Your Business. Your Community.
Thirty-six lessons Cover story: Page 3
Inside: • Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce Pages 18 & 19
• Financing a small business Pages 20 - 23
Volume 7 No. 11, July 2017
Summer Company is a program that helps young people between 15 and 29 years old start and run their own summer business by providing funding, advice and services.
Paytonâ€™s CraveTations Payton Farren Sharp
This and That Outdoor DĂŠcor Elijah Hiemstra
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CGC Tools and Accessories Chris Libertore
Jumprr Customs Nate McCaulley
Reverse Accessories Clara McClure-Erb
Way Off Broadway Day Camp Paige Meunier
Peters Broadcasting Abe Peters
BodySugar Abby Polland
Rail City Lawn Care Taylor Robertson
Liam's Lawn Service Liam Robinson
Sarah's Summer Sewing Sarah Salandziak
Elite Soccer Training Caleb Schaap
Big-Foot Lawn Care Brent Valliere
Bomb Bay Clothing Matthew Cory
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 2
Learning a game with entirely different rules by Lisa Jobson
Looking back to when I started Ross Street Agency in 2014, I realize now that I had jumped off a cliff without a parachute. I thought my previous work and education had given me the managerial skills needed to run my own business. I dove right in with very little guidance or support; little did I know then that I had a lot to learn. As the month’s ticked by, I soon realized this game had entirely different rules. I had to go out and search for clients, daily. This meant endless hours networking and waiting to get a phone call or email. One of my early challenges was learning to manage communication with my clients. In my head, I had a clear vision of how I worked and what my timelines were, but apparently my clients couldn’t read my mind. They had different expectations of me, and I soon realized I needed to do a better job of meeting them, and vocalizing how I work. I almost lost a big project because my initial website did not accurately portray the depth of services that I could offer. My website apparently showcased me as a ‘jack of all trades and a master of none’. The potential client couldn’t glean that I was capable of managing the complex project she wanted. Luckily she called me and we could talk about how I could meet her needs. Right after that, I re-vamped my website to highlight services that I was an expert in. No one wants unhappy clients, but in three years, I have had a couple. It’s humbling when you realize that you can’t please everyone, but also good to accept that you too can make mistakes. Now that I have made it to the three-year mark, I want to share 36 lessons I have learned along the way. 1. Not everyone works the same hours as I do. A 9-5 mindset is limiting – creativity has no set time. 2. Most people don’t know what a virtual assistant is, or what I do. 3. A solid internet connection is critical to my
Lisa Jobson works with one of her clients, Karen Kimble with RE/MAX Centre City Realty.
work. 4. Tracking hours religiously is vital. 5. Sole entrepreneurs have to pay CPP deductions both as the employer, and the employee. 6. Some clients don’t need me every day, or week, or month. But they will need me again. 7. Securing government contracts is very helpful for business growth. 8. Not everyone reads their emails every 10 minutes like I do. 9. Set aside a specific time every month to do your billing. 10. Have a separate bank account to pay yourself and your HST. 11. Computer back-up hard drives are worth their cost. 12. ALWAYS have business cards with you, no matter where you go. 13. Don’t forget to ask for a referral; if you forgot, ask later. 14. There is always something to learn every day. 15. Some clients may still want to mail you a cheque; be accommodating. 16. Sometimes you have to give something away to get people to pay for your services. 17. Find others who share similar goals to work with. 18. No job is too small. 19. Create a system that works for you to track receipts/expenses and stick to it. 20. Try and stay current on what is new in your industry via blogs, magazines, social media. 21. Remember to take time to rest and take care of you. You can’t work 24/7. 22. Outsource smaller jobs to focus efforts on more complicated jobs. 23. Leave the house regularly; go work in a coffee shop or library. 24. You will need a good accountant.
25. Find your best working time and be super productive during these hours; leave the menial tasks to a less productive time of day. 26. Accept help; you can’t do everything yourself. 27. Monitor your competition. They are probably doing some things better than you. 28. You can’t be great at everything; accept it and move on. 29. You don’t have to take every job – sometimes it isn’t a good fit for you. 30. My time, experience, and education all have value and I am worth what I charge. 31. Find a support system – you will need to vent and bounce ideas off your supporters. 32. All connections will eventually lead to business, just not when you expect it. 33. Sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get motivated. It’s hard when working at home alone. 34. Take the time to celebrate the little successes along the way. 35. In order to grow your business, you have to invest in it. 36. Hold yourself and your clients accountable. Have a clear process and deliver value for money. I give credit to a former boss who engrained in me the doctrine of “don’t tell me about the problem, tell me about the solution”. Now I pay it forward and help others find their solutions.
Elgin This Month Section Editor Business Beat – Bob Hammersley Freelance Editor Terry Carroll Sales Supervisor Geoff Rae
Advertising Consultant Greg Minnema Layout Janine Taylor Production Metroland Media Group
Cover and page 3 photos by Mike Maloney
Elgin This Month is a monthly magazine focusing on business and lifestyle issues and includes Business Beat, the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce newsletter. The publication is available for pickup at no charge at news stands and other locations around Elgin County, as well as distribution to businesses and selected households.
Published monthly by Metroland Media Group Ltd., 15 St. Catharine Street, St. Thomas, ON N5P 2V7 519-633-1640 www.theweeklynews.ca/etm July, 2017
ELGIN THIS MONTH
INNES As I See It
Adopt a healthy degree of Warrior energy unrest, much of our culture is given to fear and anxiety. Consequently, we Our world can seem nuts, and not just a little un- hear of addictions, suicide, and menruly and scary. tal and physical health disorders … isIn the last few days, a 14-year-old was stabbed sues rampant and uncontrollable. and left to die in a Toronto subway. A man who The other day I visited someone at reportedly announced he wanted to “kill Muslims” a breast cancer clinic in London. There were two drove a van into a crowd near a mosque in the UK. waiting rooms – the outer one for the attendee A suicide bomber rammed a truck rigged with ex- waiting to fill reports, and the second to await the plosives into a hotel in Mogadishu’s, killing at least doctor’s attention. Both rooms busy … the latter 15 people. An Alberta man was accused of abusing over- filled with about 15 anxious women, huddled his three daughters and is facing 23 sex charges in- in their hospital smocks, lined in sequence, awaiting cluding incest, procurement of a child for sex, and a biopsy or some test. 17 weapon charges. It is an incomprehensible state of affairs. This was The list of crazy doesn’t stop. We need order, and one clinic, in one city, in one part of our province, we need the Warriors to bring it about. at one particular hour of a weekday. One doctor Warriors are out there. We see them in hospitals, told me, each patient was there because of some suschurches, volunteer organizations, rescue and pro- picious malady. At least one in 10 women will be tection services, shelters, food banks, and on and on diagnosed with breast cancer (some studies put the … but there are not enough of them. figure higher). They are the ones fighting for a cause despite the Why does this prevalent health concern exist? And personal sacrifice. They are courageous, determined while we ask that, where, in fact, do all such chronic and intentional, their hearts and minds focused on health issues come from: cardiovascular and ceremaking our lives safe and healthy. brovascular problems, respiratory diseases, diabetes, With terrorism, political instability, and social and such mental health disorders as anxiety and depression? Is the cause simply our genetic predisposition and lot in life, or is there some other investment • insurance • retirement and tax planning insidious cause found perilously entwined within the chaos of our communities? Biology, psychology, sociology, and every other ‘ology’ have their perspective on why. But whatever the answer, (likely a combination of all of them), we need to respond; elsewise we become part of by Jim Innes
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the crazy, either as a sufferer, or a creator. We can wait for some Warrior to save us, or become like the Warrior ourselves. This means, first and foremost, intentionally moving out from behind the walls we have built to protect ourselves. They are not really safe anyway. It takes a lot of twisted emotional energy to build walls, and such a self-serving solution becomes part of the global problem, and diminishes the possibility of the world getting any healthier. Adopting a healthy degree of Warrior energy takes practice and often mentorship. There are many misguided Warrior types, like, for example, the invincible and intense aggressiveness of an immature Superman-type. Though admirable, this can be isolating and close-minded, creating its own kind of ‘crazy’ (and not just a little bit of violence). As I see it, if we want to do something about the health of our community, we can help best by becoming like the wise and mature Warrior, whose heart and mind is aligned with sacrificial courage, and whose ultimate goal is peace for all. Looking to give, not to take. Looking to accept, not reject. Looking to pardon, not condemn. Looking to include, not isolate. We may not win any Pulitzer Prize, or be written up in history as a hero, but the simple (yet courageous act) of being like the world we want to live in, will inject a positive energy that has limitless gain. And immeasurable healing. Jim Innes is a clinically trained therapist and, until a recent transfer, was a priest at St. John’s Anglican in St. Thomas. Learn more at jiminnes.ca.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 4
BUSINESS & COMMUNITY OUR COMMUNITY
National dream is alive, but costs more by Serge Lavoie
At a May event, comments by Central Elgin mHere’s a fitting thought for July, the month in which we celebrate our 150th year as a nation. While we hammered together an Eastern confederation in 1867, we cobbled together the rest of our nation with the promise of a railway that would run from Atlantic to Pacific. What a bold, wildly ambitious promise that was. Trains at that time were a relatively new technology. They required an expensive and daunting infrastructure of rails, switches, supply depots and access to water and fuel. If “politics is the art of the possible”, then that railway promise must have seemed like political suicide. And it almost was. Our nation’s railway-building ambitions seem largely gone. Outside of the greater Toronto and Montreal areas, train travel is now mostly for freight and then only on main lines. Trucks and cars service everywhere else. This debate is back on the table with the Ontario government’s re-announcement of plans for a high-speed line from Toronto to Windsor. First put forward in 2014, just a month before the snap June election, the idea has been further studied. (Full disclosure here: I was a Liberal candidate in that election). Based on a business case report by former federal transport minister David Collenette, the government has re-asserted its support for high speed rail (HSR) between Toronto and London, and then on to Windsor. The report states “the business case for HSR is strongest between Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo and London. This part of the corridor demonstrates high levels of economic and population growth and is one of Canada’s most innovative regions.” Regarding the continuation to Windsor, through Chatham, the report says “the case for HSR can be recommended on socio-economic and regional development grounds.” It would be a later, second phase once the London segment was built and proving itself financially. Finally, since this is all about the “art of the possible”, the report recommends an HSR that combines dedicated lines with conventional track. This will result in average train speeds of 250 km
per hour as compared tems? to 300 km for fully For the most part what we dedicated. are hearing today is competCosts for the ening political talking points, tire Toronto-Windsor not a real discussion of how project are sobering, we want our region to grow ranging from $7.5 biland how we want to support lion to $21 billion for our citizens. the lower speed option When I was 18 I could take and as high as $56 a train to Toronto to see a billion for the faster show at the Royal Alex and option. Contingency get the late train home that allowances create the evening. Back then governwide spread in price estimates. ments were debating the bright future of even So, let the debate begin. At the outset, I don’t faster trains and better service. After all, we were buy the criticism that the Liberal government is Canada and we had just celebrated our centennial. floating this solely as a pre-election goodie. WhatNow retired, I really wonder if my grandkids ever you think of this government, it has put will ever have access to that kind of care-free train significant focus on building needed transporta- travel again. I’m sort of hopeful. After all, we’re tion infrastructure in the GTA. For years, we in Canada and we just celebrated our sesquicentensouthwestern Ontario have been clamouring for nial. our fair share of those investments. Well, here is that opportunity. Serge Lavoie has a 35-year career Bottom line, as a nation we have been remarkmanaging associations. He is ably timid about investing in public transportacurrently leading the St. Thomas tion. While the world has systematically upgraded Elevated Park project. and built out its passenger rail networks, we have mostly talked about it and wailed about the high costs. The bullet trains of Europe, Japan and China get lots of attention but in Norway (population 5.2 million, you can choose from 16 daily departures from Oslo to Stavanger (population 210,000). CONTRACTORS You can also drive and FARMOWNERS fly. LANDSCAPING High speed rail corROOFING ridors in the U.S. are expanding quickly in HOME BUILDERS all the major populaRESTAURANT OWNERS tion clusters. We have SALONS to ask ourselves, when GARAGES will be get on board with a real discussion 1091 Talbot Street, St. Thomas about the need to de(Beside Braxtons) velop our public rail transportation sys-
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Business & Community Tourism
Full Circle Ranch bringing together people, animals, and wellness
skill levels to relax and enjoy themselves while getting some exercise.” Morrigan launched the Yoga program to help people connect with nature, animals, and themselves. She has a passion for working with both animals and people and has spent the last 10 years combining by Katherine Thompson these two loves to help individuals achieve wellness with the aid of animals, especially horses. No “kidding” around, the newest phenomenon She believes that with the pervasiveness of techgaining momentum in Elgin County is Goat Yoga. nology and the focus on productivity, society has Every Wednesday evening Full Circle Ranch hosts become disconnected from the natural environa Yoga class where participants are able to inter- ment and anything that can bring people back to act with these adorable, friendly little barnyard nature is a good thing. animals. Goats are naturally curious creatures Morrigan holds a Masters Degree in Counselwho love to play, jump, and run and their pres- ling Psychology from Prescott College in Arizoence makes for a lighthearted atmosphere during na, a Certificate in Grief and Bereavement from the weekly classes run by a Yoga instructor from Continuing Studies at the University of Western Oceans Yoga and Pilates in London. The classes Ontario and is trained in Equine Assisted Psychoare held in an indoor arena so they run rain or therapy (EAP). She started Full Circle Ranch in shine and participants are encouraged to wear 2011 and moved the business to Central Elgin in clothing they aren’t afraid to get a little dirty. 2013. In addition to Goat Yoga classes, Full Circle “The goats add such a sense of playfulness to Ranch offers a series of counselling and therapy these classes and lots of laughter as well,” says programs, community outreach programs, and Morrigan Reilly-Ansons, Owner of Full Circle horsemanship programs for both children and Ranch. “They allow participants of all ages and adults. Both children and adults can learn horseS • SIDING • E manship through av O OR D ES one-on-one or private • tR S W group lessons. The O uG DO Ranch works with N h I S W students to achieve individualized learning goals and provides opportunities for trail riding and joining the Full Circle Ranch show team that competes in both the English and Western styles of riding. The facility also offers summer camps and other spe-
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cial events throughout the year. Counselling sessions can be conducted individually or in a group setting and help clients to overcome anxiety, depression, grief, loss, and trauma, to navigate life changes, and to achieve personal growth. Morrigan’s methods include talk therapy as well as Equine Assisted and Animal Assisted Therapies. Sessions are tailored to each individual and goals are entirely dependent on the client’s wants and needs. The Full Circle Ranch team also takes some of their animals into retirement homes, schools, and community agencies to provide therapeutic outreach. The animals are used to facilitate various activities related to mindfulness, wellness, leadership, and team building. Morrigan explains that horses are ideal animals for assisting with therapy sessions because they are by nature prey animals. Most animals that people interact with on a daily basis, cats and dogs for example are predators which mean they have a completely different mindset than horses. A prey animal must always be assessing its surroundings to determine whether or not it is safe; this makes it very in tune with its environment and everything and everyone in it. Horses can detect a person’s emotional state and can sense when someone is feeling anxious. As a result, when interacting with horses, people must be in tune with how they themselves are feeling. “It is a way for people to gain awareness of their own emotional states, patterns and thinking processes,” says Morrigan. “It gives them the opportunity to do this in a safe and non-judgemental environment.” Additionally according to Morrigan there is an honesty to horses and animals that isn’t found in humans. Animals don’t pretend to feel one way when they don’t actually feel that way and this honesty puts everyone involved at ease. To learn more about Full Circle Ranch, and its programs visit http://mreillya.wixsite.com/counsellingservices or like Full Circle Ranch on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fullcircleranch.ca/. Katherine Thompson is Marketing & Communications Coordinator with The County of Elgin
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 6
Business & Community Financial Planning
Take these steps toward cottage succession
by Ellen Luft
This is the area where careful planning can prevent or at least reduce family strife and bad feelings. The family cottage is often the source of a host of wonderful memories, and you may want to give your children the opportunity to have those same experiences. However, when there is more than one child involved, the issue of sharing will inevitably arise. As owners and parents, ideally you should take the steps necessary to make a succession plan for the cottage while you are still alive. Two factors will help make sure that you have a successful plan: 1) Consultation and discussion with the interested parties Every family situation is different. Children have their own goals and desires, sometimes conflicting with those of their siblings. Bringing the children together for a candid (and hopefully amicable) discussion about the future lets the family make plans for the cottage that everyone can agree with. If you quietly, and without discussion, determine the future of the cottage without the input of your children, then you may be creating surprises and hard feelings down the road. But an honest discussion might reveal that one child has no real interest in keeping the cottage and some other bequest might be more appreciated, while another child may want to keep the cottage in the family. Some of the issues you should consider are: • Interest of the children in keeping the cottage • Geographical proximity of the parties to the cottage • Financial ability of the children to maintain the cottage 2) Creating a legal agreement Some people may be hesitant to draw up a legal agreement to specify the rights and obligations in regards to a cottage, as it may imply a level of distrust between family members. The situation may very well be that everyone does, in fact, get along well and conflicts are rare–but this is probably not the norm. Even if this does describe your family, though, a legal agreement can help prevent future
disagreements or misunderstandings. A cottage agreement, preferably created with the help of a lawyer, should lay out in detail how the cottage will be used, maintained and eventually divested. Many issues can come up, some routine and some unexpected, so having an agreement in place can help ensure good relations between everyone in the family The children This article was prepared solely by Ellen If you have not taken formal steps to deal with Luft who is a registered representative of the succession issue, your children must do it HollisWealth® (a division of Scotia Capital themselves. For example, if you simply leave Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor a cottage to your three children in equal shares Protection Fund and the Investment through your will, then those three children will Industry Regulatory Organization need to come to an agreement on how the cotof Canada). The views and opinions, including any tage will be shared. A prudent step is for the chilrecommendations, expressed in this article are those of dren to have a meeting and create a formal, legal Ellen Luft alone and not those of HollisWealth. ® Registered agreement to determine all the sharing, financing trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. and succession issues up-front to avoid any future HollisWealth is a trade name of HollisWealth Insurance misunderstandings and strife. Agency Ltd. Insurance products provided through Planning ahead HollisWealth Insurance Agency Ltd. One useful way to limit family complications–and reduce Weekdays the estate taxes on Valley! e h T lf your beneficiaries–is o G for 18 holes Come to transfer your cotwith po power cart tage into a trust. A trust gives you some Weekends control over how the for 18 holes cottage is managed with power cart after you pass and can *prices subject to change ensure that everyone benefiting from the cottage is fairly treated. Contact us about how a trust can help you meet your overall financial planning and estate goals. Includes unlimited golf
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BUSINESS & COMMUNITY EMPLOYMENT
New portal helps employers find local talent by Tricia Flatley Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board
In May, a new web portal was launched by the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board, as part of the Local Employment Planning Council project. Over the course of the project, employers said they wanted a better way to find the talent they needed. The new site connects employers to local candidates in each of the three counties in the region, including Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford. “Having multiple job boards merged into one portal improves access for employers to find the candidates they need and the services to support them. In turn, people looking for jobs can access multiple sites to find a job that suits their skills,” said Kate Burns Gallagher, Economic Development Coordinator with the County of Elgin. Right now, Gallagher says employers are looking for skilled trades’ people: CNC programmers, machinists, and technicians. The portal also provides a regional access point to attract skilled workers to Elgin County. On May 30th, representatives from Employment Services Elgin, the County of Elgin, Community Employment Choices (Middlesex), and Community Employment Services (Oxford) attended a Rural Employment Job Fair, held by the Newcomer Centre of Peel, in the Region of Peel to launch the new portal- www.accesslocaltalent.com.
“We put the entire region on the map. We spoke to over 500 people who had never heard of Elgin County and now they are interested in finding work and moving to the area,” explained Gallagher. She says it was a great opportunity to bring each county together and join forces to attract talent into the area. “Employers in all three counties are looking for skilled trades’ people, so why not team up to create an even stronger presence? This was a great event to promote the entire region and attract the talent to our area as a united front. Whether the work is in Elgin, Middlesex or Oxford County – our entire region will benefit.” Gallagher says the people they spoke with were “amazing” and came prepared to move for a job that suited their skills. They collected close to 200 resumes with people working in the field of: engineering, environmental science, banking and finances, project management, information technology (IT), health, and supply chain & logistics. Visit www.accesslocaltalent.com to view free local support services and post your positions to local job boards. Contact Employment Services Elgin at 519-
Gord Hall (left) explains employment possibilities.
633-5200 or Fanshawe Career and Employment Services at 519-637-9876 to learn more about the candidates they have. Tricia Flatley works in Communications with Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce Planning and Development Board.
There is so much to see and do in
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Attitude of gratitude St. Thomas Domino’s Pizza franchise owner Ken Hoose thanked everyone at the June Business After 5 who contributed to a May 29 fundraiser for teen employee Jesse Baughman who developed cancer. All pizza sales at the store that day were donated to Jesse. Between those sales and donations across the country, Domino’s raised over $30,000 for the cause.
July Business After 5 Date:
Wednesday July 19
Doors Open at 5:00 p.m. Presentations & Prizes at 6:15 p.m.
Site & Sponsor:
Railway City Brewing Company 130 Edward Street Special Overflow Parking: GormanRupp Canada welcomes our Members attending this event to use their nearby lot at the intersection of Edward Street & Burwell Road.
Planning ahead? We are! Event and activity planning is an on-going activity for Chamber staff and our volunteers, and a key thing for our Members to know about. Looking ahead over the balance of 2017 and into 2018 there are several projects to be aware of. The Chamber’s monthly Business After 5 events continue to be a prime way for Members to connect and reconnect with our community and business neighbours. If you’re considering participation as a BAF sponsor, here are the options to December 2018. Sponsorship of our BAFs for the rest of 2017 is completely booked and we have only four open months in 2018 – January, July, September and November. If any of those months interest you, contact Barry Fitzgerald or Bob Hammersley at the Chamber office as soon as possible. We have a Business After 5 Planning Guide that can be easily shared by email if you’d like to consider all the options before making a firm booking. Looking at our 2017 calendar, there are a couple of noteworthy events to consider. National Small Business Week is always the 3rd week in October. This year it runs Sunday October 15 to Saturday October 21. The Chamber will host one major event that week on Wednesday October 18 with our Business & Community Showcase. It’s a mini trade show with 10’ x 10’ exhibit spaces for Members at St. Anne’s Centre. Exhibitors who participated last year get (or will now have) an advance invita-
tion to return. This project is organized by our Member Services Committee. Christy Hunking at the Chamber office is our prime staff contact on the project. Christy can be reached at 519-631-1981 Extension 526 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Agri-Net is a November event that returns on Thursday November 23. This one is a regional affair hosted by the London Chamber with participation by the surrounding Chambers in St. Thomas, Ingersoll and Tillsonburg at The Western Fair District Metroland Media Agriplex in London. The purpose of this one-of-a-kind event is to showcase the AgriBusiness Connections in Southwestern Ontario and the major economic impact they provide. Exhibitor participation is open to all now at the low price of $150.00 plus HST per space. Each exhibitor will be provided with a covered 8 foot table and the space around the table as well as power & Wi-Fi if needed. Each exhibitor will receive 10 complimentary event tickets to distribute as they wish. Value of $100.00. Exhibitor set up will take place from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., followed by an Exhibitor to Exhibitor Networking Hour from 3:00 - 4:00. Doors will open to the public at 4:30 and the show will run until 7:00 p.m. The event will draw representation from a wide array of businesses in both the Agricultural sector as well as those wishing to do business with the sector. Last year’s event saw an attendance of over 600 people.
“sponsorship of our BAFs for the rest of 2017 is completely booked”
Free Admission to all personnel from any organization that is a Member of the St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce.
Business Beat Table of Contents Page 10 .................Disengaged Page 11 .......... Obsolete skills? Page 12 ............ Legal Business Page 13 ............... Road trip pix Page 14 ................. Man to call Page 15 .............Cyber security Page 16 ............ New Members July, 2017
Running a Successful Small Business (ext. 222)
ELGIN THIS MONTH
The key to employee engagement is You paid for it. Employees are not robots. No matter how many times you tell others to ignore your Would you trust the care of your most beloved Eeyore in the corner, the bad feelings are bound to loved one to someone who didn’t like you very disrupt the working environment. much? If you have disengaged employees you Some disengaged employees are too far gone. might be doing just that. While you should give them the opportunity to It is impossible for a disengaged employee to pro- turn it around, know that this is not always possivide excellent customer service. It doesn’t matter ble. In those cases, you need to help that employee how skilled the employee is, if they think of your begin the journey in finding what will light their business as the mere source of income, you/they fire. won’t be wowing your customers. Decide who you are and communicate it Worse than that, those suffering from disengageThis idea is much easier if you start your busiment should be quarantined since this is a highly ness with a mission and you clearly convey it to infectious disease. One disengaged employee can everyone you hire. Your mission doesn’t have to make all of your employees reevaluate their level be something as grand as ending world hunger. A of happiness within your business. For this reason, mission can be as simple as being “Smithville’s faemployee engagement is one of the most impor- vorite family ice cream shop.” Everything you do tant investments you can make in your company. should focus on your business mission. The good news is, a lot of that is up to you. The importance of sharing your mission with Act decisively your employees is that it becomes the basis for all If you have employees who are showing signs of decision making. If employees know and underbeing disengaged, don’t let it fester hoping it will stand your mission, they can use it as a referral go away. It won’t. It will spread. Before you even point asking themselves at each decision, “Is this in begin working on your company culture, tackle line with our mission?” this problem head on. Talk with the individuals inHire for fit volved. See if you can’t come to an understanding Next you need to hire in accordance to your misof how you can both work on turning it around. sion and culture that you want to create. Skills can The one thing you don’t want is happy employees be taught easily but shaping one’s attitude to fit the seeing disengaged employees sitting around doing culture is a lot more difficult. Keep in mind: each the minimum with a lousy attitude and getting new hire either brings you closer to attaining the culture you want, or takes you further away from your goal. Don’t hire someone just to plug a hole in your payroll. Give them the resources they need and get out of the way Have you ever seen a poll about qualities you want in a manager? If so, maybe you’ve noticed the one thing that is never mentioned is “micromanWe’ve got you covered. Guaranteed. aging.” No one wants to be spied on, told As a small business owner, you’re trying to stretch every dollar.
by Christina Green
their way is wrong incessantly, or limited in their growth potential. If you hire well and communicate expectations, goals and your mission, assuming your employees have the resources they need to succeed, they will begin to feel the company’s success is their success. To that end, use inclusive language like “we” when communicating where you want the business to go and how you’ll get there. However, when giving specific direction or assignments forgo the “we.” No one knows who’s doing what when you talk in generic terms about specific roles like “We will check the Facebook page each morning.” Check in often Giving employees the resources to perform their jobs isn’t your only role. You need to provide feedback often. You’ll find Millennials, in particular, are interested in guidance on their performance. It needn’t be a formal review process. Just a weekly or monthly check-in on how you think things are going but it should be a two-way conversation and not a monologue. When someone exceeds your expectations, call attention to it immediately. Give examples of why this is ideal behavior. Don’t wait for an annual review to call it to everyone’s attention. It will get lost or forgotten by then. Create a culture where peers can also give constructive feedback, especially praising one another. Receiving peer recognition helps in team building and building a cohesive team increases employee loyalty. If you want your business to be successful, you need to have a team that can help you attain your goals. Investing in your employees and increasing their engagement level allows you to exceed your customers’ expectations and become a company that everyone wants to work for. Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
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Published by Metroland Media Group Ltd., and delivered to businesses in St. Thomas and Elgin Country For complete information on the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce, reach us at: 115-300 South Edgeware Rd., St. Thomas, Ontario N5P 4L1 Telephone: 519-631-1981 Fax: 519-631-0466 E-Mail: email@example.com Website: www.stthomaschamber.on.ca President & CEO Bob Hammersley Accounting Coordinator Susan Munday Member Services Christy Hunking Member Services Barry Fitzgerald Digital Marketing Jeff Kelly
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St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce 2017 Board of Directors Chair: Robert Furneaux Gorman-Rupp Canada 1st Vice-Chair: Ray Bosveld HollisWealth 2nd Vice-Chair: Brian Helmer Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Treasurer: Mark Lassam, CPA, CA Lassam & Co. Past Chair: Dan Kelly, CPA, CGA Dowler-Karn Ltd. Director: Kathy Cook World Financial Group Director: Sean Dyke St. Thomas Economic Development Corp. Fanshawe College Director: Ross Fair Director: Kevin Jackson Elgin Business Resource Centre Director: Tara McCaulley Small Business Enterprise Centre Director: Ginette Minor Alexelle Slipcovers & Décor Director: Chris Patriquin Simply Pure Water Director: Joe Preston Wendy’s Restaurant Director: Bob Ward The Auto Guys
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 10
Half of Ontarians fear their skills will soon be obsolete The latest local and provincial Chamber research urges action to improve The Chamber’s report outlines a strategy that unites government and inalignment of skills, education, career opportunities. dustry to work collaboratively to ensure that all regions across Ontario have The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), in partnership with the St. access to the skilled workforce required to compete in the global economy. Thomas & District Chamber, has released a comprehensive report, Talent In working together on the recommendations presented in this report, Govin Transition: Addressing the Skills Mismatch in Ontario, which identifies ten ernment and industry can: recommendations that will better align the skills acquired by Ontarians with • Improve the transition from school to the workplace (through the expanthose required by employers. The full report is available for viewing and/or sion of experiential learning opportunities). download in the News section of the Chamber’s website at www.stthomas• Improve the labour market outcomes (achieved through Employment chamber.on.ca Ontario programs). The report, which was developed in partnership with leading officials in • Develop a modernized apprenticeship system (reflective of the current the private and educational sectors, as well as with representatives from business climate and focused on the integration of young people into across Ontario, includes exclusive, new research of both Ontario Chamber the trades). Network members as well as the general population on sentiment toward “Employers in the St. Thomas area are experiencing challenges to find skills development. Of the six in ten of busiqualified employees all the time,” says Bob Hammersley, nesses who attempted to recruit staff in 2016, President & CEO of the St. Thomas & District Chamber. 82 per cent experienced a challenge in hiring “82 per cent experienced “If we align government, employers and educators to find someone with the proper qualifications. solutions to the skills mismatch, we can strengthen our a challenge in hiring “Ontario employers are finding it more and economy and ensure there are meaningful career opportumore challenging to recruit properly qualified someone with the proper nities here in St. Thomas & District, across Elgin County talent. If improvements are not made, we will and throughout the entire London/St. Thomas region”. qualifications” find ourselves in a situation where there are Ontario’s Chamber Network has been active on the ‘people without jobs and jobs without people” skills issue since 2012. Locally, the St. Thomas & District said Richard Koroscil, interim-President and Chamber has been, and continues to be an active partner CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Our latest report identifies op- within education organizations in both the public and private sectors and portunities to improve alignment of skills, education, career opportunities.” within community service collaborations including the LEPC (Local EmIt is not just employers who are concerned with the growing skills mis- ployment Planning Council) and the Elgin Middlesex Oxford Workforce match. Of the general population, half of Ontarians are concerned their Planning & Development Board. skills and expertise will no longer be useful or will become less valuable in Our new research and report is part of larger advocacy work to ensure all the next decade. regions across Ontario have access to the skilled workforce that they require Over the last decade, the skills mismatch has been a major concern for the to compete in the global knowledge economy. future growth of Ontario’s economy. The report states that as Ontarians move into the knowledge-based economy, with rapidly changing technological advancement, it is essential to leverage our greatest asset, human capital.
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Chamber summer student Jeff Kelly, left, interviews Adam Beverley, owner of St. Thomas’ new Total Plumbing Solutions, at June’s Business After 5. Jeff was one of a team of 10 volunteers from the Chamber and the Local Employment Planning Council conducting brief, random interviews to explore opinions on local issues in the areas of skills, employment and government. Thanks to everyone who participated! July, 2017
Tel: 519-637-7747 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sunlife.ca/michael.moore 9 Princess Avenue, Unit #3 St. Thomas, ON N5R 3V3
Life’s brighter under the sun *Mutual funds distributed by Sun Life Financial Investment Services (Canada) Inc. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is a member of the Sun Life Financial group of companies. © Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, 2017.
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 11
Legal Business The “penalty box” in mortgage prepayment
by Monty Fordham
Lately we have experienced one of the busiest real estate markets in living memory. Buyers and sellers are being forced to act quickly lest they lose out. In most transactions, the seller is paying out a mortgage, and the buyer is arranging a new one. It is important for the seller to realize the amount of “penalty” being charged by the lender in order to discharge the mortgage before the mortgage contract term has expired. For the purchaser, it is equally important to have a full disclosure of the methods by which the lender will calculate any early discharge “penalty” should the
Employment Services Elgin 400 Talbot Street St. Thomas, ON (519) 631-5470 text: 226-376-0320
purchaser decide to sell down the road. You may have noticed the quotation marks around the word “penalty”. All students of contract law will know why. By our common law system, any provision in a contract which constitutes a penalty for non-performance is void. However, clauses which compensate for anticipated damages is valid. This is why, in any mortgage discharge statement, the “penalty” for early discharge is described as “prepayment compensation”, “cost of reinvestment” or some such term. So why do the lenders charge these “penalties” when we pay them back early? Well, when you sign a mortgage, you are signing a contract to pay over a defined period of time. The lender has loaned the money on the strength of receiving back a certain return. If you pay them back early, you are, essentially breaking the contract. All future interest which would have been
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received under the contract will no longer be paid, at least not by you. One of the more common misconceptions about mortgage discharge penalties is that the lender will only charge three months’ interest on the outstanding balance. While this is true in some limited cases, in most mortgage contracts for terms less than five years, the lender will charge the greater of three months’ interest, or the interest rate differential (IRD) at the time on prepayment. So what is the IRD? Well, that gets a little complicated and varies with each lender. Once again, it is imperative that purchasers read carefully the mortgage disclosure documents, and discuss issues such as early repayment with their mortgage specialist and/or their lawyer. Essentially, there are three types of IRD’s: Standard IRD, Discounted Rate IRD and Posted Rate IRD. The easy one is the Standard IRD: In a mortgage with say 25 months left, you would compare the rate under your mortgage with the rate presently being charged for the term closest to the 25 months (2 years). Take the difference and multiply the rate by the 25 months. Not hard to see that given the static interest rates for the last few years, this would likely be a relatively small number. However, when the lenders get fancy, and apply a discounted rate IRD, the prepayment charge jumps, often by triple the amount of the standard IRD. Remember when you arranged that mortgage 3 years ago? You got a “discount” (which most people get for just showing up) from the “posted” rate (which almost nobody ever pays). Well, now the lender wants a little of that discount back. To calculate the prepayment charge, the lender will use the “posted rate” for 2 years but will deduct the discount you received (rather than the lower 2 year discount). At the end of the line, you will definitely pay more in prepayment penalty using this method. And if this wasn’t bad enough, some lenders use the “posted rate” IRD. In most calculations this method will produce the highest prepayment charge, mostly since the comparison posted rates are larger numbers, and the variation between the five year and two year posted rates can be substantially greater. In summary, when buying or selling real estate, timing is critical. So is a thorough knowledge of the costs of discharging a mortgage. Some early planning with respect to mortgage term can be helpful if there is uncertainty as to how long you wish to keep the property. For sellers who are buying another property, sometimes “porting” the mortgage to the new property avoids the penalty altogether. With mortgages, while it is extremely difficult to stay completely out of the penalty box, with a little planning, you definitely can turn a major penalty into a relatively minor one.
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 12
The Chamber’s Esso road trip photo contest From the highways and byways of Canada – from Cape Spear in the east to Vancouver Island in the west; from Point Pelee in the south to Yellowknife in the north – Canadian destinations all have something on order to celebrate Canada’s big year! That’s why, together, with our partners at Esso, we are excited to announce that we are hosting a summer photo contest under the banner of #EssoRoadTrip. Summer is traditionally the time for families to get out on the road and explore their own region, their own province – heck, some of them will even venture all across this vast country – from coast to coast to coast! What better year than during Canada’s sesquicentennial (that’s 150 years old!) to get out and explore Canada’s backyard. This is a great opportunity to get involved and share your road adventures with all of us and also be eligible for a chance to win! Let’s celebrate this great country of ours from coast to coast to coast. Submission guidelines The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Esso are hosting three photo contests - one each month over the summer. - Each submission must include the #EssoRoadTrip.
- Photos that are deemed to be derogatory or discriminatory in nature will not be accepted. - Limit of 5 photos that may be submitted by one person per month. - Photos should not contain any trademarked items such as logo. Prizes Well – for starters- we’re hoping that you will be excited about sharing your pride in our community and in places you visit across Canada with your photos – events, attractions and more! We want you to share their photos of our community but we also want you to share pix when you hitch up the trailer for a trip through the Badlands and on to BC or as you paddle down the Saguenay or do a road trip to see the latest play at Stratford. It’ll be fun to see what people share! The prizes for this contest are about supporting your local chamber of commerce. Yes, your chamber, in your community! Already a member or perhaps a future member? Our partner, Esso, is going to contribute $300 towards an existing or new membership in your chamber. In July and August we will be awarding five winners. The winners will be determined by the
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online voting received. Don’t forget to post and don’t forget to vote! Posting & voting To upload a photo or vote, go to this website: http://essoroadtrip.hscampaigns. com/ Voting for pics submitted in June is open until July 14. For full contest rules and deadlines for July and August entries, go to this website: http://www.chamber.ca/events/essoroadtrip-photo-contest/offincial-rules/ Ron James coming At the June Business After 5, Joy Ferguson (right) from Tailored Publishing won the tickets to the July 22 Ron James show, donated by Local Employment Planning Council. The Chamber’s Christy Hunking does the honours.
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For more information, contact your First Data Business Consultant at 1-888-265-4117. © 2016 First Data Canada Ltd. is a registered ISO/MSP of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., Canadian Branch, Toronto, ON, Canada. All trademarks, service marks and trade names used in this material are the property of their respective owners. 21958 2016
For more information call the Parks and Recreation Department 519-633-7112
E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 13
Chamber News Faceless dolls
Fanshawe College’s Sexual Violence Prevention Advisor Leah Marshall (left) and Fanshawe’s Student Success Officer Chris Hannah present over 600 faceless dolls in a display at the Chamber’s June Business After 5 at the St. Thomas campus of Fanshawe. It was National Aboriginal Day. Each doll was made by a Fanshawe student and represented the 1,200 missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.
It all starts with connecting Got a question about the Chamber? Curious about any of our programs, products and services? Wonder what’s in it for you? A call or visit to the St. Thomas & District Chamber offices on South Edgeware Road will result in answers and action by any of our staff and, quite possibly, some special attention from Barry Fitzgerald. Barry’s job is to connect businesses and organizations – and the people within them – to the Chamber, and to work toward outcomes that help all involved. It’s true that there is strength in numbers and, in the Chamber network we prove that daily. Locally, Barry is our front-line service rep to over 560 existing Member-businesses and more than 12,000 people they employ in St. Thomas & District. His work also lays the foundation to connect our community on the regional, provincial and national Chamber spectrum. Big picture: Barry is a part of our service link that weaves us into the fabric that is more than 70,000 Ontario businesses and 250,000 businesses/organizations across Canada. Barry – and all of the Chamber staff – can be reached every workday at the Chamber office by calling 519-631-1981 or see us on the web at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca
Talent in Transition: Addressing Ontario’s skills mismatch On June 20, the Chamber released “Talent in Transition: Addressing Ontario’s Skills Mismatch”. This report is available for viewing or download in the News section of our website at www.stthomaschamber.on.ca The report is part of the Chamber network`s larger advocacy work to ensure all regions across Ontario have access to the skilled workforce that they require to compete in the global knowledge economy. This fall, the Ontario Chamber will be convening business leaders, government officials and academia to discuss how educators, employers and government can better navigate the development of skills in a world of disruptive and transformative technology.
WHY JOIN THE CHAMBER? The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce is stronger than ever. By joining, you get Members-only perks, exclusive advertising and networking opportunities, and a whole lot of exposure for yourself and your organization. Get on board and see the difference!
PROMOTION Use exclusive online advertising opportunities to familiarize your business with the local community.
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519-631-1981 email@example.com www.stthomaschamber.on.ca 115-300 South Edgeware Road St. Thomas, ON N5P 4L1
Barry Fitzgerald connects businesses, organizations and people with the Chamber. July, 2017
ELGIN THIS MONTH
Cyber security for small businesses
by Dan Reith
High-profile cyber attacks and data breaches at Sony, Honda Canada and Target have raised awareness of the growing threat of cyber crime, yet surveys conducted by Symantec suggest that many small business owners are still operating under a false sense of cyber security. Don’t equate small with safe The majority of Canadian small businesses lack a formal Internet security policy for employees, and only about half have cyber security measures in place. This disconnect is largely due to the widespread, albeit mistaken, belief that small businesses are unlikely targets for cyber attacks. In reality, data thieves are simply looking for the path of least resistance. Symantec’s study found that 40 per cent of attacks are against organizations with fewer than 500 employees. Attacks could destroy your business Large companies are devoting more resources towards data security, making small businesses increasingly attractive targets. The results can be devastating for small business owners. Over 90% of Canadian small business do not include cyber insurance in their current program. Lack of knowledge, false sense of security and a focus on price rather than loss mitigation are the leading reasons for being unprotected. According to Symantec, the average cost of a cyber attack on a small or medium-sized business is nearly $200,000. As a result, nearly 60 per cent of the small businesses victimized by a cyber attack permanently close their doors within six months. Typical business interruption insurance does NOT cover for cyber losses, not does the standard commercial general liability policy cover for loss, breach and/or theft of customer data. Many of these businesses put off making necessary improvements to their cyber security protocols until it was too late because they feared the costs would be prohibitive. 10 ways to prevent cyber attacks Even if you don’t currently have the resources to bring in an outside expert to test your computer systems and make security recommendations, there are simple, economical steps you can take to reduce your risk of falling victim to a costly cyber attack: 1. Train employees in cyber security principles. 2. Install, use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on every computer used in your business.
3. Use a firewall for your Internet connection. 4. Download and install software updates for your operating systems and applications as they become available. 5. Make backup copies of important business data and information. 6. Control physical access to your computers and network components. 7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks. If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace make sure it is secure and hidden. 8. Require individual user accounts for each employee. 9. Limit employee access to data and information, and limit authority to install software. 10. Change passwords monthly.
This column appears regularly in Business Beat and has been submitted by Dan Reith, BA (Hons), CAIB, a partner and Principal Broker in Reith & Associates Insurance and Financial Services Limited, 462 Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Dan Reith Questions and comments on this column are welcomed by the writer at 519-631-3862 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
s s e n i s Bu E T I N G S
“the average cost of a cyber attack is nearly $200,000”
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 15
New Members CARSTAR St. Thomas 15 Queen Street St. Thomas, ON N5R 3H9 Phone: 519-631-6769 Website: www.carstar.ca Contacts: Mike Deruiter, Owner; Kyle Holmes, Manager Buyers Guide Categories: Auto Repairs, Auto Services Products & Services: Formerly known and registered with the Chamber as Sparkle CARSTAR, this business is now under new ownership and featuring a new name, CARSTAR St. Thomas. They specialize in collision repairs, auto glass replacement & repairs, insurance claims and auto body painting & refinishing, using the latest technology in computerized laser uni-body and frame straightening. They offer a Lifetime warranty on collision repairs and have served the St. Thomas area since 1965. Salt Creek Market 11143 Highbury Avenue South St. Thomas, ON N5P 3T3 Phone: 519-633-9338 Website: www.saltcreekmarket.com
The St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce proudly welcomes the following businesses and individuals as our newest Members. Those listed below were accepted as registered Members to May 16 – June 15, 2017. Once an organization registers with the Chamber, all personnel (owners/managers/staff) within the organization have full access to all Chamber programs, projects, events and services.
Contacts: Steve Peters, General Manager Buyers Guide Categories: Agencies & Associations Products & Services: Salt Creek Farm Market is operated by Canadian Mental Health Association Elgin. It is a social enterprise to provide CMHA members with life skills experience. They carry in-season local produce, have an in-store bakery with a wide selection of Ontario food products. Open 6 days per week, Tuesday – Sunday. Saxonia Hall – The German Canadian Club of Aylmer 522 Talbot Street West Aylmer, ON N5H 2T8 Phone: 519-773-5271 Website: www.saxoniahall.com Contacts: Eric Schneider, President; David Pfingstgraef, Vice-President Buyers Guide Categories: Banquet, Event, Meeting Spaces & Halls Products & Services: The German Canadian Club of Aylmer - Saxonia Hall is open to the public for weddings, conferences, business meetings, and family gatherings. The Main Banquet Hall can be configured nu-
merous ways to seat up to 430 people comfortably, with an in-house sound system and 2 full service bar areas. For smaller groups, the Saxonia Lounge and Front Banquet Hall are also available. They also offer full catering and bartending services. Total Plumbing Solutions 399 Talbot Street St. Thomas, ON N5P 1B7 Phone: 519-933-0014 Email: email@example.com Website: www.totalplumbingsolutions.ca Contacts: Adam Beverley, Owner Buyers Guide Categories: Plumbing & Heating Services, Plumbing Equipment & Supplies, Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning Products & Services: Total Plumbing Solutions is a locally owned business providing complete residential plumbing services in St. Thomas and surrounding areas. Total Plumbing Solutions specializes in the installation of drains, wastes, vents, water supply lines and radiant in-floor heating systems in new residential housing and home renovations. The business has been founded on the strict adherence of providing the highest level of customer satisfaction and quality service, as well as personable experience. Visit their showroom in downtown St. Thomas, by appointment only, for all of the latest product information and top-of-the-line bathtubs, showers, fixtures, faucets and vanities, from brand name suppliers.
Looking for info on Chamber membership?
It’s all on the Chamber website. Go to www.stthomaschamber.on.ca and click on the ‘Member Center’ tab near the top of our main page. Member benefits, fees and our application form are all there or, for direct, personal service, just gives us a call at 519-631-1981. All of our staff are eager to assist and always eager to welcome new businesses and organizations to the Chamber network.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 16
Agriculture On The Farm
A firm foundation, in several senses Each spring when I dig into my garden I am reminded of the people who farmed (and gardened) here before us. In one particular garden I will be weeding, or digging a hole for a transplant and will hit something rather firm. Rocks aren’t uncommon in the soil, but what our front yard gardens feature is old brick. Long before we were here, two Lunn families before us lived in this house and initiated a generation of farming. But before this clan was another, and the only photo we have of the property in the early 1950s, before Brad’s grandparents bought and settled here, shows not one but two farm houses. The house we live in was actually moved here and placed on a foundation, but we aren’t exactly sure when. When we started settling in, we decided to have a renovation company come and have a look, reasoning that if there were any structural issues we would need to deal with those first, before doing anything else to the house. As with any older home, there were many things to address, but our advisor confirmed: the foundation is firm I think a lot about that other house when I’m in the front yard, especially when those bricks surface, and when the dry days of summer settle in and we can see the rectangular outline of the original foundation outlined in grass that always yellows first. It’s a little humbling to think of other farm families living here, and to realize that some of their plans
turned out, and some of them changed, but the farm has continued in some form, for ages. What remains of those earlier farmers, besides little archaeological finds, are: ancient trees including a few sturdy old pears whose uneven, scarred fruit serves eager wasps and pigs, a beautiful shade maple who sheds a few more rotting branches with every storm, a free-range apple who surprises us every few years with a heavy crop of apples, and flowers. Everyone who has gardened here has added to and rearranged the blooms, but the foundation plantings remain, as sturdy and dependable as ever. I don’t wonder that earlier farm women would have tucked in a few blooms to brighten up the borders of their serviceable farm homes. After a long winter, it’s a little bit of hope to see and smell the lilacs. They still help to mask the smells of country living in spring time! And then there are Full Service the peonies. They are Garage With a timeless beauty, but Licensed perhaps a little practiechanics M cal, too. The ants that
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flock to the buds are too busy to bother finding their way to the kitchen. I wonder how many generations of teacher’s desks and bus drivers have cheerfully received a little handful of these foundation plantings before the end of school. There’s another kind of foundation that spans much further back than us. I think about the First Nations people who first lived on these lands, and we still hear of arrowheads being found now and then. They did not organize farm properties and run specialized operations in a way that we would recognize today, but they are part of this land’s story. Even before that chapter are hints as to how this ancient soil was formed. Our somewhat-willing crew picked rocks again with dad this spring. The stones with fossilized shell and imprints of creatures are the ones that are carefully washed, shown to classrooms and displayed in their bedrooms. It’s a year for remembering 150th anniversaries, but our roots and foundations go a lot farther back than we can imagine. No matter what our foundation is made of, we’re only here for a moment. Here’s hoping the blooms and bricks we leave behind give someone, years from now, something to think about.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 17
Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce A personal approach to insuring your mortgage Submitted by Katie Timpany
Mortgage financing is probably one of the largest financial commitments you will make in your life. Safeguarding that commitment from the curves life may put in your path, means having the right kind of risk protection. All too often people assume this critical protection has to come from their lending institution. Before you say yes to lender provided mortgage insurance, consider the options. Protecting your mortgage with a personal insurance plan can offer you and your loved ones better guarantees, greater choice and more flexibility - and in most cases at a lower cost. Insuring your mortgage to suit you Here is a comparison prepared by Investors Group of two type of mortgage insurance. Lender Insurance plan Lender is the owner and beneficiary of the policy. Pays benefit to lender. Coverage expires when mortgage is paid off. Pays out only the amount owing on the mortgage at time of claim. Total value of coverage decreases with mortgage balance. Premiums can be adjusted by lender at any time.
Lender can change or cancel policy at any time. Policy cannot be moved to new mortgage, a renewal or a new lender. Your premium is based on your age band and minimal health information. No personal consultation provided with policy. Personal Insurance plan You own the policy and designate the beneficiary Pays benefit to your designated beneficiary Coverage continues after mortgage is paid. Pays the total value of insurance plan you purchased. Total value of coverage remains stable for the life of the plan. Premiums are guaranteed for the life of the plan. Only you can cancel or make changes to your plan. Plan goes with you from one home to another - one mortgage to the next. Your premium is based on your age,
health and smoking status. Plan designed by personal consultant offering expertise and personalized service.
Katie Timpany is a Consultant with Investors Group Financial Services Inc. She can be reached at (519) 673-4544 or Katie.Timpany@investorsgroup.com.
See our flyer for weekly specials and everyday low, low prices Pete Peters and Neil Banman from Kindred Credit Union in Aylmer served up a delicious Shaw’s ice cream cone to Jeff Wiebenga a local realtor at the Mennonite Community Services Annual Auction.
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Aylmer & Area Chamber of Commerce
Aylmer Fair and much more by Meghan Roszell, Aylmer Tourism Coordinator
This summer join Elgin County as Aylmer hosts its 171st Aylmer Fair! Starting on August 10th to the 13th enjoy a range of entertainment from demolition derbies, petting zoos, midway rides, horse shows and more! Plus, don’t forget to try out some of the food trucks that Aylmer has to offer. The Aylmer Fair is located at 139 Pine Street East, the Aylmer Fair grounds. Elgin County has lots of events going on this summer to get you and your family out and having fun. One of the many popular activities that young families enjoy is spending a day at Clovermead Adventure Farm. Every Saturday they offer unique events like bee beard competitions to get your family hyped up! Pack your sunscreen and flip flops because another opportunity that you won’t want to miss with the beautiful weather this summer is taking your family to one of the many beaches located within the Elgin County. If your family is more adventurous, camping is highly recommended in the Elgin County area, and if not, there are many other things that we can help you find to get you and your family out and about this summer! For more information on activities visit the Aylmer Area Tourism Office located at 24 John Street North, Aylmer and we would be more than happy to help you find something that is perfect for your family.
Mayor Greg Currie, Town of Aylmer, Mayor Dave Mennill, Township of Malahide, and Mayor Paul Enns, Municipality of Bayham, were judges for the Strawberry Pie Contest at the Mennonite Community Services Annual Auction. It was a tough job but they managed to eat their way through it!
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FINANCING A SMALL BUSINESS
business? help you navigate the process. With that thought in mind, the following (in no specific order of As the old Scout motto advises – “Be Prepared” importance) are suggestions for some things to whenever you are approaching a lender to obtain avoid, and others to consider, when meeting and a business loan. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working with a lender: in business already or planning a start-up, there • Don’t wait until you’re desperate for the funds are a number of things to keep in mind that will before contacting the lender. For example, don’t sign a lease, make commitments to purchase equipment, or sign onto large contracts requiring you to pay for inventory before you obtain funds from a lender. Don’t expect lenders to understand your urgency. A lack of planning on your behalf, or on behalf of your business, does not create Business Plans • Management Consulting an emergency for the lender. Small Business Services • Bookkeeping Services • Don’t accept or act Financial Reports • Payroll • Budgets on a verbal commitBusiness Succession Planning ment for loan approval, and ensure you Our Knowledgeable and Friendly Staff understand the conhave the experience and training to help you with tingent clauses in any all your accounting and taxation needs lending agreement or term sheet. Until the funds are advanced and in your bank account, there could be factors that cause the lender to require further information or due diligence, or even cause equity investors Mark Lassam, CP CPA, CA to withdraw those fi115 Curtis Street, St. Thomas nancing offers. 519-631-1631 • Don’t approach firstname.lastname@example.org a lender if you have empty pockets. Exby Glenn Thorel and Mark Masseo
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pecting a lender to finance 100% of your project is unrealistic. All lenders want to know you have skin in the game and share in the risk. With many first-line lenders, that minimum contribution will start at about 35%. • Don’t apply for the wrong type of financing. Understand the difference between lines of credit, revolving credit, trade accounts, term loans and long term debt. They all have their uses; however, choosing the wrong credit instrument may mean you’re over-paying interest, having a greater impact on cash flow, or binding you or your business to terms that may be more onerous that necessary. • Don’t become emotionally attached to your business idea or present the lender with unrealistic expectations. Present an ‘even-keeled’ picture of your business expectations (including risks!). A conservative approach is always best – perhaps here is a case where ‘sandbagging’ can be a good thing! Many new start-up businesses have overly optimistic forecasts for their business. Lenders can access industry statistics, or may have experience with other similar businesses. If you present reasonable expectations for results, that can also display your ability to carry debt, your likelihood of success is certainly greater. • Don’t apply to every lender in the hopes that one will finance the project. Approaching too many lenders will not improve your chances of approval, and may even damage your chances. Too many credit report inquiries by prospective lenders will damage your credit score, and each lender will see evidence of the prior credit inquiries which could raise a red flag in their review. • Don’t ignore lender’s requests for information. When you’re working with a lender, you’ll need to submit a host of documents before you can get approved and funded. You might be asked to dig out paperwork that is not readily accessible. Being proactive and swiftly providing information will speed up the approval process. • Be aware of the real interest rate! This is especially true for short terms loans that only appear attractive until the real costs is calculated. It is always amazing to see how many people cannot, or do not, fully calculate the potential interest burden. An accounts receivable loan that only charges 2% per month may sound low, but ends up costing 24% per annum. There are also things you can ‘do’, proactively, that will also help you toward your financing goals: • Do pay attention to the fine details in every loan agreement, and be alert for hidden costs and fees. Many lenders charge a loan administration fee, require mandatory insurance, have an annual management review fee, or an exit fee. For example, a 2% loan fee at the front end of your loan, deducted from the funds advanced, will add significantly to the real borrowing costs, along with other fees over the term of the loan. • Be prepared for additional costs beyond the lender’s fees. Fees for property surveys, mortgage registration, independent legal advice, environmental assessments or interim financial statements may be incurred by the business just to meet the lender’s information requests. These are costs related to the financing which the business may have to bear. Continued on page 21 20
FINANCING A SMALL BUSINESS Be proactive to help you towards your financing goals Continued from page 20 • Make sure you are organized. Lenders will almost always require copies of annual and interim financial statements. As a business owner, can you quickly provide income statements and balance sheets for your business? Tax returns? Confirmations of HST filings? Do you have copies of your business registration or articles of incorporation? • Know your credit history. Understand that lenders will review how many credit cards you carry how many have balances, and how much debt you are carrying on each credit facility. Lenders will be alert if you fail to make correct disclosures on all your credit accounts. There are two main credit reporting agencies in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion. You can ask for a free copy by mail or you can get an instant credit report online for a small fee. • Understand your cash flow situation. Every lender will want to see exactly how you will meet your loan payments. • Your lender will ask you what you plan to do with the loan proceeds,
and you need to have a clear answer. Proceeds can be used for a variety of reasons and some lenders have restrictions. This is a good time to research, before you apply, to make sure the funds can be used the way you need to grow your business. • Know the terms and conditions of your loan. Many business owners have loan agreements in place that require them to maintain working capital ratios, debt to equity ratios, or have legal agreement which they don’t understand such as personal guarantees, general security agreements or subordination clauses that may restrict other lenders from assisting the business. While these suggestions may not cover every situation you’ll encounter, they will certainly help you navigate the process … Scouts honour. Glenn Thorel is Loans Manager/ Counsellor, and Mark Masseo is Loans Counsellor/ Satellite Office Coordinator, with Elgin Business Resource Centre.
Chris Patriquin (right) from Simply Pure Water won tickets to Quai du Vin’s Summer Series at the June St. Thomas & District Chamber of Commerce Business After 5, presented by the Chamber’s Christy Hunking.
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FINANCING A SMALL BUSINESS
If you can’t collect, what’s the point? by Lisa Jibson
There is one challenge that all service industry businesses, large or small share: the act of collecting payments from customers. Small business debt collection can often cripple an entrepreneur and their business. Payments made easy In today’s age of on-line payments, businesses make it so convenient for people to pay there really shouldn’t be a delay in receiving monies owed. There are interac payments, which take the money straight from your account with an email, PayPal, pre-authorized credit card payments, the Square (portable point of sale attached to your cell phone), as well as good old cash or cheques. So it makes you wonder why people who retain service industry professionals simply don’t pay their bills. Would you go into Walmart and buy groceries and smile and wave and say “just bill me” and walk out the door? Or would you go and get a haircut and not pay for three months? We have bills too Why do customers think it’s okay to not pay their bill when they have received a service from a small service-based business? Small business owners in the service industry have bills too. We have bookkeepers to pay, insurance payments to make and advertisements to pay for in order
to get new business. We rely on our monthly receivables in order to make ends meet. Most small businesses operate on a very tight budget and don’t have large lines of credit to carry them over for several months without cash flow from their receivables. Debt collection The number of hours a small business owner spends on the phone trying to collect outstanding debts takes away from time spent working for new clients. Let alone the hostility you experience when you try and collect the monies owed. As a customer, when you reached out to that individual to design your new resume, place an ad in a newspaper, or do your taxes, you knew the fee or rate they would charge when you agreed to the service. You should be ready to pay the bill when you receive it. If you need more time, or need to make arrangements, then talk to the owner of the business and set up arrangements and stick to them. Most of us have been in your shoes at one time or another and are willing to be flexible. But being flexible and being taken advantage of are two different things. More than just the
money Unfortunately, human psychology comes into play, and reminding people of their debts distresses them. The flipside of that is the clients who see you at the grocery store, or networking events and pretend that they don’t owe you any money or address it by saying “I’ve been so busy – I’ll send you some money next week” – but you know they won’t. Fool me once, shame on you – Fool me twice … won’t happen! I guarantee that the next time you need a service, my small service industry business owners and I will be asking for payment in advance. Lisa Jibson owns Ross Street Agency in St. Thomas.
Dan Kelly (right) from Dowler-Karn won the Continuing Education – Spanish course for two, donated by Fanshawe College at the June Business After 5.
Result Focused. Relationship Driven. We’ve found that open, trusting, ongoing relationships help us understand where you are, how you work, and where you want to go. We invest the time and effort to provide services to you at a personal level. ST. THOMAS 519-633-0700 AYLMER 519-773-9265
grahamscottenns.com Barb Matthews (left) from Big Brothers Big Sisters won a $50 Gift Card from Silverthorn Landscape and a wooden serving tray from Everwoods, donated by the Local Employment Planning Council, all presented by Christy Hunking from the St. Thomas and District Chamber of Commerce. July, 2017
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FINANCING A SMALL BUSINESS
The web helps keep costs low/expand business
by Amanda Devries
Back in 2005 in Ottawa when I launched my graphic design career, I started the usual way: building a portfolio piece by piece by getting work from friends or close colleagues. This makes perfect sense for a novice starting out: you don’t yet have a strong portfolio or network, and therefore you need to build some credibility. This was also before the age of social media, and so my reach was very much local. As I completed more and more projects successfully, word got around and my “word-of-mouth” referrals grew. Eventually I started getting calls from colleagues or friends of friends, and the project would typically begin with a telephone call. In fact, I realized more often than not, I wasn’t even meeting the client I would work with! The nature of a creative business that mainly relies on software and the internet to accomplish tasks means you can really take your work literally anywhere. So, I stretched myself out and started looking online for contracts, eventually landing repeating work like annual reports for university departments based in Calgary, and campaign projects for the city of Winnipeg. Using early online freelance websites like Guru (contemporary sites are now “Upwork” and “Fiverr”) allowed me to stretch beyond the borders of my hometown with ease. This is the new reality for many small business-
es. You no longer have to rely on a personal sales call or project meeting to get the job done. With the help of Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts, or the like, you can virtually be in a room with anyone, anywhere. Thanks to screen sharing apps like ScreenLeap or Join.Me, I can train clients on how to use their newly built website, collaborate on a moodboard, or review a document. Document sharing platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive make sharing large files easy, a must for the type of files I use daily. For my own business development, I rarely find myself in a brick-andmortar classroom and instead will use Lynda.com or Udemy to delve into skills that are often so cutting-edge the local colleges don’t yet even offer courses on the topic. When we moved to St. Thomas in 2009, I took all my Ottawa clients
“the new reality for many small businesses” with me. They were all happy to continue working the same way we had before; only now, we could compare the weather between Southwest-
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ern and Eastern Ontario. Even today, I still work with some of these Ottawa clients. Another portion of my business comes from anywhere from the Toronto area (where I can compete favourably as my overhead is much lower than creative agencies operating there) to even far-flung American cities. And of course, a significant chunk of work still comes from old-fashioned face-to-face networking in London and St. Thomas. You can’t underestimate the power of the human connection, but it’s no longer the only way to play the game. Whether you sell insurance, vintage doilies or reclaimed wood furniture: the job can be done from anywhere. You just need a website and a solid social media presence. The online world awaits! Amanda DeVries owns Amanda DeVries Brand Consulting and Graphic Design. Her website is amandadevries.com and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @aDeVries_gd.
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HEALTHY LIVING EVERYDAY HEALTH
Opioid crisis and pain – looking beyond drugs by Dr. Greg Johnston B.H.K., B.Ed., D.C.
An estimated 2,000 Canadians died of opioid overdoses in 2015. Statistics being tallied indicate that this number is continuing to rise at an astronomical rate. Before you discount these fatalities as being from illicit use, you should know that many of these are due to prescription use as well. In light of this crisis, the federal government has recently announced a new Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy and created new funding to combat the growing problem. These new initiatives are desperately needed but the trend toward underfunding alternative therapies that could be helpful in combating this crisis unfortunately continues. As of June 1, the Manitoba government implemented a new funding formula that cut funding for chiropractic services by $4.8 million. Chiropractors will bill the province $8.20 per patient visit which is down from $12.30 per visit. Fortunately, the rate will increase to $10 per visit in April, 2018. Manitoba is currently the only province in Canada that still offers partial coverage for chiropractic. In December 2004, the provincial Liberal government eliminated funding for chiropractic, physiotherapy and eye exams in Ontario. Dr. Perry Taylor of the Manitoba Chiropractic Association (MCA) has been quoted as saying that, “chiropractors are leaders in drug-free, non-surgical management of back pain. The quality care that patients receive at our clinics keeps them out of the ERs and away from opioids.” Opioids are a class of drugs derived from opium, a naturally occurring compound found in the opium poppy. Opium has been used for centuries with its earliest use linked to religious and mystic rituals. In modern times, it has been used to create drugs like morphine, codeine, methadone, fentanyl and Oxycontin. Heroin is derived from opium and was originally marketed as a non-addictive cough suppressant in 1898. Today, many of these drugs are used for pain relief. The problem is that they were originally intended to treat severe pain such as occurs after surgery
or from cancer. Part of the current overuse epidemic can be blamed on a very successful marketing campaign promoting the use of opioids for the treatment of chronic pain. One of the most common examples being back pain. Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a tremendous problem in modern society and is an ominous topic on its own. The important point is that one of the best ways to combat chron- problem is to start with finding solutions for imic pain is with early treatment intervention with portant pieces of the more complicated issue. To known effective and safe treatment options like quote the MCA spokesperson Dr. Greg Stewart, chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy. “Hopefully the disconnect between resolving the When people have unrestricted access to these opioid problem and increasing barriers to nontypes of therapies the reliance on drugs decreases pharmacological care can be evaluated. If they are and this had been shown in numerous scientific serious about the opioid crisis there must be a sysstudies. Unfortunately, we still see that pharmaco- tematic change at the budgetary level for intervenlogical strategies for pain seem to receive the great- tions that substitute for drugs.” est interest and financial support in our healthcare system. Dr. Greg Johnston is a Chiropractor To paraphrase Albert Einstein, “we can’t solve a and partner in Family Health problem by using the same type of thinking we Options Treatment & Resources used when we created it”. We cannot solve a drug Centre in St.Thomas problem by simply creating and prescribing more drugs. Remember what I said about heroin. A quantum shift in the thought process with Family Owned & Operated FOr 30 years! regard to increasing funding for safe and effective alternative forms of therapy such as chiropractic both at the government level 3 Generations as well as through exof Gillies! tended healthcare plans is needed. The current opioid epidemic is a complex 21 Laing Blvd., St. Thomas and multifaceted prob633-6384 lem. The prescription Monday-Friday | 8am-5pm portion of the problem Saturday | 8am-Noon is only one part, but the best way to deal WWW.ROBGILLIESTRUCKANDAUTOSERVICE.CA with a complicated
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Healthy Living Self Discovery
The world is coming to an end, or is it? by Anouschka Van den Bosch
“Oh no! We are going to have crap coming out of the electrical outlets!” A statement like that is not exactly what you want to hear at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning. It sounded like a very serious situation; however it is 6 pm as I’m writing, and we do not have poop coming out of any electrical outlets. In fact, I believe the problem with the septic system has been located, and we should be back in business in a few hours. It sure seemed like the end of the world this morning, which made me reflect on a conversation I had earlier this week with a former colleague about the way we react to things. We both want to become less reactive. I know we are not alone. We’ve all heard many stories about the way some people tend to (over)react. When we react to a co-worker taking our
parking spot or one of the kids leaving the empty milk carton in the fridge, it is a knee-jerk reaction, something we say or do in that moment without a lot of thought. Often, we later regret what we said or did, and must backtrack. Our reaction is frequently out of anger or fear. Living in reactive mode can have detrimental mental health consequences such as anxiety and depression as well as physical health issues that may include gastrointestinal, immune, cardiovascular and endocrine issues. Personally, I try to put in place some practices that I have learned over the years through various trainings and readings. First and foremost, before I react, I take a deep breath, and maybe a few more. This allows me to think through my next step. I look at what I can say or do that will be effective for the other person as well as for myself. I want to make a conscious choice about how I will respond. We have all heard about emails or text messages
“a few deep breaths could have prevented a lot of aggravation”
that should not have been sent. Taking a few deep breaths could have prevented a lot of aggravation. I like to ask a simple question before I react to a comment that I may not agree with: “Help me understand”. It leads to mutual respect and allows both parties to express their points of view. Earlier I mentioned that reactions come from fear or anger. Try to notice your emotions as you react to a situation. Stop and think where these emotions are coming from. It is okay to have these emotions; however facts will always lead to a better decision. Learning how to respond takes time. There are still plenty of occasions where I go into reactive mode. Sometimes I come out of it quickly by thinking about the consequences of my words and actions five minutes from now. Some might feel that responding, rather than reacting, can be too passive. I disagree. Responding signals that I have given the other person or situation considerable thought. Sometimes that may mean that I am not responding in a way the other person was expecting me to, and I am okay with that. I love the simple quote from Zig Ziglar that sums this up nicely: “To respond is positive, to react is negative”.
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Supplies upplies ffor Students is an annual initiative run by volunteers eers of the Thames Valley Education Foundation. The goal is to ensure every child in need starts the school year with a new backpack filled with school supplies. New Backpack and School Supply Drop off supplies Loc oc ocation in St. Thomas is Family Video. If you know a child who could benefit from receiving a filled backpack from Supplies for Students, please contact the child’s school Principal.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 25
BUSINESS & COMMUNITY Your Team
Why every employer should serve chocolate that they have had a tough day, We were recently doing an outdoor training have worked session on a very warm day, with leaders from hard or have a ‘high-end’ service organization. We threw a a lot going bag of mixed mini chocolate bars in the water on. We all cooler as an afterthought, just in case a small have a lot on snack might be needed. As the group was doing our plate, and a team building activity, one of the participants when someone lets you noticed the bag of chocolate and teasingly asked know they ‘see it’ or ‘get it’ why we hadn’t passed it out yet – they wanted in some small way, it can the chocolate. go a long way to help We thought it probably wouldn’t be wanted them through the day. because it was a warm day, and this team has In our example, most of a very sophisticated palate due to the nature the team hadn’t had time of their work and the service they provide. So for lunch, were tired and we brought the simple plastic bag of chocolate hungry and were grateful out and within the remaining 90 minutes, the that we had thought to chocolate was devoured – younger, older, men pack a little chocolate as a ‘pick-me-up’ to help and woman alike. They all wanted the chocolate. them get through the next few hours. Lesson learned: 4. You never know what someone else might There were a few key lessons that we learned be dealing with and how that might influence from this experience. their behaviour or performance. Compassion 1. Number one, never assume. You need to ask is critical to mobilizing others. In our example, people what they need or want to understand the team was able to complete some great work what they value. right up to the end of the session. 2. Recognition doesn’t have to be fancy. It Although it’s not just about the chocolate, we can be something as simple as passing out mini do want to share not only our own ability to chocolate bars in a meeting or offering popsicles be motivated by a piece of chocolate, but some on a hot day. other facts about the sweet treat that might in3. People like to be recognized. Recognized terest you. According to a recent article posted on BBC, Eric Cornell, who won the Nobel Prize in Phys25 Years of T.V, Stereo, ics in 2001, told New Home & Renovation Reuters: “I attribute essentially all my sucHome Installations, Surround cess to the very large amount of chocoSound Systems, P/C and late that I consume.” Internet Solutions, Car If you’re still not convinced, here are Audio and much more. some interesting facts about chocolate from gourmethealthychocolates.com. • It is estimated that approximately 1 billion people eat chocFrom Restaurants and Bars
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olate every day. • The average American consumes 12 pounds of chocolate a year. • The average European consumes 15 pounds of chocolate a year. • Nine out of ten people love chocolate. • Fifty percent of the population cannot live without chocolate every day. • Chocolate is known to increase serotonin and dopamine. • The topic of chocolate is universal. • Chocolate in its raw form is the highest antioxidant food on the planet. • Theobromine is a natural ingredient that is a safer alternative as compared to caffeine and is a vasodilator which opens the blood vessels that helps reduce blood pressure and may even help with high cholesterol. • Chocolate helps curb your appetite and has been proven to help you lose weight. So, don’t underestimate the power of a small gesture … one that might include a small chocolate. Nancy Annett, MBA, CHRP and Laura Pavilonis, MBA CHRP own Flashpoint Training and Development.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 26
Business & Community Marketing
The second biggest reason why they don’t buy from you by Bob Clarke “Ten and a half minutes,” Ronda said. What? I snapped back, are you kidding me? “Nope, he took ten and a half minutes from landing on our homepage to making the purchase. It’s a new record.” Every sale makes us feel good for many reasons, but that sale was special. It was special because it proved to us we had built undeniable trust into our website. It’s the only explanation when someone pays $1800 within 10.5 minutes of finding you. Why they don’t buy Lack of trust is the second biggest reason potential buyers don’t buy from you. That should be an obvious statement to any seller but it’s not. Why? Because we simply don’t think about it. We are trustworthy. It’s a matter of fact. And it’s such an obvious fact to us that we don’t consider the fact that anyone would have concerns about it. But they do. Potential buyers have major concerns that must be laid to rest before they even think about reaching for their hard earned cash or credit cards. Here are 3 common concerns from both the online and offline world. 1. Am I getting the best deal? 2. Do they have a good reputation – who else has bought from them? 3. Do they have a money back guarantee – refund or return policy? Why are these 3 important? • Because no-one likes to pay too much. • They want to be sure you are safe to deal with. • And if something goes wrong they want their money back. Do I trust them? Think of who you do repeat business with locally or online and ask yourself, why? If your answer is, because I like them, that translates into “I trust them”. Not many people like people they don’t trust. Years ago I spoke to the owner of a large com-
pany who supplied artificial plants to office buildings. He told me that Halifax was a tough market to break into even though his company had a better pricing scheme and better service than the present company that had most of the business. The reason? They had always done business with the other company, trusted them, and therefore were willing to put up with higher prices. Bob Clarke is chief idea guy behind 99 billion served - that’s a big trust sign Marketing Made Easy. As a certified People go to McDonald’s not because they trainer, coach, and expert in human have the tastiest food available but because they behaviour, he knows how to get are consistent. People trust the golden arches you more sales, making you the because they get the same results whether they most money possible, all with the fewest problems buy a Big Mac in London, England or London, online and off. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ontario. visit www.marketingmem.com. Large companies pay a lot of money to build trust into their brand. As a small business 100% Canadian owned and operated. you cannot afford to, but you can do inexpensive things to build that same trust into your business. Trust factor = sales If you own or plan on owning a business, online or off, you must work on your trust factor relentlessly. And make it as overwhelmingly obvious to your potential customers as you thought it was.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 27
DINING & ENTERTAINMENT FOOD & WINE
Five wine styles
that I’m drinking this summer by Jamie Quai
Glad to be back after a short writing break. As a wine lover, I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last few months. I’ve been finding fewer good value wines in the domestic market lately that really capture my attention. There have been plenty of passable, several dozen decent, even a few delicious wines, but finding captivating wines has been more challenging. There are several reasons for this which have tempered my funk. The first barrier has been the really depressed Canadian dollar. Our liquor stores deal in Canadian dollars. It seems that there has been a double whammy, as imported wines that
are in the pipeline saw prices rise to better reflect the costs (value is harder to find as prices rise), and it anecdotally seems that there is less selection in the premium category. I’m not sure whether is a result of producers holding back on selling until the dollar rises, or whether the LCBO is scaling back selection. Or, as I mentioned, it’s an anecdotal observation not based in reality (sometimes called an alternative fact, these days). Other domestic producers are benefiting from the competitive exchange rate, but it seems that in the premium categories, wineries are still moving through the mediocre vintages (2013, 2014). Regardless, the outcome is the same; it’s tougher to be a value wine lover. It’s not all doom and gloom though. I’ve seen a little shift in the last couple of months, and I’m happy to report that I’ve got some delicious value picks for my go-to summer wines. The first wine style I have in my glass this summer is Grower Champagne. What is Grower Champagne, you ask? The vast majority of the Champagne regions’ wines are produced by large
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Jamie Quai is head winemaker at Quai du Vin Estate Winery in Elgin County, and 2016 Ontario Grape King.
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wineries. Think Bollinger, Tattinger, or Veuve Cliquot. But there is a movement of small scale independent growers or producers who make unique cuvees that reflect the special characteristics of their site. Tough to find. Definitely worth the search. The next wine I am seeking out is Torrontes from Argentina. The country is still massively over producing wine so prices have been kept relatively low. This white grape is floral, perfumed, and just a perfect hot weather wine. The jug-wine quality producers seem to dominate our shelves, but there are the occasional wines that just over deliver from these wineries. I’ve noticed a real evolution in unoaked, or low oak red wines from Ontario in the past few months that are terrific options for summer. In the last week alone, I’ve had Gamay Noir’s and Cabernet Francs, completely unoaked, that will perfectly pair with a well topped burger. The absence of oak and some judicious tannin management, have left these wines uncomplicated, approachable, and versatile in warm weather where refreshing is more important than full-bodied. Any summer diet that is rich in sea food or fresh greens needs a good amount of wines from the Loire Valley. If you’ve read any of my articles over the last half decade, I may sound like a broken record. The Loire is all about refreshing, dynamic, and wonderful wines. From Sauvignon Blancs, to Chenin, from Muscadets, to Chinon, and don’t forget about Rose D’Anjou – this region has it all. This region is also well known for being home to some of the most ecologically-friendly producers in all of Europe. My final recommendation is anything German from the 2015 vintage. Germany is still widely regarded as one of the best white wine producing countries in the world. The wines are rich, complex and layered. 2015 is being widely acknowledged as an amazing vintage. One of the best in most consumers’ memories. While there are several really good examples available in store, our provincial liquor stores are really offering quite a 2015 German selection online, as they continue to roll out this avenue of accessibility. Enjoy the sunshine!
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519 TALBOT STREET ST. THOMAS (Ample parking at rear) 519-631-3330 • www.yurekpharmacy.com An Iaddress soaold, theb area code. t’s all b o they u t dmade e p e nitda I l It y
Fool-proof ways to bring pattern into your home
by Renée Carpenter
I often hear clients express their concern about adding patterns and colour to a room – not that they’re totally against it, but perhaps they’re not sure how or when to add it so that it can either always be ‘in’ or can easily be changed if not ‘in’ or they get tired of it. I personally love patterns and colour in a room – and not just a pattern but layering patterns to bring interest to a room. I’ll share some trendy fool-proof ways to bring pattern into your home. As usual, what’s old is new again. Remember the classic Buffalo check? Well, gladly, it’s back again and trendier than ever due to its wide versatility in colour options. I love pairing a large, oversize Buffalo check with a smaller pattern, whether it is a polka-dot or floral if a more feminine approach is desired. But it can also be transformed into a masculine direction based on the colour chosen. Very versatile. If you are looking for something not so subtle, look no further than the Kaleidoscope print. Although initially an in-your-face type approach, it actually brings symmetry to a space and is achieved in scales small and large. By choosing a floral print, the look can be softened. For a more modern edge, geometric designs step into play. Currently this involves hexagons, diamonds, triangles – does this take you back to 8th grade math class? The fun part about these geomet-
ric shapes is that they pair nicely with less angular patterns, and even florals to soften the edge. Botanicals are a classic – just change the type of leaf and you are still up with the trends. For now we are seeing banana leaves, ferns and palm leaves. Graphic plant prints are continually evolving to fit both modern and traditional spaces. To keep it more contemporary, incorporate an abstract botanical on a bedding to keep it more subtle and soft. Try a bold banana leaf print on the pillows, wallpaper or artwork. Loving the retro throwback – and nothing does it better than with pattern! It’s those large-scale prints with ephemeral colour schemes and shapely patterns that takes you back decades. Want to evoke prints worthy of the Atomic Age? Try a diamondesque wallpaper on one wall and add a funky chair fabric. There are many pattern options so I’ll list only a couple more but one of my favourites is the Greek Key. It’s one of the oldest known patterns since its ancient namesake civilization. It is still used in today’s buildings that follow a classic architectural order. But it’s also used in the home décor world as a fresh application of an ancient motif. I find it can be used in a number of different home styles. And last but certainly not least is the consistent show of animal print. In a colour- and pattern-filled room, add an animal print for a trendy update. Because they are so incredibly versatile, it can become almost like a neutral, especially when working with
a tone-on-tone, sometimes even becoming the most subdued when mixed in with other prints. Bring out a little ‘wild’ and either have fun or add elegance. Animal prints can go either way. Renée Carpenter owns Jennings Furniture and Design in St. Thomas. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 29
Lifestyle Time On My Hands
I love Canada, travel and quotes by Duncan Watterworth
“… and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot “Why do you go away? So that you can come back (and) see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours.” Terry Pratchett So do yourself and your country a favour: Get out! “A human is a bipedal mammal that constantly compares.” Comparing and contrasting is how we learn. So foreign travel will bring a new sharpness to our perceptions and depth to our understanding of our home turf. And, I’d bet my kayak, a greater appreciation. Full disclosure: I love travel. I love Canada. And I love quotes. Most of my travel has been in non-Western and developing countries. That is where the diverse cultures, adventure, and wonder are, as well as endless examples of human spirit and ingenuity. I don’t travel just to be educated about my own country. That’s a bonus. But I’ve learned this: the more of the planet I see, the more grateful I am that I was born in Canada. Long ago I was following a group of porters up a steep trail in the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal. They made their living carrying huge loads. At a rest stop I tried to lift one of the loads, and couldn’t budge it. We all smiled and laughed. In the colourful markets of India last year, we also saw many heavy loads being carried, sometimes by old men and women. The plazas of Mexican cities, ringed by grand colonial architecture, are great places to people-watch. But there are men trudging around all day, wooden trays hanging from their necks, trying to make a living selling chewing gum. Blind beggars sing on street corners. In India, near the opulent forts and palaces,
begging mothers held up their tiny babies. We were told to give them nothing but food, as money would go back to their bosses. The disabled begged, perhaps displaying a deformed leg. Children begged instead of attending school. Employed commuters in Indian cities are caught in horrendous traffic jams I couldn’t imagine facing daily, with countless scooters, pushcarts, and the occasional Brahma bull. And don’t even ask about the Delhi subway. Guatemala is a beautiful country of flowers, volcanoes, and coffee. But the social disruption of civil war lingers. A guard with a shotgun fronts every bank and upscale store. And then there is the good old U.S.A., where I also love to travel. It is clearly a first world country, except in many urban and rural areas. Millions living in mobile homes. Millions without medical insurance. Much crime, guns, and jails. There are many wonderful countries to visit and explore, but each is lacking in some elements. Canada, on the other hand, pretty well has it all: water, resources, food, and space; a high standard of living; a safe and stable society; a good education system; government health care; democracy, human rights, rule of law. Even scenery, and some culture. It’s too easy to take all this for granted. It was probably a travelling Canadian who first said, “I don’t know who discovered water, but it probably wasn’t a fish.” So get out, if you possibly can, and get your eyes opened to how lucky we are. And – I’m sorry – one more quote. It’s a little tired, but a lot true. “If you were born in Canada, you have already won the lottery.”
Duncan Watterworth is a life-long resident of Elgin County and a retired lawyer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
O, Happy Day
Earlier this year, the commemorative Clarence “Hap” Day banner was moved from the Air Canada Centre to the City of St. Thomas; it now hangs in Memorial Arena. Until 1990, Hap’s son Kerry Day (pictured) owned and operated Elgin Handles which Hap purchased after he retired from a lengthy career in hockey, making the Railway City home. Hap was captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs for 10 years starting in 1927, and he scored the first Stanley Cup Final goal in Leaf’s history on April 15, 1932. He was traded to the New York Americans in 1937, but returned to coach the Leafs from 1940 to 1950, including five Stanley Cups. Like many hockey stars of the 1920s and 1930s, he learned his hockey under less than ideal conditions, often walking miles through snow to play. But he always had a terrific attitude – his nickname came from a school janitor during his childhood who called him “Happy”, later shortened to “Hap”.
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 30
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An interview with Locke Insurance Brokers What’s the most imLocke Insurance Brokers has a history portant leadership lesdating back to 1929. Brieﬂy, how did it son you’ve learned and evolve to where it is today? how is it valuable? The business opened during the great Most recently we depression by Percy Locke. He left a cawere added to the elite reer as an Engineer with the railroad to roster of the IBAO’s start his own business which successfully Beyond Best in Class grew from a simple home oﬃce to Talbot Street, St. Thomas. Many of his ﬁrst clients graduates, which and their families are still clients today. taught us invaluable His son John Locke joined in 1955 and lessons, reﬂecting on then the business saw a merger in 1978 all of our past teachwith Donald Mortin, becoming Mortin and ings and focusing the Locke Insurance Brokers. David Locke – vision for the future. son of John, joined the business in 1987 Innovate, stay current and computerization occurred. David’s and accommodate clibrother-in-law Tom Hughes joined in 1999 ent needs has and will (From left) Tom Hughes, Sarah Groeneweg and David Locke. just as Don Mortin retired. More space remain our mission. was needed, so the building expanded into the adjacent premises Tell us about a bit about how mentoring has played a role in your and technology continued to advance. David’s daughter, Sarah Groe- history and evolution. neweg (Locke) joined the ﬁrm in 2014. The lessons of success haven’t changed much since 1929 so with In a rapidly changing world due to technology, there’s some our history these teachings have been passed on through the gendoubt about how far ahead any business can plan. Think back ﬁve erations. We hope to be able to continue passing them on for many and ten years? Did you envision where you are today is where you more years. would be? How do you work to mentor others? Our industry tends to be lagging behind other similar industries We’ve seen great succession happen within our oﬃce from staﬀ (life) on the tech side. That being said, we’re moving from paper who have move up the ranks. Most recently one of our front line rebased transactions and proof of insurance to electronic documenta- ception staﬀ successfully completed the Registered Insurance Brotion. There is more automation which helps turn-around time but also kers of Ontario License and is now working as a broker. But we’re not allows for faster changes. Which is not necessarily allowing for time all about business; we’re about St. Thomas! All of us are very involved to see the consequences of the changes. in the community we live. We volunteer on a number of boards and With Sarah coming on board, Locke is a fourth-generation family sports teams. business. Can you tell us about some of the joys and challenges of What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? managing this transition? - Work Hard and treat clients as you would want to be treated Having a new generation of broker on board is really refreshing. (David) It helps us better understand the needs of the new consumer. The - If you’re waiting for the perfect time, you may be waiting forever challenge is meeting those needs without compromising the needs of (Sarah). other generations. Think texts vs home visits and mailed documents - “Either act and not worry or decide not to act and not worry. vs cloud based documents. Worrying is useless.” – Richard Koch (Tom)
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E L G I N T H I S M O N T H 32