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MARKETING STRATEGIES TO Achieve & Sustain Your Visibility






LM Private Wealth Team reveals their

best advice.

2019 | 2020





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WE LOVE REVEAL NIAGARA MAGAZINE - the feedback we have gotten from our Reveal Niagara Magazine Leisure Edition has been phenomenal. Hello Everyone! Welcome to the inaugural issue of REVEAL Niagara Magazine Business Edition! We are proud to deliver what you have asked for. We have a great line up of relevant information about what’s happening around us here in Niagara. Just like you, we are eager to stay up to date with our Niagara economic progress and excited to know more about its promising projection. In this issue, we highlight the 5-year Niagara Economic Development Strategic Plan and have some interesting and informative statistics and facts to share with you. We sit down with several cities and townships to gain perspective on what they are currently working on. We also chat with Sam Baio, the CEO of Socks for Change, that as Founder and former CEO of West 49, what made him start a nonprofit organization. We have a Q&A with one of the best wealth management companies in Southern Ontario, an interview with Francesca “Fran” and Gianni at LM Wealth Management. As the region prepares for the 2021 Canada Summer Games, Julie Stevens, Ph.D., Special Advisor to the President Canada Games, identifies what sport can offer the Niagara economy.

In this day and age, the market is fierce. Businesses understand that they need to be more visible in the marketplace in order to stay competitive. That being said, it is critical to talk about marketing, sales, and service--how these topics affect their bottom line and how to properly apply these concepts today. We also have gathered helpful facts for your entrepreneurial journey called “The Edge". As we aim to satisfy our readership, this publicaton is both in print and online: Direct mailed to businesses throughout the Niagara Golden Horseshoe and positioned globally online thru our websites and on ISSUU. This publication also includes an interactive augmented reality feature called Link Reader, powered by HP REVEAL. Grab a physical copy or download our every issue and enjoy! Be sure to click the links for more stories to read and videos to watch online. Feel free to drop us a line or two for any questions you may have, topics you’d like to add, or simply just to say hello. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Rowe & Brandy PUBLISHERS










D av id A ntonuc c i , C F P ; Franc e s c a M a i o l o, C F P , C I M , FS C I ; a n d G i a n n i Leo n etti , C LU, C H S, R FC (le f t t o r ig h t )







Vol. 1 | Issue One


PUBLISHERS Rowe Prudente & Brandy Herderson publishers@owneramedia.com EDITOR IN CHIEF Rowe Prudente rowe@owneragroup.com MANAGING EDITOR Brandy Henderson brandy@owneragroup.com BUSINESS DIRECTOR Jackie Agnew jackie@owneragroup.com CREATIVES Ownera Media DIGITAL COORDINATOR Paradigm Ventures Niagara PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Barry Smith, Laura Reid, Bethany Loewen, Niagara Helicopters, & Venture Niagara COPYWRITE CONTRIBUTORS Julie Stevens, Isabell Camillo, Hugo Chesshire, Erin King, Kristen Nagel, & Marley Keynes






owneramedia.com publishers@owneramedia 289-501-0090 4551 Zimmerman Ave. Niagara Falls, ON, Canada L2E 3M5

CONNECT WITH US L linkedin.com/company/ownera-media I instagram.com/revealniagara F facebook.com/revealniagara T twitter.com/revealniagara








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ECONOMICS NIAGARA COMPETES WITH A STRATEGIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 5-YEAR PLAN.....................8 THE 3 KEY SECTORS...........................................................................................................................................................10 GOVERNMENT BUDGET IN ACTION..........................................................................................................................14 NIAGARA SMART CITY......................................................................................................................................................16 OPEN FOR BUSINESS, WHAT CAN SPORT OFFER THE NIAGARA ECONOMY.......................................21 BUSINESS


FIND YOUR WORK SPACE...............................................................................................................................................31 YOUR FRIENDLY REMINDER: TAX CREDITS & GRANTS.....................................................................................33 BECOME A SOUGHT-AFTER EMPLOYER..................................................................................................................36 RE-DEFINE A FAMILY FRIENDLY WORKPLACE.......................................................................................................40 THE FUTURE OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND BLOCKCHAIN.................................................................42 COMMUNITY SMALL CHANGE MAKES A LARGE IMPACT.............................................................................................................44



COVER STORY LM PRIVATE WEALTH, EXPERIENCE THE BEST ADVICE.....................................................................................24

MARQUEE FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE...............................................................................................................................................28

SALES & SERVICE GET THE INSIDE VIEW WITH CRYSTAL D'CUNHA................................................................................................35 MARKETING 8 MARKETING STRATEGIES TO ACHIEVE & SUSTAIN VISIBILITY IN THE MARKETPLACE.................48 THE EDGE INFORMATION FOR THE NEXT LEVEL OF SUCCESS..........................................................................................50 INCOGNITO OPEN FOR BUSINESS



THE NIAGARA AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS....................................................................................................46

Reveal Magazine is published by Ownera Media, a subsidiary of Ownera Group Inc. Opinions expressed in Reveal Magazine are not necessarily those of Ownera Media or Ownera Group Inc, their owners, employees, or stakeholders. All submitted content inclusive of photography is assumed to be intended for publication. The right to edit, alter or refuse content is assumed. All material and content submitted to Ownera Media for purpose of publication is done so at the risk of the submitter. Ownera Media does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the information contained in this publication. Ownera Media is not responsible for any products or services of any third-party advertiser or the content in any advertising of such advertisers. Ownera Media, a subsidiary of Ownera Group Inc, a proud Canadian company.




Niagara Region

COMPETES strategic with a


economic development




The Niagara region’s geographical location has been a significant attribute to the region’s economy for centuries. How Niagara situates in the world map plays a vital role to understand that Niagara is or has always been poised to compete globally.

and Canadian and U.S. economic instabilities. Per the most recent surveys, when compared to other regions in Ontario, Niagara shows areas that require evident improvement. Statistics Canada report shows that Niagara has challenges in unemployment rate, participation rate, household income per capita, and age of population. As an example, when compared to Peel region respectively, Niagara’s average age of population is 43.8 versus Peel’s at 38.1. Although, from the untapped potential perspective, Niagara’s

Today, the Niagara region is critically right in centre of one of North America’s busiest economic trade corridors. The proximity to two Canadian provinces and nine U.S. states, with combined GDP of $5.6 trillion, gives the Niagara region a strategic advantage specifically for logistics and supply chain management. As recently published, the Niagara Region Economic Development has created the strategic plan for the next five years. The plan explores various solutions to strengthen and enhance the region’s labour force, land development, accessibility, approval process, and more. The strategies are magnified to focus on these three key sectors: MANUFACTURING, AGRI BUSINESS, and TOURISM. The Niagara Economic Development gives an undertaking that they shall intensify and sustain Niagara's progressive economic position, assertively pursue more investment acquisitions, and increase job creation for the years ahead. The Niagara Economic Development also recognizes the larger challenges that may adversely affect the economic growth momentum such as trade protectionism, border controls, @revealniagara

Niagara’s ability to compete against other regions can be exemplified through several competitive factors such as its natural and geological characteristics and resources; current capital formation and rehabilitation; human resources’ active reinforcement; technological innovation and advancement; and social and political cooperation. total land area is 1,857 sq. km. with population of only 241.8 dwellers per sq. km., whereas, Peel’s total land area is 1.257 sq. km. with population of 1180 dwellers per sq. km. These indicators show that Niagara can relatively scale some degree of population growth amongst economic growth. Niagara’s ability to compete against other regions can be exemplified through several competitive factors such as its natural and geological characteristics and resources;

current capital formation and rehabilitation; human resources’ active reinforcement; technological innovation and advancement; and social and political cooperation. Therefore, the ideal economic development strategies for Niagara will be dependent upon how the strengths and challenges of this region are assessed and analyzed, leveraging the region’s competencies and deliver the optimum solution to achieve the goal.

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NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Area: 132.83 sq. km.

GRIMSBY Area: 68.94 sq. km. LINCOLN Area: 162.86 sq. km.

THOROLD Area: 83 sq. km.

WEST LINCOLN Area: 387.72 sq. km.

PELHAM Area: 126.42 sq. km. WELLAND Area: 81.09 sq. km.

WAINFLEET Area: 217.29 sq. km.


ST. CATHARINES Area: 96.11 sq. km.


Total Land Area: 1,854.23 sq. km. Population: 447,888 (2016) NIAGARA FALLS Area: 209.58 sq. km. Average Popultaion Age: 43.8 yrs. old (2016) Workforce Population: 218,151 (2018) Workforce with Post-Secondary Education: 58.9 % of 25-64 (2016) Household Median Income After Tax: $58,285 (2016)

PORT COLBORNE Area: 121.97 sq. km.

FORT ERIE Area: 166.35 sq. km.

Nominal GDP: 17.2 BILLION (2018) Total Businesses: 40,673 (2018) Total Businesses with Employees: 13,326 (2018) Small & Medium Companies (1-499 employees): 99.8% (2017) Large Companies (500+ employees): 0.2% (2017) Top Sector by Employment: RETAIL TRADE (2017) Top Sector in Export: MANUFACTURING (2017) Top Sector by Growth: REAL ESTATE (2017)



Photo provided by Niagara Helicopters . A perfect shot showcasing Niagara’s world -class tourism, hospitality, and aerospace industries. reveal NIAGARA BUSINESS MAGAZINE

THE 3 KEY SECTORS Highlighting the Sectors Driving Niagara’s Economy

Niagara is very well known for the majestic Niagara Falls, drawing in millions of visitors every year to see and experience the wonder. Today, the entire Niagara region is becoming known for its many assets that are attracting people to stay longer and build their homes and businesses in Niagara. There are numerous strategic advantages to doing business in Niagara, like the perfect positioning between the United States and the Greater Toronto Area, providing a generous economic advancement opportunity. While Niagara may be considerably smaller than the noted neighbours such as Toronto, Detroit, or New York, Niagara is packing quite the punch as a region when it comes to critical pieces of the puzzle such as transportation, trade, distribution, skilled labour, tax credits, and even financing.

MANUFACTURING “MANUFACTURING CURRENTLY ACCOUNTS FOR THE LARGEST PORTION OF THE REGION’S GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP ).” Manufacturing is big business in Niagara and has a long history since being known as a powerhouse in automotive, paper, and steel manufacturing @revealniagara

employing tens of thousands of people so many years ago. While the manufacturing sector of Niagara looks very different today than it did back then, it is still the 4th largest sector in Niagara, employing nearly 20,000 people in areas of transport equipment, fabricated metal, machinery, food, beverage, and tobacco. Nearly all areas have seen steady growth in their respective spaces since 2011, and this is expected to continue

as more companies outside of Niagara see the value in what the region offers. Manufacturing currently accounts for the largest portion of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). With more than 600 manufacturing businesses in Niagara, it is home to some incredible companies like Airbus Helicopters, Bosch Rexroth Canada Corp, General Motors, and Innio, to name just a few.


TOURISM “NIAGARA PLAYS HOME TO A SPRAWLING ECO -TOURISM ENVIRONMENT WELL BEYOND THE MAJESTIC WATERFALLS, EXPANSIVE CYCLING, AND HIKING TRAILS. . . There’s no disputing Niagara’s history in tourism and the mighty Niagara Falls, drawing in millions of visitors every year. What was once viewed as a seasonal hotspot or a bucket list destination, Niagara is quickly evolving to a complete four-season vacation destination and one of Canada’s most popular destinations for conventions and conferences. Niagara truly has more to offer than ever before, with no signs of slowing down. With over 2,500 businesses employing over 36,000 people, Niagara tourism assets continue to grow at such a rapid rate. Niagara invests in more strategic approaches to growing its existing tourism foundation while also expanding and creating others. Niagara continue to support and enhance our 650+ restaurants, 180+ hotels, 100+ wineries, 95+ arts & culture establishments, 35+ golf courses, and 14+ breweries while seeking every opportunity to expand its sports and eco-tourism footprints. Since securing the bid for the 2021 Canada Summer

Photo provided by Venture Niagara. An enjoyable nature cycling experience Niagara offers.

Games, which has an estimated $200 million economic impact, numerous organizations across Niagara have plans to grow various levels of sports tourism well beyond the large players Niagara had already been able to draw in. By leveraging sports facilities throughout the region to host events, leagues, and tournaments across every tier, Niagara can promote more niche visitors spreading into smaller communities. The region can accomplish this by drawing in more spectators for large and small sporting events and encouraging a more active role in playing host to more developmental and minor sports events. With green assets, Niagara also does not dismiss its growing eco-tourism capabilities. Niagara plays home to a sprawling ecotourism environment, well beyond the majestic waterfalls, expansive cycling, and hiking trails that take you all throughout the greenbelt. The conversations surrounding sustainable travel and eco-travel are all about creating better experiences overall. Encouraging the exploration of a location's natural landscape and heritage is just one component of this movement, with which Niagara is embracing several eco-tourism ideals. Just look at its sustainable agriculture growth, the explosion of micro-breweries, innovative distilleries, solid wineries, and the focus on locally grown culinary experiences all throughout Niagara. One of the most impactful things a visitor can do when visiting is to support local as much as possible through buying local, using local guides, and supporting local cuisine. The Niagara visitor’s experience overall, will be an enriching one. ▼


The manufacturing landscape in Niagara is diverse and strong, with many organizations driven to remain competitive in the global marketplace by leveraging local technology, resources, and innovation. The Niagara region services a variety of domestic and global markets but becoming Ontario’s first Foreign Trade Zone Point has certainly played a substantial role in manufacturing exportable goods. By allowing goods to flow into Canada tax and duty free when being used to manufacture products specifically intended for export, companies have had greater access to growing this portion of their business to remain competitive. Being one of North America’s busiest economic trade corridors, $100 billion in trade goods travel across Niagara borders each year by land, sea, and sky. The Niagara Region continues to strengthen its position by providing business owners with the tools and support to leverage all assets and grow their footprint. A team of private and public sector experts has been commissioned to improve the overall access of information, incentives, and programs to help the businesses in Niagara improve their international efforts.



Niagara will continue to develop and train an ongoing pool of highly skilled workforce to support the next top crop of Canada.”

Lake Erie. These assets, however, extend well beyond its most familiar assets. Niagara provides a healthy supply of livestock farmers, dairy farmers, and greenhouse growers for flowers, all-season fruits and vegetables, and the recently growing cannabis marketspace. An estimated $320 million has been recently invested directly into the food and beverage industries,


and Niagara Region reported in 2018 that the average net farm revenues increased by 47% from 2011 to 2016. Niagara continuously seeks innovative opportunities and approaches to how crops are being grown. Niagara has some impressive partnerships with research institutions that are at the forefront of bio-manufacturing and precision agriculture. These

▼ With an expansive natural green

space, fruit-belt reputation, and the large winery industry, it’s no secret that agri-business continues to be a fundamental pillar of the Niagara economy. With over 215,000 acres of farmland, there are more than 2,000 farms and greenhouses that employ over 20,000 people. Niagara is proud to harbour some of Canada’s best growing conditions as a result of its microclimate created by the unique footprint of the Niagara Escarpment, Lake Ontario, and


Research Institutions in Niagara ►






collaborative partnerships are with institutions such as Vineland Research and Innovation Centre; Niagara College Food and Wine Institute; Niagara College Agriculture and Environment Innovation Centre; Brock University Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute; and Brock University Advanced BioManufacturing Centre. We cannot talk agri-business growth without mentioning the almost 2 million square feet of licensed cannabis cultivation in Niagara, with considerable

expansion expectations in the coming years. With the support of Niagara College’s Commercial Cannabis Production Program, Niagara will continue to develop and train an ongoing pool of highly skilled workforce to support the next top crop of Canada.



The City of Welland allocated $250,000 in grants last year, which assisted businesses with façade updates, building improvements, and also created better accessibility for patrons. Are you eligible for a Community Improvement Plan? Are you ready to make some improvements that could help your business gain a better first impression? Visit www.welland.ca for Community Improvement Plan Incentive details, or contact the city for a consultation. City of Welland Infrastructure and Development Services Planning Division 905-735-1700 Ext. 2258 devserv@welland.ca




Title here our government Sub title

Budget in ACTION Author’s name

Government budget is not just a financial plan, but a statement of intent and vision.

by: Hugo Chesshire

Director of Policy and Government Relations Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC)

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the champion for the Niagara business community. With almost 1,600 members representing 50,000 employees, it is the largest business organization in Niagara and third largest Chamber in Ontario. Become a member, visit our website: gncc.ca

Happy or not, alcohol matters made its way in Ontario Budget 2019 .


“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” -- Joe Biden

Whirlpool Bridge was under construction in spring 2019. Nexus Members access only

economic downturns. A large debt would make debt servicing costs very high if interest rates were to shoot up, and the need to avoid this essentially robs the government of interest rate hikes as a policy tool to, for example, cool off the housing market, or encourage investment and saving. One reason we are running deficits and deepening the debt is infrastructure. A lot of Canada’s infrastructure was built decades ago, when economic growth was stronger, tax revenues were higher, and municipal governments had income from industrial taxpayers, many of whom have since left. That infrastructure is now in need of repair and replacement. In 2015, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities estimated the value of that backlog as $200 billion. This is somewhere on the lower end of estimates that have, in recent years, varied from $50 billion to $570 billion. Whatever the value, it needs to be addressed, and the government is allocating funds to do this, not only directly but through, for example, a one-time doubling of Gas Tax cash for municipal infrastructure spending. This is a good choice. Infrastructure maintenance is like car maintenance: the longer it is put off, the more it will eventually cost. Borrowing now, at low rates, to invest in that infrastructure is smart long-term thinking, and that is something we need more of in politics.

“One reason we are

running deficits and deepening the debt is infrastructure. A lot of Canada’s infrastructure was built decades ago, when economic growth was stronger, tax revenues were higher...

he federal budget signals the priorities and values of the government. The full budget is 464 pages long, but this is a short column. I’m sure you’ll forgive me for focusing on a few items of significance rather than exhaustively examining the whole thing. One clear signal the budget sends is the Government of Canada’s commitment to free trade between the provinces, particularly in alcoholic beverages. A wine region like Niagara does not need the significance of this spelled out. Budget 2019 removes the federal requirement that alcohol moving from one province to another be sold or consigned to a provincial liquor authority, potentially meaning that a Niagara winery could sell directly to a restaurant, hotel, or liquor store in Alberta, for instance. This is the first step. A free trade in alcohol across provincial borders would require the provinces themselves to also drop their requirements. That will take time and political will, but Canada has taken the first step. Now the ball is in another court. Let’s talk about debts and deficits. Deficits are projected at $14.9-billion for 2018-2019 and $19.8 billion for 2019-2020, with a debt of $685.6 billion projected to rise to $761.7 billion by 2023-24. Those are very large numbers. $761.7 billion in debt is about $20,500 owed by every adult and child living in Canada. It’s twelve times the size of the entire economy of Ghana. However, debt is important not as an absolute, but relative to one’s ability to pay. A staggering debt for someone on minimum wage is trifling to a multi-millionaire. We generally use debt-to-GDPi ratios to measure a country’s ability to pay, and on this scale, internationally, Canada looks good, and is well ahead of the United States, Mexico, the European Union, the UK, France, and other peer countries, many or most of which are running debts of at least double Canada’s ratio. While this ratio may be currently favourable, increasing debt leaves us vulnerable to interest rate hikes and

Gross Domestic Product: a total of all goods and ser vices produced in an economy over a period of time, usually a year; a rough measure of the size of an economy.




S O LV I N G U R B A N P R O B L E M S ,


smart city O N E S M A R T S O LU T I O N AT A T I M E The term “Smart City� is beginning to gain popularity throughout North America, but many information has remained unclear. What exactly does it mean? More importantly, how can it positively impact Niagara?


or some, these advancements to our cities can create the ultimate utopia using connected technologies and data acquisition, empowering communities to find innovative solutions to some of their most pressing urban challenges.

In Niagara, there is a large opportunity to leverage data collection and knowledge exchange through the application of smart city technologies with the direct intention of strengthening its communities in areas such as health & wellness, transportation, philanthropy, community engagement, and youth retention. When we focus on human-centered design as we start to build new, technologically enabled environments, we have an unprecedented ability to innovate while still protecting our core privacies. We can create urban spaces that use technology and data to not only serve, but also improve society. With any new technology, the potential threats to privacy are secured through appropriate protocols. These protocols are set in place to purely serve the citizens as opposed to exploit or control them. @revealniagara

The critical phase of starting a business is knowing where to go for information

Niagara has communicated its commitment to being aware of the need to balance privacy and transparency. With such a high degree of sensitivity around privacy, there is a great level of importance and commitment to inclusivity and continuous open communication.

er prise C


Sm a

l l B us i





Engaging the public as a partner in the implementation of smart city advancements is critical. In an application to the Smart Cities Canada Challenge, it was made clear that Niagara cares about privacy protection and stated further that it commits to “providing resources to ensure the protection of individual’s privacy rights, while also strengthening the volume of valuable open data publications.” 1



SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE CENTRE is the first stop for learning how to start and grow a small business.

Across North America, smart technologies such as smart parking, smart irrigation, smart water systems, interactive digital kiosks, and open source data platforms are being leveraged to drive efficiency and solve urban challenges. It has been proven that installing smart traffic lights that adapt to changing patterns, has significant impact overall. Even when only installed on key intersections, there is a positive impact to both mobility and safety. In this case, the data collected is used to reduce wait times at intersections, decreases vehicle emissions, reduce overall transit travel time, and improve emergency vehicle response times.

Free Consultation Market Research Assistance Business Seminars, Workshops, & Events Business Plan Development Assistance Shared Business Space Access to Funded Programs

The use of wireless sensors to create smarter parking management has also been adopted in other urban centres. It is going as far as adjusting prices in real time based upon the number of spaces available and ultimately, allowing travelers to easily locate the closest available parking spot. For Niagara, the vision to improve the overall community cohesion is an exciting one. By creating a digital ecosystem designed to enable the society to be more visible and connected with one another, the region can become more efficient, synergistic, sustainable, and progressive.

Sources: 1 Smart Cities Niagara Application, 2018, sourced at smartcitiesniagara.ca



the data has a good idea


mwarchala@niagarafalls.ca PHONE:

905-356-7521 Ext. 5004 ADDRESS:

4343 Morrison Street Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6Z9




OPEN DATA â–ź The ability to access highly detailed

data sets for public consumption is a critical component to becoming an effective smart city. True openness does require a shift in government culture, and the rewards are great. As cities across North America embrace the openness of data, there are tremendous examples of economic boosts related through empowering citizens. Niagara has long since embraced open data policies, supporting innovation and socio-economic development by sharing data about assets such as transportation routes, heritage sites, trails, urban boundaries, and zoning. Access to data sets allows members of the community to analyze, develop, and present solutions to community challenges. Open data is truly the first step to creating an inclusive and civic minded smart community.

SMART TRANSPORTATION Growth across the region is occurring at rapid rates. However, the public transit investments are not keeping the same pace, leading to more congestions and added pressure to the existing regional transit challenges. As the movement of both passengers and goods continue to grow in Niagara, the associated social, economic, and environmental impacts are growing far greater. Smart technology provides us with the ability to change how people travel, making auto, freight, and public transit more effective and efficient. The increased ability to collect and access data in Niagara has allowed for real-time transportation information to be analyzed and leveraged to improve our existing public systems, specifically more dynamic transit routing and also to promote the growth in alternate options such as ride-sharing, bicycle-sharing, and progressive parking solutions.


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smart city

SUSTAINABLE FOCUS The more technology we leverage, the more energy we consume. There is an obvious need to focus on sustainable energy sources to power our smart city initiatives. Various applications of converting solar energy into electricity in dense urban environment is an ongoing conversation, with a number of companies bringing proposed solutions to the table right here in Niagara. Sustainable lighting control systems also reduce the overall consumption of carbon emissions and maintenance costs while promoting safety through its access to real-time data that senses patron activity. Through continued discussions and implementations, Niagara continues to improve its smart city competitiveness with hopes to attract more residents and businesses in the area.

the place to be For more than a century, the club’s purpose has been to promote fellowship while maintaining an elegant, respectful and inviting business space for all club members and those who may join them. Located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines, becoming a member of the St. Catharines club not only presents you with limitless social and industry networking and a professional meeting space, but also a home away from home to enjoy. When you join the club, you join a community.





IT’S TO BE in GRIMSBY Located right at the tip of the Niagara region, the midpoint proximity to metropolitan Toronto and the world-class Niagara destination, Grimsby has now become one of the trendiest places to live in Ontario. Grimsby is rich in history, named after a fishing town in north-east Londonshire, a county in eastern England known for its long coastline, Grimsby boasts a beautiful Lake Ontario coastline and the natural bounty of the Niagara Escarpment. Grimsby’s demographic has changed over the years and has experienced significant economic growth in many sectors. Grimsby continuously thrives and has so much more to offer.

To live here

As a town that has seen tremendous growth over the past few years, it still possesses the wonderful community feeling. When you walk down Main Street, pop into the café, or stop by the market, you are often greeted with a friendly “hello” from another resident. The town’s “Friendly by Nature” slogan very appropriately adorns the town sign; it is not only a sincere welcome for visitors to explore but also a reminder to the current residents who are proud to be part of such a warm and inviting community.

To visit here

Rich in both history, nature and culture, there is much to see and do when visiting Grimsby. Atop the escarpment, you will find Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. The Bruce Trail is more than 890 km long and stretches from the Niagara River to the tip of Tobermory, Ontario. If all that outdoor exploration has left you feeling parched, be sure to wet your palette at one of the nearby wineries. With Lake Ontario flanking the north side of town, there are plenty of places to go swimming, windsurfing, or launch your boat for free. Whether it’s your love of outdoors or just the overall vibe, this destination will leave an impression.

To invest here

A vibrant and progressive community, Grimsby is open for business. Council is exceedingly supportive of new business opportunities, offering an attractive location with proximity to other major cities and airports such as Hamilton, Toronto, and Buffalo. This proximity also benefits any needed travel and trade requirements, with convenient access to a number of import/ export portals. With major educational institutions such as Brock University, McMaster University, and Niagara College all nearby, there is always a skilled workforce on hand and the addition of the GoTrain transit station will support additional commuting needs. A healthy availability of commercial, office, and retail space combined with reasonable tax rates, only solidify that Grimsby is a serious place to consider investing in.

160 Livingston Avenue, Grimsby ON, L3M 4G3 | Phone: 905-945-9634 |


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by: Julie Stevens, Ph.D.

Special Advisor to the President - Canada Games Associate Prof., Department of Sport Management Director, Centre for Sport Capacity BROCK UNIVERSITY


port is tricky. In some ways you see sport everywhere – people cycling on the Greater Niagara Circle Route, youth having fun at the soccer field on a Saturday morning, joggers along the Niagara Parkway, or a National Dragonboat Championship on the Welland Canal.



▼ In other ways, sport is nowhere –

economic development strategies rarely include sport, Statistics Canada reports fail to keep pace with the growth of the sport industry, and employment data still focus upon traditional occupations, such as coaches and athletes. What might you find if you take a closer look at sport within Niagara’s economy? As the Conference Board of Canada noted over a decade ago, the range of goods and services connected to sport is complex. It’s difficult to define the sport industry and as a result, economic activity is problematic to track – but it definitely exists. For example, a 2018 study on amateur sport in Calgary identified $1.1 billion worth of expenditure related to private household consumption, government spending, balance of trade (through visitor spending and retail sales) and private capital investment. This total reflected 1% of


the city’s GDP and more importantly, affected almost 17,000 full time jobs. What might these sport-related economic stats look like in Niagara? Results from another 2018 study on sport facilities in Calgary indicate a province-wide wage and salary impact of over $15 million, and an employment impact of 270 FTE were associated with the maintenance and operations of key sport facilities in the city for a single year. Niagara is also home to sport facilities such as the Royal Canadian Henley, Welland Flatwater Centre, Meridian Centre, and Buffalo Canoe Club, which attract world-class events and in turn, bring business to the region.

markets and support new ventures to meet the demands that sport event hosting generates. Finally, there is much to gain from active sport tourism that isn’t connected to a specific organized activity or event. A key example of this is the effort of the Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre that provides resources about the region’s cycling tourism products to visitors, tour operators, businesses, and business improvement associations. In fact, the Bike Friendly Business Network

Sport tourism also presents tremendous potential for a destination such as Niagara. Sport events help the tourism community create niche

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connects business owners to cycling tourism strategies. Sport-related revenue is generated within several sectors where individuals, business, and government spend money. Sport involves Business-to-Consumer (B2C) as well as Business-to-Business (B2B) opportunities. Building awareness about sport and how it touches upon several sectors will help business owners consider ways to capitalize on this expansive market. What’s the sport angle for your business? In order to capitalize on the "sport wave", Niagara business owners must think of sport as more than the professional game you see on television or streamed on the internet. Sport exists in the commercial, nonprofit, and public sectors. Sport organizations and businesses in each of these sectors need various goods and services to operate. According to a 2016 Imagine Canada report, culture and recreation nonprofits, which includes sport, contributed nearly 11% of the sector’s

GDP in 2008. Demographic, social and cultural change are driving demand for nonprofit services and sport is part of this growth. For example, many nonprofit sport organizations include few to no paid staff but still need financial, legal, and insurance support to manage budgets, complete audits, and provide liability protection for board members and participants. Administrative and computing services are also required in order to track registrations and manage information. The areas of marketing, media and promotion are expansive as clubs and associations require publishing, social media, graphics, interactive media, and event support. There are about 3,700 municipalities in Canada and Niagara has several, of which all but one, includes a Parks and Recreation department. Each of these have facilities to maintain and renovate which require engineering,

construction, and trades services. For example, there are around 170 public outdoor tennis courts throughout Niagara region that are typically repaired every 7 years, give or take. There’s a lot of business opportunities for companies that can master court building, court surfacing, or court maintenance! On the commercial side, StatsCan reported 1,700 spectator sport businesses in Canada in 2016. These businesses manage athletes, teams, and leagues, which offers both direct, goods and services for operational support; and indirect, channels through commercial sport marketing assets to attract business. Sport is an expansive market that is open for business. All it takes is some creative thinking for Niagara businesses to capitalize on this growth opportunity.




@revealniagara @lmprivatewealth


D avi d Anto nucci , CFP ; Franc e sc a M aiol o, C F P , C IM , FS C I; a n d G i a n n i Leo n etti , C LU, C H S, R FC (le f t t o r ig ht )


At LM Private Wealth, we are fully equipped to be a central point of contact for your family’s wealth and financial affairs because we, too, are a family. Our team is dedicated to ensuring all aspects of your financial plan, from managing, preserving, and passing on wealth to future generations, are handled with the utmost care. Our team represents a diverse range of professional credentials and affiliations ensuring that you have access to the best advice.


e are committed to providing unbiased, fully transparent guidance to you and your family by putting your best interests at the forefront. You can take comfort in knowing that your best interests are our only motivation, and having a fiduciary commitment is vital to establishing your trust. You can be completely certain that any products and services we recommend are based entirely on your needs. The journey for planning a financial future is unique to everyone, and it begins to take shape at various stages throughout life. Major milestones such as planning for retirement, financing a new home, or saving for your family’s education are just a portion of what your overall financial plan should address. Working closely with a financial professional is a critical step in helping you to identify the short-term and long-term goals that will lead to your financial well-being.

Take for example planning for your retirement. This is much more than one single goal. It is a series of multiple goals that have varying levels of importance and urgency. Proper allocation of your physical assets, understanding your desired transferrable resources, and planning what types of income should be leveraged for what purpose throughout retirement are all factors that need to be carefully considered. Ideally, we all want to make the best decisions to maximize the savings and returns that can be available to us. Sometimes this may limit us from getting started or advancing our plan to a place that meets the needs of our current life goals. Therefore, connecting with a professional that can get you started is so critical. Because time, unlike other variables, is the one thing that you cannot buy back, renegotiate or borrow.

lmprivatewealth.com #revealniagara


Q& A

Who can you help?

Our services are designed for a wide range of clients who have reached a stage where the complexity of their finances requires professional guidance. Our expertise is geared towards:


♦ Busy executives and professionals looking to free their time to focus on personal and career goals

Cover Story Reveal Niagara Business Magazine

♦ Successful business owners and selfemployed professionals who need help managing personal and business assets


How would you describe LM Private Wealth’s service model?

Our mission is to provide affluent individuals with professional advice and unparalleled service in all areas of wealth management. We have an unwavering sense of loyalty and our recommendations reflect what we would do for ourselves and our own families under the same circumstances. We use an integrated approach, by considering not only your portfolio but also tax, estate and insurance planning, wealth preservation, and wealth transfer.

♦ Pre-retirees who want to make the most of their retirement savings as they approach retirement ♦ Retirings requiring innovative strategies to maximize their after-tax retirement income, while protecting their financial security ♦ Well-established families seeking professional guidance transferring wealth to the next generation in a tax-efficient manner ♦ Philanthropists looking for creative ways to enhance their legacy to chosen charities ♦ Non-profit organizations requiring assistance managing investment assets according to specific guidelines

What is the difference between investment management and wealth management? Managing investments focuses directly on asset allocation and return by measuring the success of individual assets and overall portfolio performance. Wealth management is a more holistic approach, not driven by quarterly returns, but rather what you keep over the long term.


@revealniagara @lmprivatewealth


Diversification of your portfolio is just as important for businesses as it is for one’s personal portfolio. We are often asked how many stocks a business should be invested in, which is a very tough question to answer. It’s safe to assume that having 5 for example is better than just 1, but there is also a point when adding more stocks to your portfolio no longer adds the level of value it once did. The equitable distribution and overall complexity of diversification will be heavily dependant upon the variables of the existing structure of both the business and professional portfolios. For this reason, it is not only imperative to seek expert council, but also because the management of these portfolios will take extra attentiveness and more frequent monitoring.

How do you guide spouses to be equally involved with their financial plan and/or financial future? We work with our clients based upon their individual needs and preferences, while ensuring that we recommend involvement from both parties. We allow

our clients to guide us as to the level of frequency and detail, but we begin this process as early as we can. We have seen a traditional split of financial management, with one spouse often handling investments and the other managing the ongoing day to day finances. When we facilitate both parties coming to the table to discuss the entire picture, the strength of the investment portfolio increases tremendously. It also allows both partners to be comfortable with their advisor, which ensures that should one partner be on their own down the road, the plan set in motion

to protect and provide for them continues with the highest return of success.

How is your firm helping to build financial confidence for women?


What advice do you give businesses that want to diversify?

We work with women at all stages of life, including widows, single women, professionals and retirees. We understand the unique challenges women can face and help to build financial literacy skills for long-term security.

How do you know you have the right insurance? It’s no secret that many people simply do not like talking about insurance. With so many options and variables, it can be overwhelming and hard to understand. However, before you can know what kind of insurance you require you will need to understand why you require it. To maximize your coverage and select the best plan possible, you need to work with a professional that understands your entire portfolio as it stands today as well as understand where your financial future is headed. We are committed to be that advisor that you feel comfortable enough talking to, even about the tough stuff, so that your coverage is tailored specifically to you and your family's needs.

What are the feedbacks you receive from your clients? Being in this industry for decades, we are proud to share some of our favourite testimonials from our beloved clients:

“Fran is a truly genuine person who cares about our well-being. Since working with Fran she has met and surpassed our expectations. She took the time to really get to know us which gives us every confidence that not just our financial goals are well understood but also our comfort level is taken into consideration.”


“Fran provides regular updates and is always available to answer any questions I may have or to explain options within my portfolio. I know I can call/ email her with any questions and she never makes me feel like a bother or imposition. Transitioning into retirement and learning more about investments has been so much easier. Thanks to Fran and her guidance.”

lmprivatewealth.com #revealniagara



FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE What are the most unique challenges that face women looking for financial security? In my experience, I have found that a level of confidence is the greatest challenge. With 60% of women between the ages of 45 and 54 not having a financial plan 1, their comfort level in starting a financial conversation is hard. Women often share that an intermittent work history, typically caused by motherhood and caring for a family, is one of the primary reasons why women express they feel insecure about their financial stability. Other women have shared that their spouses have handled the finances for so long that they are unsure how to approach the conversations later in life.

It is so important for women to have an advisor they are comfortable with, and 87% of women reported that they struggled to find someone they can connect with 2. When spouses work with an advisor that they are both comfortable with, it allows for both parties to engage openly in the planning. Since a woman can expect to outlive her spouse by an average of 10-15 years 3, it means more women need to be getting involved in their household finances at an earlier stage than what has traditionally occurred.

87% of women reported that they struggled to find someone they can connect with.

Resources: 1 IPC: Women and Wealth – The Changing Face of Wealth in Canada and its Implications for Advisors, 2017 2 Investors Economics Household Balance Sheet Report, 2017 3 Financial Planning Standards Council. LegerWeb online survey, Feb 21, 2018

Francesca Maiolo has over 25 years of finance and investment experience and continually commits herself to ongoing professional development. She facilitates educational symposiums and seminars that are geared toward educating women in all aspects of their finances which includes the Financial Planning for Women course she taught for over 10 years. She is passionate about women and children’s issues and contributes regularly to charities that support them. Follow Fran: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn

@lmprivatewealth in every issue of Reveal Niagara Business Magazine

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Looking around Niagara, you will find that there is an increasing amount of workspaces popping up, from incubators and accelerators to coworking spaces.


urrently, small to medium businesses make up the large majority of businesses in Niagara, and the entrepreneurial growth is rapid. Members of coworking spaces aren’t just sharing space they’re actively coming together to collaborate, support one another, and be a sounding board for ideas. These kinds of interactions allow for leverage, promote growth, and encourage prosperity for new businesses. By joining a community of like-minded individuals, you are not only positively impacting your bottom line with lower operating costs tied to rent, you are also entering an engaging relationship with other entrepreneurs eager to work with you. These spaces exist all throughout our regional infrastructure, through both private sector development and municipally owned spaces. From small business enterprise centres, to incubators, accelerators, and coworking spaces. The right place for you and your business is available.

masterminds, networking events, or trend talks, a space that is committed to offering an ongoing roster that will benefit the community of members is a strong asset. Ongoing opportunities that promote networking are encouraged. Look for a space that has a culture of collaboration, making introductions, and encouraging members to work together where possible. Basic service offerings like an Integrated reception area and mail services will also keep your costs down. Of course, knowing the flexibility for growth as you move forward without going over budget is an asset, allowing you to add office space or hot desks on as needed basis without breaking the bank. By knowing what the space itself provides, and knowing where your business is going, will help determine the best place for you. Learn about the unique offerings provided by Incubators and accelerators and if they can assist for the early stages of your business. It is critical to understanding

what they offer that differs from other coworking spaces, as well as their success rate. These unique spaces are often valuable for very specific periods of time in your business and should be properly assessed if it is truly what you need. Assess the value it will give you at the phase you are currently at. The goal of any shared workspace is to help business owners propel forward and succeed. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions and determine the best for you in both your current and future state of business.

So how do you decide which type of property and space suits your needs best? Don’t let the various terminology scare you. Each type of space offers different services and experiences that may benefit your business for specific periods of time or phases. Knowing what to look for and when is critical. Some things to consider: A regular calendar of events – whether panel discussions,


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Often overlooked and realized until much later, there is a tremendous benefit to understanding what tax credits may be available for your small business early on. Any opportunity to offset your tax liability allows for more cashflow to remain in your business, giving you that extra financial leverage you need to continue onward. In Canada, small businesses now account for roughly 7 out of 10 private sector jobs. Since 2018, the Canadian government has reduced the small business tax rate by 1.5%, with the intention

No matter what stage your business is at, even at the startup phase, there is a tremendous benefit to understanding what tax credits may be available to you.”



▼ to these businesses who are fueling our

sure to review the definitions of SR&ED to determine which components or interrelated activities may qualify you for these credits.

middle-class families each year with new opportunities and job creation. No matter what stage your business is at, even at the start-up phase, there is a tremendous benefit to understanding what tax credits may be available to you. Any opportunity to offset your tax liability relieves pressure from your bottom line, and the more cashflow you can keep in your business, the more you can invest directly back into growing your business. Several tax credits and incentives are available to businesses in Ontario to help lower costs, hire more staff, and invest in R&D to be more competitive in the marketplace.


Occasionally misunderstood and often overwhelming, grants can sometimes feel like that elephant in the room. You know it’s there, but you aren’t sure how to start the conversation and access the information that is applicable to you.

The Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (AJCT) provides up to $2,000 for hiring a working apprentice within their first two years of their program. A great way to access skilled workers at a discounted rate. Increasing what you pay into your Employment Insurance account during the current year than you did during the previous year can also earn you funds into your CRA payroll account, up to $1,000 through the Hiring Credit for Small Business (HCSB).

Before beginning the process of looking at what is available to you, it helps to understand first that grants are essentially funds provided to a business to help them reach a goal that is matches that of the organization providing the funds. For example, if the Government of Canada is promoting the creation of new jobs, the funding available is designed to promote growth, hiring and apprenticeship programs. Grants are typically awarded by three different types of organizations: the federal government, provincial government, or a charitable/non-profit organization. Each organization --- towards research, development, hiring or overall business expansion.

Investment Credits


Staffing Additions

There are some Investment Tax Credits (ITC’s) that, if your type of business property qualifies, could offer some substantial breaks. If qualified, you can also claim unused investment tax credits from previous years on your current year’s taxes. If you provide childcare services for your employees’ children, you may claim a portion of those expenses as a nonrefundable tax credit. The facility must be licensed, and your credit could be as high as $10,000. This is only applicable if you offer childcare as a perk to your employees, and not if you are an actual childcare facility.

Research & Development

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credits (SR&ED), unbeknownst to many, are not only available to large businesses and corporations. These credits are accessible to small businesses, sole proprietorships and partnerships, and the refund comes back to you with or without being tied to the business making a profit as a result of the project. When looking at company projects that involve scientific or technological advancement, be


Grants offered at a federal level are often focused on economic progression, pushing our country forward. Heavily focused on funding that is geared towards research and development, especially when seeking the advancement of new technologies to stimulate growth, as well as complete innovation to adopt or create new technology.


At a provincial level, the economic interests are often shared, with a little more focus on diversification, which is why you will see industry-specific focus at the provincial level. Each province may have a different industry focus as they work through their individual strategic priorities, from health advancements to manufacturing or eco energy but learning about what is available is critical. Just because the grants are promoting a specific industry that is different than yours, there may be some cross-over in what you are working on that could qualify you. This is also an area where you may see the ability to grow into new markets.

Charitable/Not for Profit

Funding at this level is typically provided to another charitable organization seeking support on social and community development like poverty and homelessness reduction, food and shelter supports, mental health programs or community outreach. While not as common, there is opportunity for private organizations to partner with charitable organizations and apply together for funding. Do not dismiss eligibility if you are a private organization, as there are several opportunities for companies to come together on an initiative and yield great social impact.


In addition to the resources available online, there are local entities readily available to assist in variety of ways. In Ontario, there are more than 50 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) that offer a multitude of services and support for someone starting or already in business. In Niagara, there is an SBEC location in both Niagara Falls and St. Catharines that you can call to book an appointment and seek help. There is also a vast number of organizations throughout Niagara referred to as incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces that are all designed to offer entrepreneurs the tools they need to start and grow their businesses. Banks and Credit Unions are an excellent resource for any small business, and we recommend reviewing them individually to determine which one offers the best services and support for your type of business and seeking their advice and consultation regularly.


accomplished only through intentional execution. “They know what they want and know exactly what to do”, as per Crystal. We also talked about how nearly every company has a customer focused mission statement but without a roadmap needed to achieve it. She shared with us how she guides organizations through the necessary steps to deliver the same intentional experience that the Googles of the world are achieving. She emphasized why so many companies are still pulling their hair out when reading reviews, while journey mapping is what companies should be focusing on. You may have completed a journey mapping exercise before. It is the process of telling the customer’s story, from the initial contact, then the various stages of your business relationship. Crystal took us through her journey mapping process, and we were impressed. We’ve also interviewed some of her local and International clients and heard many great things. "Crystal’s unique approach takes journey mapping to an entirely new level - it is magnetic!" She leads you and your organization through designing and executing a dynamic team environment that delivers intentional (and epic) customer experiences. Connect with Crystal today, learn the 7 Steps to Customer Experience (CX) Excellence and know why it’s driving profitability and customer satisfaction worldwide!


n today’s game, delivering an experience to your customers, both internal and external, really needs to engage all senses. Companies all around the world are trying to follow the likes of Apple, Disney, and Google to be known for their own exceptional customer experiences. When talking about how to deliver the most captivating experiences, we consulted with Crystal D’Cunha from the INSIDE VIEW and here is what she had to say about why some companies get it right each and every time. "Take a moment to think about some examples closer to home that draw you in and make you feel something. Whether a basketball fan or not, the Toronto Raptors come top of mind for us. Why, might you ask? The overall brand has been almost hyperfocused on drawing in every sense to describe and recount the experiences of the games, the team and the fans. The “fandemonium” that has come to life, well before that final winning basket, has been impossible not to be drawn to. Even if you’ve never been to a game yourself, you could close your eyes right now and hear the swooshing of the ball, the sneakers on the court floor, and the cheering of the crowds. You could smell the concessions and see the familiar Jurassic claw rising all over town. You can literally feel “WE THE NORTH”. " In speaking with Crystal, she explained how the Toronto Raptors delivered quite the customer experience and that it was


with Crystal D’Cunha





get the

- REVEAL Niagara Magazine


new level - it is magnetic!"


"Crystal’s unique approach takes journey mapping to an entirely


Award-Winning Entrepreneur International Keynote Speaker Customer Experience Engineer Professional Sales Trainer Executive Leadership Coach



Become a



Are you experiencing difficulties with talent attraction and retention? Is your recruitment strategy not meeting your organizational needs? According to Randstad Employer Brand Research, it might be time to review your employee value proposition (EVP). Because attracting and retaining top talent is critical for organizations, they need to have in place an EVP that reflects a culture that encourages and supports the needs of employees. by: Isabell C. Camillo, Ph.D. OCELT

Instructor, Graduate Programs, Goodman School of Business, Brock University Business Coach & Mentor, Small Business Enterprise Centre, City of Niagara Falls


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hat is an EVP and why should you have one?

Of course, organizations exist to make a profit, which can sometimes cause leaders to pay less attention to other areas of the business such as human capital management. However, with today’s highly competitive labour market, prospective employees are quite clear about what they expect from an employer. To remain competitive, organizations are being advised by human resources consultants to build a strong workplace reputation, which can be achieved by creating an EVP. TalentLyft defines the EVP as the balance of exclusive rewards, benefits, and values received by employees in return for their workplace performance. It reflects the consistent culture and practices, including the management of its unique human capital processes and programs, that

make up an organization’s workplace reputation - also known as an employer brand. Because a perceived reputation directly impacts talent acquisition strategies, organizations are encouraged to develop and enact these value statements. How can an EVP enhance your recruitment strategies? A compelling EVP assists organization in augmenting talent acquisition strategies. This is accomplished by creating and building on a reputation that communicates to targeted candidates' certain employee-centric values deeply embedded in and that resonate throughout the organization. A well-crafted value proposition that sincerely reflects authentic practices should identify the organization’s unique commitments to its current and future employees.

“In order to increase the odds of attracting and retaining top talent, you need to develop an employer brand that reflects your commitment...”

So, what exactly are employees looking for in an employer?



▼ When developing recruitment

strategies, there are several considerations that go beyond monetary compensation like the values that are reflected by your employer brand. Too often, organizations focus solely on paid compensation, which forms the basis of decision-making when budgetary restrictions are at play. That’s when an effective EVP and an overall strong employer brand can increase an employer’s appeal. According to research from companies like Gallup, McKinsey, and LinkedIn, employees desire a workplace environment that is flexible and friendly. They value employers who model respect for their employees. Employees thrive when employers consistently offer opportunities for development and advancement. The research also indicated that employees stay longer when a company encourages

autonomy and expression of ideas and fosters a positive relationship with management. In order to increase the odds of attracting and retaining top talent, you need to develop an employer brand that reflects your commitment to the following value-based approaches to managing your human capital strategy: (Provide) Pathways: Create opportunities for your employees to thrive and grow laterally and horizontally in your organization. Don’t hold them hostage to their current positions. After all, most employers


seek innovative and creative individuals. Pathways naturally allow these skills to unfold. (Support) People: Create an environment of respect and care where human connections are strongly encouraged within departments and across the entire organization. This leads to a strong feeling of belongingness. Since employers expect a high level of

teamwork and cooperation from employees, organizations need to first build safe spaces. (Work with) Purpose: Create projects that are meaningful to the organization and to the community within which the organization operates. Nothing fosters motivation and commitment like working together for a common good.

It’s important to note that the workplace has become our second home and our colleagues have become an extension of our family. Thus, a significant amount of our emotional commitment is given to our employers. Most people believe that Niagara’s employment opportunities rest heavily on the shoulders of hospitality because this industry is a part of the most visible sectors in this region. What some people may not realize is that servicebased industries tend to suffer from certain vulnerabilities such as seasonality and consumer demand, making employment precarious for many individuals. This means, potential employees already feel worried about their status from the moment they begin seeking employment. Your organization may not be able to pay the highest wages or offer permanent, full-time employment, but there are other benefits that you can provide to make you an employer of choice in Niagara.






Family Friendly

WORKPLACE A reliable and committed workforce is equally important as a skilled workforce.


ore employers are realizing that becoming a family friendly work environment is an attractive investment. It was once thought that unless an employer could provide a privatized or subsidized childcare facility, they could not be a strong contender in being viewed as family friendly. However, today’s “families” are more diverse in configuration than ever before. We now need to acknowledge and support dual parent


households, single support parents, same-sex couples moving through adoption or surrogacy, blended families, and secondary caregivers to elderly parents. Employers that find ways to extend family friendly benefits are not only sought after by talented people looking to make valued contributions, but they are the employers that understand the importance of this investment. They see and know the prominent impact it makes to their bottom line. Today’s families are often complex and can take a little extra work fit all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together. As companies of all sizes get recognized for being “top employers”, it is apparent that they have become more creative in how to promote a more flexible environment. It is exceptionally clear that attracting and retaining a talented and committed workforce ultimately means, also investing in the families of those very valuable employees. So, we share a collection of things to consider for your business:


Remote Work Ability The ability to work remotely is growing in popularity and is no longer an all or nothing model. Offering employees, a once a month, once a week, or “as needed” flexibility is occurring more frequently. The studies show that this kind of flexibility is empowering. There was also an assumption that only larger companies could afford to offer remote access, but in the past 2 years, many SMEs benefit from this. It has become a way to achieve less employee turnover, a shorter hiring process, and overall, lower the company costs for office space and equipment.

Flexible Bereavement Policies While there are legally required practices to adhere to for bereavement leave, this is an area that a company can easily go above and beyond for, based upon the nature of the leave required. Many policies allow for a short bereavement leave for immediate family members, which is now insufficient in many situations. As our traditional family model now extends well beyond the familiar definition of “immediate family member”, we need to be willing to extend these policies to support the loss of those near and dear to us. Allowable Check-Ins From single support parents to blended families, it’s exceptionally difficult to focus on your work when you’re unable to easily check in on the status of your child. For new parents, one of the most stressful parts of returning to work is leaving your child with a new caregiver. Not only allowing your employees to check in but encouraging them to do so will provide a greater sense of support in their work environment and reduce preoccupied minds. In this scenario, what may be

Whether you opt for a point system or another structure, rewards such as box seats, tickets to shows, memberships to clubs, or health spas, all go a long way... Family Rewards Programs Excellent employee performance can easily be recognized with programs that provide positive impact to the entire family. Several companies, such as Google, have seen far greater results through experiencebased reward programs. Whether you opt for a point system or another structure, rewards such as box seats, tickets to shows, memberships to clubs, or health spas, all go a long way, promoting balanced and engaging lifestyles and are applicable to the entire family.


Flex Scheduling One of the most difficult challenges about juggling work and family is the sheer logistics of it all. Companies that offer flex scheduling provides staff with the ability to be more reliable and committed to their work. Some companies opt for flexible start times, rotating start times, or split shifts that help not only accommodate their commitments to their families but also efficiently plan their days to maximize both work and family time.

perceived as increased interruptions that limit productivity is the opposite. Access to Resources Simply being committed to providing updated information on what resources are available in the community can go a long way with your employees. There are numerous organizations that are often willing to help provide that information regularly. Even through onsite visits to your staff if needed. Developing company relationships with organizations that provide additional resources are also worth reviewing. Consider the

following categories when seeking out what resources and information could benefit your employees: • • • • • •

Childcare subsidies Nearby after school programs or camps Emergency or backup childcare options Information and support for caring for elderly Transportation support or subsidies Healthcare subsidies

Results Focus While applicable to any workplace and employee, it’s always fair to mention that the overall interest in achieving results by far outweighs the manner in how we get there. To be sustainable, the goals of both the employee and employer need to be focused on productivity, efficiency, and goal attainment. We can easily achieve this by understanding our targets, participating in continuous communication and being prepared for process adaptability.




PartnerParadigm Ventures Niagara Inc.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a fascinating concept since popping up in sci-fi books and movies early on. Today, intelligent devices are no longer fiction, they are our reality. While it may seem like the integration of AI into our lives would only happen in a far-off future or on some sci-fi show, the truth is that if you have ever


asked Siri what the weather’s like today, or instructed Alexa to play a song on Spotify, then you’re experiencing some capacity of Artificial Intelligence.. AI is aimed at making machines able to make decisions in a human-like manner based on their analysis of data. AI is based on providing machines and computers with massive data sets so they can learn and think like a human would. The primary goal of AI is to make the lives of humans easier by allowing machines to act on our behalf. The use of AI in your business can manifest in different ways dependant upon your current organizational needs and structure, and how to currently collect and utilize data points. AI can be leveraged to drive customer engagement, optimize logistics of your supply chain, or tracking and managing inventory assets. Blockchain was originally created in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto to keep a record of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. It is a digital data network that is stored across a public database managed by a peer-

to-peer network. Once created by a user, a digital “block” of information is distributed and verified across every user of this public network, which is updated continuously. Every block of information contains a hash of the information of the previous block, as well as a timestamp and its’ own data. Since these blocks contain these components and are stored across the network, in order to corrupt or change their values, someone would have to falsify every instance of that information across the entire network simultaneously, which is highly impractical and improbable. Blockchain therefore creates an almost immutable leger of information. Additionally, since it is rooted within a shared public network, data built into a blockchain is not controlled by any central authority, creating a transparency of the data by nature. Because blockchain uses cryptography to create digital records that are nearly impossible to hack or alter, there are becoming more uses for sending, receiving, and recording secure information. Processes such as confidential contracts, international transactions, internal audits and insurance claims are becoming popular applications. While blockchain and AI may appear to have completely different functions, there are several potential manners in which these technologies could synergistically improve one another. For example, although AI is already used by a massive number of consumers, the technology is still relatively new and therefore needs to be monitored by humans for the completion of complex tasks with little room for error, such as transaction monitoring. However, if a blockchain is used in conjunction with AI, the potential for error or tampering with the records becomes almost impossible. Since a blockchain limits possible actions within a process to pre-existing desired outcomes and directions through the chain itself, any AI coded into a blockchain would only be able to commit actions within that pre-sanctioned protocol, reducing the risks of a failure or departure from

“accepted” pathways and reducing potential catastrophic risks. The combined transparency and security of blockchain and the efficiency of AI would make the transaction monitoring process quicker and more trustworthy. AI could also improve blockchain in many ways. For instance, AI could increase the scalability of blockchain. When a transaction of a blockchain is fully completed, it could be deleted in order to decrease the length of the chain, in a practice referred to as “pruning”, or, through the use of AI, this data could instead be broken into organized shards to increase efficiency, and still maintain the integrity of the entire dataset. Additionally, since blockchain can provide payment in cryptocurrency, in theory it could result in AI adoption and development in countries with

AI is to make the lives of humans easier by allowing machines to act on their behalf.

economic barriers to research in this field. Imagine, anyone from any place in the world could work on the development of AI datasets and be paid using an online currency, regardless of whether their country was able to pay them directly for their work. By allowing us to harness the minds and creativity of otherwise unreachable people across the world, blockchain would potentially increase the efficiency of AI development, while lowering the cost of research, increasing the variety of available data and employing a vaster cohort of creators. While AI and blockchain are each their own revolutionary technologies, the use of them in partnership with one another has the potential to greatly impact our lives in the future in both a small and large scale.


Make A Difference Rotary unites dedicated professionals from Niagara and around the globe with one common goal: to make a difference in our community and abroad. Like partnering with Trees That Feed Foundation to provide families in Jamaica, Haiti and Pakistan with a food-bearing tree that will feed a family for decades. Locally, Rotary Clubs also supports a variety of local projects, organizations and programs that make a difference in our community. Helping to eradicate hunger in Niagara and abroad - that’s what people of action do. Learn more at rotary7090.org




Makes Large


SAM BAIO Founder

SOCKS FOR CHANGE ( former CEO & Founder of West 49)


few short years ago, in the summer of 2016, a company out of Toronto that knit wool socks for the Canadian military sold 2500 pairs of socks to Sam Baio, Founder and former CEO of West 49. This was one of the first steps on Sam’s journey to do his part helping underprivileged people in our community stay warm throughout our harsh winters. With over 76,000 Niagara residents living below the poverty line, Socks for Change raises @revealniagara

awareness and works to provide as many socks as possible to those in need prior to the winter season. Since placing his first order, the factory in Toronto had closed and it was imperative to source a strong supplier of wool socks before going into the second season. The socks donated are intentionally wool because of their ability to insulate, while absorbing moisture, wicking wetness away from the body keeping the feet dry and warm. A company in

Etobicoke, McMormack Textiles, is the proud knitting partner for Socks for Change. Not easily defeated, and a believer in old-school conversation, he picked up the phone and called around to every Canadian knitting factory he could find. Word of mouth led him to McCormack Textiles in Etobicoke, a company that also knits military socks. A philanthropist at heart, he has a long history of working in the community. At West 49, he partnered with Make a Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and the Coats for Kids campaign. He would pay his staff for their time to support these programs, as he wanted as many young people as possible to learn that there is so much more to life. Since leaving West 49 behind, he knew he had to continue working in the community and leverage his experience and resources for good. Originally wanting to go national, Sam has since acknowledged that the need right here in Niagara is far greater than he ever imagined. It’s time to grow

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Socks for Change to meet the needs of our own community, and although Socks for Change has grown from its initial donation of 2500 pairs of socks to over 21,000, there is a need for so much more. Already serving over 60 charitable institutions and 153 schools, the needs continue to grow in our community. The number of kids being positively impacted by this program through the shelters and schools grows every year. With the costs of living rising and the increased traffic into our shelters, it is imperative that we all take small steps towards

a better future, and what better way to do that than donating our pocket change.

How Can We Help Socks for Change? Become a collection location by having one of our donation boxes at your place of business Make an online donation; one small donation of $50 directly funds the purchase of 25 pairs of socks Learn about how to become a company sponsor Become a volunteer, we are always looking for ambassadors to support our brand and assist with tasks like dropping off socks and winter gear to schools and shelters. For more information, or to donate online, please visit socksforchange.ca

NRBN delivers an ultra-reliable, fibre fast service that is scalable to your business needs.


1-877-331-6726 NRBN.CA NRBN is the Niagara region’s leading service provider of highperformance data and voice solutions.



The Niagara Affordable



Affordable Housing” is defined as not paying more than 30% of your household income on housing. As we soak in the ongoing discussions surrounding Niagara’s affordable housing crisis; from how it has grown, who is to blame, and to where the responsibility lies to repair it, I would like to highlight some incredibly thoughtful partnerships that can lead the way. Before I get into what those

in every issue of Reveal Niagara Business Magazine

partnerships may look like, it is important to address the dire need for policy change at the municipal levels of government. Every day, there are new and innovative ideas presented that may very well impact or even solve the housing crisis, but without active policies to support these initiatives, the planned resolution cannot go very far. In my opinion, we need to make an ongoing call to action for our politicians to push change at the policy level. Let’s take a closer look at some of our zoning bylaws for example:

What are the barriers that exist in these policies that continuously hold us back? How can we amend them to support it? If policy change is at the forefront of our resolutions, we can effectively move forward. Returning to the thoughtful partnerships I mentioned earlier, when discussions arise around whose responsibility, it is to correct this issue. Many hands immediately go in the direction of the government needing to be the primary stakeholder. In reality, we are all primary stakeholders that can and must contribute to

sustainable solutions that our community requires. The private sectors that are particularly in partnership with the nonprofits are emerging as significant contributors to the resolution. The Private-Public Partnerships, commonly known as P3, have a unique coalition of resources that are arguably better equipped to support all stages of the affordable housing crisis than some private sector solutions. From the perspective of the private sector investor, providing capital funding for this kind of partnership may be viewed solely as a form of corporate philanthropy. While these contributions alone are enough for some organizations, it should not detract from the inaccurate assumption that these investments come at a financial loss. It has been shown that here in Niagara, a P3 project like the Niagara Health System, is well worth the financial investment. There are existing P3 projects that are underway in our community, and the rewards on all sides are exceptionally worthwhile when looking through a longer lens of time. The strength that the nonprofits provide the P3 initiatives are truly invaluable to the success of the investment. By providing strategic rehabilitation strategies, ongoing support, and effective methods of transitioning. Through various stages of recovery, we can begin breaking down the cycle of poverty. The support of government agencies, as mentioned above in the form of requiring policy change, is also required by assisting with the removal of red tape and process obstacles wherever possible. As we currently reside in a two-tier government arrangement, these obstacles can often be duplicated at a variety of levels which result in higher capital costs allocated to processing red tape.

It will only result in elongated timelines that would bring new properties and homes available to the market in dire need. Ultimately, as we see our economy continue to grow and shift, we must be prepared to come together for resolutions. We must support and push for effective

We need to make an ongoing call to action for our politicians to push change at the policy level . . . change. PrivateNonprofit Partnerships not only create meaningful and necessary impact to our community, but also offer sustainable financial growth and reliable long term returns to investors.


Did you know that in Niagara, many kids don’t have a lunch but still go to school? No lunch not because they forgot, but because some families couldn’t even afford to put food on their table.

The Education Foundation of Niagara supports DSBN students by engaging the community to provide needed funds and resources where government funding is not available. We envision a community where every student has access to all of the enriching opportunities school life offers. Your support makes a difference in the lives of thousands of students, through nutritional programs, providing warm coats and proper footwear, medical subsidies for items such as eyeglasses, and other critical programs. To learn more, please visit efnniagara.ca or follow us on social media:




to Achieve & Sustain your


in the



ou understand your market. You know who they are, what they need... and you know the answers to the why(s), how(s), when(s), and the where(s). If this is the case, you can break your market down into different segments. Once you’ve clearly defined each segment, then you’re ready to create your marketing strategies and fuel your business growth.

“Even when you are marketing to your entire audience or customer base, you are still simply speaking to a single human at any given time.” – Ann Hadley


Know Your Budget, even if you must start at zero. With so many resources available, you can very quickly spend more money than you should and not necessarily get what you need at that time and place for your business. Continuously ask yourself “Do I need to invest in this yet?” and “Can I achieve this for less or for free?


Claim your free google assets like Google My Business and Google Analytics. These are very powerful tools that will help get you on the digital map and help you understand and improve your traffic. Start by activating them, and then learn Google Analytics as you go.


You do not need to be everywhere. With so many social platforms and communication mediums, you can quickly become overwhelmed and strapped for time. Only focus on the channels where your target customers are, and in the early stages of your business we would recommend no more than 2-3.


49 revealmags.com


Know and apply the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While this can get quite complex, the basics can be easily understood, and this minimal amount of application can yield tremendous results.


Take the extra time to optimize your images. The specific steps of interest to you will determine on your business, but it will be worth understanding the top steps to take. You’ll want to consider descriptive names, proper file types and special attention on image sizing.


Use as much personalization as possible. In the age of digital noise and automation, those small personal touches go a long way to be a trusted and more widely recognized brand. Whenever possible, take advantage of making your print media interactive, making it more user-friendly. Depending on your media type, this could be through something as simple as QR codes, as well as image triggers, and other augmented experiences.


Videos. Not only is integrating video content an absolute must but leveraging both recorded and live videos offer different (and arguably needed) value and engagement. While this can be intimidating, it is recommended that you start small, build a comfort level and your strategy will grow from there. The most important thing with video is to get started.


Print. You’re probably questioning, why print in this digital age? Contrary to what you might think, people are still very tactile and now more than ever, people have become even more receptive to printed materials. Everyone needs a break from digital screens. So print is powerful if you pick the right vessel. Magazines, brochures, direct mail cards, and sure, newspapers – it all depends on your target audience. Like anything else, you do not need to do it all at once. Review a variety of options and learn what works best for you.

♥♥♥ #revealniagara





Your Mentor

Find a great mentor, someone who has already been through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur.”

The right mentorship can help you navigate through the natural ups and downs that you will experience in business. Choose individuals that have similar results or experiences that you are looking to achieve.

-Jodi Levine

Even if you’re overwhelmed with administrative details, keep a journal from day one. Keep notes about your expenses, your processes, and your experiences. This log will act assist you with a number of things as your business matures, including tax season. Always separate your business finances from your personal finances. Verify that your business is registered and structured properly, and that you understand any legal requirements or responsibilities that come along with that form of registration.

■ ▼

Avoid spending money as much as possible when you begin your business. Focus on efficient and creative ways to execute what you need. Only invest in the absolute essentials that are required for customer experience and growth.

log it

Choose your friends wisely


Tim Ferris always says the best advice he ever received and could ever give is

“You are the average of the 5 people you associate with most.” Do not underestimate the power of association, and make sure you are hyper aware of what impact your association has on where you’d like to be headed.

► Richard Branson is notorious for

his valued business advice. He often shares one @revealniagara

critical question that entrepreneurs should ask themselves

Your mental strength, the right attitude and your overall determination are more important in becoming successful in business than any tips and tricks you could ever be handed.


Continuous Learning Be prepared to constantly reinvent yourself. Being an entrepreneur means you’ll have a new job every day, and you need to be able to perform it well.

► Please do not quit your day job yet The entrepreneurial journey is different for everyone, but the commonality is that it is not easy. It requires time and resources, and keeping your existing livelihood in motion will allow you to be clear minded and strategic.

still not convinced? Take a look at Sara Blakely, who kept working for 2 years while perfecting her product, Spanx, which led her to becoming a self-made billionaire. Or Phil Knight who continued his career for 5 years while selling runnings shoes before starting Nike.


Never stop building meaningful relationships with customers and other people in your industry. Everyone in your community is a potential partner and regular collaborations can positively impact your business in a big way.

► “Is this how I would want to be treated if I were the c u s t o m e r ? ”

Profile for Ownera Media

Reveal Niagara - Business Magazine - Volume 1 | Issue 1  

Niagara is an exciting place to visit, but also an exciting place to do business. Located in the heart of one of North America’s busiest eco...

Reveal Niagara - Business Magazine - Volume 1 | Issue 1  

Niagara is an exciting place to visit, but also an exciting place to do business. Located in the heart of one of North America’s busiest eco...