eye exams or travel coverage can substantially improve morale.
What small businesses need is a plan built for them. That's where the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® comes in. The plan was started over 40 years ago to support small businesses in Canada. As a benefit plan built entirely for the small to medium sized business market, this non-profit program provides the type of protection and stability that these businesses are looking for.
A common problem experienced by small businesses is that existing plans can become unaffordable due to high usage leading to substantial premium increases. The Chambers Plan is a non-profit plan and it offers full pooling of claims for firms with less than 10 employees for all benefits, providing the kind of stability small businesses desire.
The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan ®renews on April 1, 2013 with an overall increase, in Ontario, of 2.5%, far less than the current industry average.
With nearly 30,000 firms insured in Canada, the Chambers Plan provides the kind of protection that small business needs. A 1-800 phone line with live support along with timely claims processing keeps users satisfied. Managed by the Johnston Group, one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies ®, the Chambers Plan remains the top choice for benefits for your small business.
Benefit Facts presents information to help you manage your employee benefits. Brought to you by your Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan® advisor, representing Canada’s premier group plan for small and medium sized business. Contact Sandra McWhinney at Northern Benefits Consulting at 705-253-4341. For more information on the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan visit www.chamberplan.ca