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Your source for business and chamber news in the Greater Kingston Area May 27, 2013

Vol. 2 NO. 5

Federal immigration changes impact local businesses By Bill Hutchins

Immigrants built this nation, from the railways and roads to the small businesses. But in the Canada of the 21st century, it seems, immigrants face more regulations than ever to get into the country, and the workforce. Some local companies in need of skilled help complain the labour pool is simply not broad enough to meet their needs. Recent federal immigration changes will have an impact on local businesses that are looking to recruit the global talent they need to succeed, according to Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP). “It seems like the Feds are looking at every immigration rule and tightening the rules,” said Scott Clerk, project manager at KIP, an organization that coordinates efforts to make Kingston attractive and inclusive to immigrants. However, Clerk says it remains unclear whether those new rules will help or hinder local companies, especially those in search of specific skills. Whereas 19th century Canada may have re-

quired people with the skills and stamina to hammer spikes into a rail line, today’s labour needs may involve designing a web portal to market the rail company. “There is lots of great talent lining up to come to Canada. Lots of needs here. But it’s a balancing act,” he explained of the federal changes that aim to balance the needs of companies looking for help versus the government’s Canadians-first employment strategy. Canada remains a beacon for immigrants and their families, attracting as many as 280,000 newcomers every year. But the rules to get into the country to live and work have changed substantially in recent months; partly due to abuse and partly because of the Conservative government’s desire to give Canadians first crack at the job market. The temporary foreign worker program, for example, was recently tightened to prevent Canadian companies from using cheap labour at the expense of Canadians looking for work. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a crackdown after it was revealed that RBC, Canada’s largest bank, was caught replacing an entire department using the temporary foreign workers program. Newly hired workers from India, who managed to get work visas, could be paid up to 15-percent less than the prevailing wage in a job classification. Kenney said the temporary foreign worker program is meant to fill a need that the existing labour market can’t fill, but there will be more fees and regulations to use the program, and

the 15-percent wage reduction allowance will be scrapped. Clerk says the RBC case shatters old stereotypes of foreign workers. “It used to be viewed as immigrants doing the jobs Canadians wouldn’t do, like picking fruit. It’s really not like that anymore.” He says another misconception is that most new Canadians are readily employed. “The unemployment rate among immigrants is double the amount of the Canadian-born population.” There are many cases where companies require skilled jobs, but finding the right candidate with the right skills can be difficult. Another challenge is deciding whether only immigrants can fill the needs of employers instead of natural-born Canadians. “One of the challenges we have is identifying the nature of the skills shortage? Who are we short of, when there are thousands of people seeking work?” said Mark Hanley, manager of the entrepreneur centre at KEDCO, the city’s economic development agency. Hanley says there are some identifiable positions, like welding, where the shortage is obvious. Clerk says some immigration changes are “quite promising” for local businesses; allowing international students to fast-track to permanent residency, and entrepreneur visas to attract hightech talent with a business idea and the backing of investors. Despite the changes, Kingston still struggles to expand its base of newcomers. Census data from 2011 shows a dip in the number of immigrants settling in Kingston. It’s a similar story across the province. “In Ontario, immigration rates are definitely trending down. It’s all about the west,” Clerk explained. “The prairies are attracting more immigrants because that’s where a lot of the jobs are. Of course, Kingston is going to feel that.” KIP, the City of Kingston and KEDCO are currently developing a specific immigration strategy to market the city Mark Hanley to immigrants and highlight the work Manager, Entre- opportunities. The strategy includes preneur Centre, travelling to job fairs in Toronto to marKEDCO ket Kingston to job seeking immigrants.

Photo courtesy of Diana Tovilla for Kingston Immigration Partnership “It’s probably too early to say if it’s working. Immigrant attraction is a long game that’s tied to demographics,” Clerk added. KEDCO also established a website (www.kingstonishiring.com) to help local businesses with specific needs connect with potential employees who have those skills. Stantive Technologies Group, a business technology solution company that delivers enterprise portals, social intranets and corporate websites to its cli-

ents, had seven job vacancies listed on the site, from technology support specialist to project manager. Clearly, some local businesses are struggling to fill positions. Experts say immigration policies are meant to complement the existing labour pool, but it’s certainly a more complicated process than in the early days of Canada’s growth when all you needed was a few bucks in your pocket to come here.

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A message from the Chair The “Chamber Movement” is the new phrase that I picked up while attending the Ontario Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting in Chatham-Kent May 3rd and 4th. I was part of the delegation from your Chamber, along with our CEO Matt Hutcheon and Advocacy and Policy

Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber both spoke about the importance of the Chamber movement. They stressed the key role our individual Chambers play in the overall economic vitality of the province, particularly our advocacy activities. This was the first time I heard about the “Chamber movement”. The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce plays an important part, not only to the economic health of Kingston, but to the province. We have branded our Chamber as the ‘Voice of Business’, and from after spending one day with this great group of dynamic individuals, I really believe we have a strong voice and it’s being heard. It was exciting to see that our colleagues from were all on the same page. Day 2 was really

Development Specialist Bill Stewart. It was my first experience at this event and I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. Over 150 delegates gathered at the John D Bradley Convention Centre from across the province. During day one, I was inspired by the caliber of speakers. The

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fun. We debated and voted on 35 different policy resolutions. It wasn’t just an opportunity to brush up on my Roberts Rules of Order. I saw the passion and enthusiasm of the other Chamber delegates from across Ontario as they spoke. Kingston CEO Matt Hutcheon presented our resolution to have the provincial government consider allowing Pooled Retirement Pension Plans (PRPP’s) as another investment tool. A brief discussion preceded its passing. The resolution was adopted and now the Ontario Chamber will lobby Queens Park to pass enabling legislation. It was impressive to watch Bill Stewart, our Advocacy and Policy Development Specialist in action. His passion for discussing the different issues affecting businesses and working with the other Chambers to gain their support was impressive. We are very lucky to have Bill on our team. Bill sits on the Ontario Chamber Caucus which meets via conference call to discuss issues effecting businesses in Ontario. He is also a strategic member of our own Advocacy committee where he advises on issues affecting Kingston businesses. If anyone is interested in getting involved with our advocacy initiatives, or would like to be involved in our committee, please feel free to call Bill Stewart to discuss directly. I can assure you, he would welcome your call. As a member of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, you are also a

You and your business deserve expert attention.

member of the Ontario Chamber and Canadian Chamber. Each works intrinsically at different levels but with the same goals and aspirations. It takes time, but with the passion and persistence of the membership from the various Chambers of Commerce, we can continue making the network stronger. The Kingston Chamber presently has 850 members and we are growing because we believe there is strength in numbers. We are the voice of business. We are your voice. We want to hear from you so that next year at the OCC-AGM, we have several policy resolutions to present on your behalf.

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By Donna Woodbury


Technology

How to shop for a website LinkedIn company pages sistent, and content-driven. While it is okay to engage in shameless advertising and promotion, do so only sparingly. LinkedIn currently has over 225 million members in over 200 countries, and new users are signing up at a rate of two new members per second! Don’t get left behind with this powerful social media tool.

time to make sure it’s going to be a good fit between yourself and the designer/developer. In the meeting review the examples you have found, look at their portfolio of work and find out what their process for building a website is like. At the end of the meeting, in most cases, the web designer should be able to give you a rough estimate of what your project would cost.

Jennifer offers simplified social media solutions, including training, speaking, design, and maintenance. Jennifer Baker Consulting is located in Kingston and is a proud member of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce.

The Initial Meeting Review past work Find out the process Rough estimate

The Basics Find examples Create a wish list Shop around Larger businesses or websites with more complex features should do a Request for Information (RFI) document to start the process. RFI’s provide details on supplier capabilities and their suggestions for your specific project. With the information gained from the RFI you can ensure your Request for Proposal (RFP) is asking all the appropriate questions and lessen the number of under qualified submissions. An RFP is great for allowing you to compare apples to apples when looking at web designers/developers. You’ll want to meet with a few web designers in person to get an idea of what a working relationship with that company would be like. A website is something your business will be using for years, so take the

The Fine Print Get clarification Make sure you own it Check references Finally, the organization you select should be able to assist you with web hosting, domain name management and email management; however, be sure to talk with each supplier about your options during the process as they may handle them differently. You now have the tools to make shopping for a website less painless, and a good idea of how to get what you’re looking for. In many cases your website will be how consumers first come into contact with your business, make sure it represents your brand and the quality of services or products you provide. Kelsy is the Account Manager at 14 Theories Inc. a Kingston based Web Design/Web Development firm based in Kingston Ontario.

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Do you think LinkedIn is only for professionals? Think again! LinkedIn maintains a user-generPersonal ated database of company pages that allow business, brands, and products service the opportunity to maintain a cohefor your sive marketing presence. These pages specific encourage businesses to nurture brand awareness, market internal job opneeds portunities, and inform potential and existing customers on products and Qualified Horticulturist services. Creating a LinkedIn company page is simple. First, users need to pos- Spring is here and your lawn and gardens sess either an Intermediate or All-Star are showing signs of coming back to life. LinkedIn profile status to be eligible. Users also need to possess a unique Book early for the help you may require company email address; email adto get your landscape looking its best. dresses like @yahoo.ca, @hotmail. com, @gmail.com cannot be used to spring clean-up create a page. Once a page has been created, the second step is to complete perennial bed cleaning - dividing plants, the company overview section. Include reshaping beds, mulching & planting keywords that are relevant to your trimming & selective pruning business. Search engines value LinkedIn company pages, so make sure to raking, dethatching, aerating, fertilizing & fully-complete the description section, overseeding lawns specialities, industry, and website. planting trees, shrubs, evergreens & flowers Businesses also have the opportunity to promote up to 25 products and services on the LinkedIn company page. Also AvAilAble: Seasonal Lawn Maintenance Each product listing has the potential includes: weekly lawn cutting, edging beds, trimming & powerwashing sidewalks, patios & driveways. to include an image, description, feature list, URL, link to YouTube, and Pleas e call employee contact information. for a FREE consultation & estima te. Now that your LinkedIn company Guy Gariepy, Horticulturist page is set-up, it’s time start to engage your followers! Pages allow busi613.542.8077 nesses to post updates as the business ggariepy@cogeco.ca and not a LinkedIn professional pro25 years experience file. It’s a great way to maintain and Liability insured - DVA Approved grow brand awareness. These updates Member of the Chamber of Commerce should be concise, informative, con-

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The process of shopping around for a website is a daunting but crucial process. You want to find the company that will best meet your business’s needs now and in the future, not necessarily just the cheapest option. Before you even start approaching web designers you need to do some homework. Create a wish list of things you want your business’s website to do now, but also in five years. Your website is a tool to streamline business processes, so start thinking about it that way. Find some examples of websites that have features you like, or have a similar look and feel to what you would like for your website.

By Jennifer Baker

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By Kelsy Flewitt

Next steps include getting a proposal or quote from the web designer. The proposal document should explain all of the elements of the project and how much they’ll cost. Review the proposal carefully; this is the time in the process to make sure you really understand what it is you’re buying. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or get clarification. You’ll also want to check the fine print of any contract you sign to be sure that at the end of the day, when everything has been paid for, that you own the website files. At this stage it would be a good idea to ask for references as well.

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Queen’s Homecoming creates opportunites for local business By Michael Onesi

Thousands of Queen’s University alumni are coming back to Kingston for Homecoming weekends on October 4-6 and October 18-20, and Peter Gillespie wants to help local businesses take full advantage of an event that always provides a boost for the local economy. Gillespie is the Sponsorship and Advertising Officer at Queen’s, a new position at the University designed to build stronger relationships between Kingston businesses and the Queen’s community. He is working with many local businesses, creating sponsorship programs tailored to best suit their needs. “We can help any local business looking to connect with alumni during Homecoming. We can provide great

value for major presenting sponsors, or for smaller businesses – even those looking to trade goods or services for promotion,� says Gillespie. “Returning alumni view their Homecoming experience like a vacation. Part of that experience is connecting with the unique businesses that make Kingston fun and memorable.� While the Gaels Homecoming football games garner a lot of attention – typically attracting up to 10,000 people – there are dozens of other Homecoming events that give businesses a chance to reach out to alumni, such as faculty/school open houses, special exhibits, community breakfasts and club reunions. “Homecoming sponsorship is not just for hotels and restaurants. We can work with any type of business. We have alumni from all age groups and

backgrounds. We can find opportunities that fit the interests of each business by pairing their promotion with the right alumni events,� says Gillespie. “It doesn’t matter what type of business it is, there is an opportunity to connect with the Queen’s community.� University officials are expecting a larger-than usual turnout from alumni and their families for the first Homecoming after a four-year hiatus. Some hotels reported being sold out for both Homecoming weekends even before Queen’s officially opened up registration in May. Final numbers won’t be known until closer to the October, but a record-number of groups and classes – 86 – have already registered. Gillespie notes that sponsorship has benefits that last beyond the two weekends in October. Businesses can build their regular customer base by appealing to the 19,000 Queen’s alumni who live within 30 minutes of Downtown Kingston and more than 7,000 local Queen’s employees. “Homecoming is also a chance for businesses to foster stronger relationships with the Queen’s people already living in Kingston,� says Gillespie. Queen’s Homecoming started in 1926 and this year will be the first time the event is split over two weekends. One of the reasons is to help local businesses deal with the large crowds. In previous years, some alumni had to stay in hotels outside of Kingston because every room in the Limestone City was booked. Restaurants, filled to capacity, had

to turn customers away. Expanding Homecoming over two weekends will allow businesses to serve more people, and make better use of the large crowds drawn to Homecoming events. Gillespie is also looking for local businesses to participate in a new Queen’s Alumni and Employee Card Program. The program will make use of the ID cards held by Queen’s alumni and Queen’s employees, and promote local businesses who offer discounts to the Queen’s community. Any business interested in participating in Homecoming can contact Gillespie at advert@queensu.ca.

Peter Gillespie, sponsorship and advertising officer at Queen’s.

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Annual fire hydrant inspections start in May Our municipal water system supplies safe drinking water to your tap, but it also needs to provide large quantities of water at a moment’s notice in order to fight fires. Starting mid-May, Utilities Kingston will begin its annual fire hydrant inspection and flow rating program to help support fire protection. Residents and business owners may notice discoloured tap water or reduced water pressure. “Flow rating requires that we open the hydrant to maximum flow. This can reduce water pressure and disturb deposits that normally occur in water mains, possibly discolouring the water that services neighbouring homes and businesses. We want residents to know that the water is still safe and they are encouraged to flush their pipes until the water is clear, “explains Kevin Riley, Director of Water and Wastewater Operations for Utilities Kingston. As part of this program, licensed water distribution operators from Utilities Kingston will inspect mechanical parts for proper operation, assess the overall condition of fire hydrants, and flush and flow rate hydrants. Once the hydrants are rated, the port caps and hydrant tops are painted blue, green, orange or red to alert firefighters about how much water flow is available from each hydrant. “It’s important for firefighters to be able to anticipate the water supply available through a hydrant when we arrive at the scene of a fire,” says Acting Assistant Chief and Director of Fire Prevention, Paul Patry. “Ensuring that our water supply is trustworthy will help us save

lives and protect homes and businesses from fire damage.” Fire hydrant inspection and flow rating will take place Monday to Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from mind-May until November. Utilities Kingston customers can get more information about the program, including regular updates on progress, by visiting www.utilitieskingston.com/water/HydrantRating As temperatures rise, our consumption of water also rises. This can place stress on the water system, reducing pressure and water available to firefighters. This summer your business can save money while helping Utilities Kingston maintain affordable municipal water service and fire protection by investing in water conservation. For tips on water smart gardening and landscaping, visit Utilities Kingston’s Water Conservation Demonstration Garden at 1211 John Counter Boulevard, or visit our website to learn how to create a beautiful, low maintenance environment your customers and staff will love. If you are the owner of a multi-residential property, replace old, inefficient toilets with new ultra-low flow models. Utilities Kingston offers a rebate of $60 per toilet for such investments. Utilities Kingston can help fund other investments in water conservation made by our commercial customers. Just call (613)5461181 x2477 to book a free energy and water efficiency consultation or visit http://www. utilitieskingston.com for more information.

Secondary school students win the Restaurant Service contest. From left to right: Kevin Myrie of Brampton wins silver, Holly Francoeur of Kingston wins gold.

Ontario Technological Skills Competition By: Katherine Kipper Director of Operations, Skills Canada – Ontario

At the closing ceremonies of the Ontario Technological Skills Competition, students from all over Ontario were glued to their seats as Premier Kathleen Wynne spoke about how Ontario’s youth will shape the future of our economy. “You’re showing us what you can do with robotics, with carpentry and auto body work and team building. And no matter what specific skills you’re demonstrating, or where you place in the competition, I want you to know one thing: you can already do things that most people my age cannot have a hope of doing,” she said at the event, which took place on Wednesday May 8 in Waterloo, Ont. She was joined by John Milloy, Minister of Govern-

ment Services Commissioner, Board of Internal Economy and Government House Leader. The two-day competition just completed its 24th year. Run by Skills Canada – Ontario, it encourages secondary and post-secondary students to enter into the skilled trades; a job market that is expected to face dire shortages within the next 10 years. With students diagnosing and repairing vehicles in the Auto Service Technology competition, nestling bricks into their cement beds in the Brick Masonry competition, and showing their white balance, framing and editing skills in TV and Video Production competition, the event featured 63 contest areas and approximately 1,900 competitors from secondary schools and post-secondary schools across

Continued on Pg. 10

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Employee benefits help News from the Canadian companies maintain Chamber of Commerce Temporary Foreign Worker Changes Penalise Canadian Businesses competitive edge

               

        

                           

      

        

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all employees of a particular company into a single plan and share the financial risk of health related expenses among the group, under one contract. When an employer has a group insurance benefits plan in place for their employees, any member of the group who becomes ill or requires services is financially compensated by the plan according to the terms laid out in the contract between the employer and the insurance company. Group insurance generally consists of group term life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, extended health insurance, dental insurance, prescription drugs, short-term and long-term disability insurance, critical illness insurance, and an RRSP. Group insurance plans not only help employers attract and retain employees, they can help minimize costs associated with high turnover. The plans are a cost effective method to protect employees, increase productivity, increase morale, and provide financial security and support By Debra A. Dobing to employees. Providing benefits is also a tax effective form Employee benefits are one of the best tools employers have to attract and retain valuable staff. of compensation; most premiums an employer Benefits are part of the total compensation pack- pays are tax deductible as a business expense. age, other than pay, for time worked and can be ofDebra A. Dobing and Richard Dobing are fered to employees in whole or in part by employer PEAK shareholders and operate Strategic Benpayments. Group benefit plans provide benefits to mem- efits & Insurance Services Ltd. in Kingston, spebers as one group, independently of government- cializing in custom and affordable employee bensponsored benefits. Group plans pool the rates for efits programs.

                                    

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Changes announced today by the government to the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) program will add costs, delays and red tape for Canadian businesses. Most companies using temporary foreign workers are small businesses that can’t afford to wait to find the appropriate workers and don’t have many options for training. Nor can they pay much higher wages to persuade Canadians to relocate. The Temporary Foreign Workers Program is often the only way for small businesses to find the people they need. While they would much rather employ Canadians, or permanent immigrants, these businesses often have no choice but to look to temporary foreign workers to take jobs that would otherwise go unfilled. Timing is also a major concern with these new changes. First, if this new process takes more time, employers may not be able to staff a project within a timeline. Delays may result in lost economic opportunities. Second, there is the timing associated with a training plan. Training for skilled and tech-

nical positions may take two years or longer, once a candidate has been identified. Many employers urgently need workers now. The highest cost for today’s announcement will be imposed on SMEs, particularly in regions like Alberta (accounting for more than 40% of the total program in 2012) and Saskatchewan where labour is scarce and SMEs have little capacity for training. SMEs in highly competitive markets already have to pay a premium to attract workers, but the government’s changes may force them to pay even more. What is being proposed by the government today is not in the interest of Canadian business. It’s disappointing to see Canadians underemployed, but it would be worse to see whole communities damaged because a key employer is forced to close or to move work outside of Canada to find the workers it needs. For additional Canadian Chamber of Commerce advocacy and activities, please visit their website: www.chamber.ca

Chamber trip to China The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce is offering a 12-day trip to China, departing March 29, 2014. This trip is offered in partnership with Citslinc Inc., who has worked with over 800 Chambers of Commerce across North America in providing this opportunity to learn about and explore China. This trip is ideal for those looking to have a first experience with China. If you think that you will need to know more about China for your business, or if you are just interested in learning more about the country and seeing some of its key sights, this itinerary will give you a great exposure to the people, history and culture of China. Visits include the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tian An Men Square, as well as business tours and some meetings with local government and business officials. Accommodations are all in four- and five-star hotels in Beijing and Shanghai. The price of the trip is only $2,399 for Chamber members, and $2,599 for nonmembers, per person, based on double occupancy. This price includes all airfare (international and domestic within China), bus transportation (to and from Toronto airport, and within China), meals, hotels, attractions, english-speaking guides, taxes and fees, but

the cost of your travel visa is in addition to this price. A full information session will be presented on June 27th at 5:30pm at the Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront. This session will include presentations from the travel company, as well as people who have attended the trip in the past. It is free to attend with no obligation to join the trip. People interested in attending the information session should register in advance to events@kingstonchamber.ca. Watch the Chamber website at www.kingstonchamber.ca for more information over the coming weeks, including the detailed daily itinerary, and registration and payment information. Take advantage of this great opportunity to learn about an important economic power, and expand your local networks and connections through the bonds you will make with the others from Kingston who will join you on the trip!

Business Today Kingston

375 Select Dr. Kingston Ontario K7m 8R1 • 613-546-8885 Group Publisher: Duncan Weir General Manager: Donna Glasspoole Sales Coordinator: Kate Lawrence Printed by performance printing

6 Kingston Business Today - Monday, May 27, 2013

Production: Rob Purvis, Adele Webster, Jennifer Palmer Sales Representatives: Rick Schutt Kevin Dillon Barb Revelle Jennifer Piribauer

Contributors Jennifer Baker Lisa Berard-Hastead Connie Carrillo Debra Dobing Kelsy Flewitt Bill Hutchins

Lynne Lepage Jared MacKay Lorne Matthews-Glasspoole Michael Onesi Donna Woodbury


By Lynne Lepage Shoebox Services Inc.

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Now here’s a good question…Who needs a bookkeeper? Many entrepreneurs have probably made attempts, and even managed to their own bookkeeping at least at first. But, are they good at it? Are they taking valuable time away from their main business to do so? After all, there are only so many hours in a day. If you run your own business you may have a bookkeeper on staff. It is an important role in order to know where you stand financially. What revenue is coming in, what revenue is going out. Understanding the financial aspect of your business allows you to move your business to the next level. If you are a small office, and are managing the task of bookkeeping yourself, you may not be getting the most financially from your business In both revenue and lost time you have dedicated to this task. The words “freelance bookkeeper” is not a favourite phrase for some business owners. There are several reasons for this and all of these are misguided. So here are a few myths that need to be addressed: Myth: Freelance bookkeepers cost too much. Truth: In fact, hiring a contract bookkeeper can save you money as you only pay for the hours that they actually work on your books. This means you don’t have an employee sitting around with nothing to do while you are paying them by the hour. You also don’t have to pay for

statutory holidays, vacation time, overtime or any employee benefits. So, while you will typically be paying more per hour to hire a freelance bookkeeper, this will actually balance out and save you money with employee expenses that you don’t have to pay. Myth: The bookkeeping work won’t get done on time. Truth: Freelance bookkeepers are business owners and as such, they take meeting deadlines for their clients very seriously. They know that if they continually miss deadlines, they won’t be in business for long. That’s why most competent freelancers have systems in place to ensure that your work gets done and reports are filed on time. Myth: They won’t have any control over the books Truth: While giving up the bookkeeping to someone else can feel like control is being lost, it doesn’t have to be that way. If the business owner develops a good relationship with the freelancer, they should be able to contact the bookkeeper when questions arise. Additionally, receiving monthly financial statements in a timely manner ensures that the business owner can make critical decisions sooner. We all have heard the phrase “time is money” and that definitely applies to the work involved in keeping your books balanced. Not to mention the stress involved. Think how much easier it would be to focus on your business, save money, more time for you and your family. Ask yourself these questions. • Have you had late payment for government remittance? • Are you taking time out of the day to make payments at the bank? • Are your year-end costs too high? • Are you searching for lost receipts? • Do you find filing taxes puzzling? It may be time to look closer at the financial security of your business. If you don’t have an in-house bookkeeper it may be time to look at the benefits. Lynne Lepage, President at Shoebox Services Inc. www.shoeboxservices.ca; lynne. lepage@shoeboxservices.ca

When to re-brand By Lisa Berard-Hasted

company in question. Most recently, the Bay for any number of reasons, not the least of which was anticipated increased retail competition, decided it would be advantageous to rebrand their retail stores… now known as Hudson’s Bay. The hope is that this rebranding will not only differentiate the “Bay” from the competition but also allow them to leverage a 200 plus year relationship with Canadians. “Our Kwik Kopy Design & Print Centre in Kingston was facing a similar perceptual challenge,“ says Greg “Our name implied that we specialized in photocopying and printing and when the business was first started 30 years ago, that’s exactly what we did.” “But that was then and this is now.” Says Lisa. Our logo has changed and our name is now KKP, and collectively they better reflect the products and service we offer in this ever changing business environment!” KKP can produce everything you need to run your business. Have your business offerings changed over the years? Have your products or services been updated to meet the requirements of today? Then you may need to take a close look at re-Branding yourself. Times, they are a changing.

Long time Kingston resident and co-owner of the recently rebranded KKP (previously Kwik Kopy) Greg Hasted has an interesting perspective on re-branding: “Business is the only institution that is driven by change. If you can, name another organization that is geared to embrace change and not to maintain the status quo?” Greg’s wife and business partner Lisa then adds: “A basic rule of business … if you’re not comfortable with ‘change’ you’re not going to be in business very long. And that’s what rebranding is all about… aggressively dealing with change.” Today, most businesses are built on a foundation of sand. A foundation where customers’ needs are constantly shifting; old competitors are developing new products and new competitors are entering the market; technology is creating unbelievable new opportunities but dramatically reducing or eliminating others. Proactively managing change enables a business to strengthen and maintain their ‘foundation.’ Rebranding is that umbrella word that encompasses everything that a company does to inform its current and potential hank you for years of customers: “Now, this is what we are all about!” supporT ingsTon area Rebranding generally revolves around a name change that, in the future, better communicates how the business wishes to be viewed. At one time, it was known as Tim Horton Donuts but as the product offering expanded it became Tim Hortons. If properly executed, the rebranding addresses any lingering, troubling or inappropriate perceptions about the Phone 613-542-0820 • Fax 613-548-8616 services or products provided by the

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Making the Perfect Cottage Pass area fans, the thought of watching them hoist that cup is a thing of beauty. And watching from the cottage? Well, is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

Lorne Matthews-Glasspoole

Is it any wonder why this is the favourite time of year by far for so many Canadians? The combination of longer warmer days, NHL play-off hockey, and spring weekends at the cottage is pretty difficult to beat! As I write this column, the Ottawa Senators are the only Canadian team remaining in contention for Lord Stanley’s Cup. For legions of their loyal Kingston

Indeed, the family cottage can be the ideal place for all sorts of fun times with the important people in your life. Memories of long summer days spent at the cottage can seem nothing short of magical, and every parent hopes to create the same fond memories for their own children. Of course if you’re a cottage owner, there will also eventually come the day when you’ll want to pass it on to someone else to enjoy, quite possibly your adult children. To help you avoid potential obstacles like excessive taxation and maybe even some surprising opposition, here are some suggestions on how to make the “perfect cottage pass�, and ensure it will stay in the family for a long time to come. 1) First, don’t get blindsided: Wayne Gretzky famously said that he skates to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. When you’re thinking about

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whom to pass your cottage to, do you rely on what has been, or do you consider what is going to happen? For instance, while your adult children have always enjoyed time at the cottage, will they still feel the same in the future when you’re no longer around to play host? Certainly the experience of “visiting� vs “owning� can feel remarkably different, and it is by no means uncommon for a new, next-gen cottage owner to wish they could reconsider their decision. Talk to your children now about this important issue. If there are those who do not want to assume responsibility of ownership, you can help avoid a future family squabble by ensuring fair treatment of all children in your will. 2) Make the easy pass: Plan now to avoid excessive tax liability when you make the pass. Unless you’re passing assets over to a spouse or common-law partner, you’re deemed to have disposed of all capital assets at fair market value when you die. Depending upon how much your cottage property has appreciated, your heirs could face a significant

HOME DECOR

capital gains penalty. You might consider a less-taxing pass by transferring the property to your kids while you are still alive, either as an outright gift or by selling it to them at fair market value (be aware that selling for less than FMV can result in double taxation). Spread out the capital gains triggered by the cottage sale by making the payments over a five year period and claiming the capital gains reserve. This way only 20% of the capital gain is taxable in any one year. Alternatively, transfer the property as a trust, with your kids as beneficiaries. While this transfer option will also trigger an immediate capital gain, future capital gains on the property will accrue to your children, and are not payable until they sell the property. 3) Insure your pass: Consider covering cottage capital gains – and other estate debt – with permanent life insurance. The death benefits are usually taxfree and can provide an essential source of cash to apply against any taxes owing. This way, your family won’t be forced to

PHOTOGRAPHY

sell precious assets such as your cottage simply in order to pay the tax man. One thing is certain: The perfect cottage pass should be an essential part of your overall financial and estate game plan. Why not begin the process by starting a discussion when you’re all together at the cottage this summer? Whatever your eventual decisions, your professional financial and legal advisors can help ensure that your plan is perfect for you. Lorne Matthews-Glasspoole is a Financial Planner at Investors Group, in Kingston, ON. You can contact him at lorne.matthewsglasspoole@investorsgroup.com This column, written and published by Investors Group Financial Services Inc. and Investors Group Securities Inc. presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell investments. Contact your own advisor for specific advice about your circumstances.

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news

News from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce What the 2013 Ontario Budget means for business Overall, the Budget is a mixed bag. important thing that government can do Some measures will improve our over- to secure Ontario’s prosperity.” all competitiveness. These measures Note that while the deficit is proinclude: jected to grow next year to $11.7 billion, government has a history of overstating • holding the line on Corporate In- the projected deficit. come Tax rates; OCC ANALYSIS • extending the Capital Cost AllowThe deficit and debt announceance for Manufacturers; ments are of no surprise. In a context • making progress on Pooled Regis- of weak economic growth, a balanced tered Pension Plans (PRPPs); and, approached to eliminating the deficit • implementing new investments in is probably justified. Too much austertransportation infrastructure. ity too fast-particularly in a context of • Some measures are disappointing: reduced federal spending-could further • there is still no clear plan on how dampen economic growth. government will cut costs and meet However, the projected increase in rising demand for services; the deficit for next year is concerning, • government is interfering in auto and likely reflects government’s teninsurance; dency to overstate the assumption for • and, nothing addresses the govern- political reasons. ment’s exposure to an inevitable A second concern is the absence of hike in interest rates. a plan on how to constrain costs in the future. Government has already tackled The bottom line? The plan for long- the low hanging fruit when it comes to term transformation and spending con- spending reductions, such as wage and straint is unclear. hiring freezes. Where’s the long-term plan for transformation? THE DEFICIT POOLED REGISTERED PENSION The deficit is projected at $9.8 bil- PLANS (PRPPs) lion for 2012-13. Total net debt is proThe government has announced that jected at $268 billion or approximately they will consult with interested par$20,000 per person. The debt to GDP ties to determine how best to implement ratio is project at 37.5 percent. PRPPs in the province. The government retains its target of PRPPs are new, optional and loweliminating the deficit by 2017-18 and cost retirement savings mechanisms that then reducing the net debt-to-GDP ra- will make it easier for small businesses tio of 27 percent. According to Budget, to offer pension plans to their employ“eliminating the deficit is the single most ees. The federal government has passed

legislation enabling PRPPs. Similar provincial legislation is an important next step. OCC ANALYSIS This is a win for the OCC and its members, who have been pushing the government to follow the lead of the federal government and other provinces and introduce a PRPP regime in Ontario. The OCC will actively participate in the PRPP consultation process. AUTO INSURANCE “REFORM” The Budget proposes an auto-insurance cost-and-rate-reduction strategy that would reduce auto insurance rates by 15 percent. OCC ANALYSIS The OCC is leery of any government intervention on pricing in the marketplace unless there is evidence of collusion or a monopoly. Government has demonstrated neither. What are the unintended consequences? Will smaller players exit? Will competition in the sector be reduced as a result? Will the purpose be defeated? This may be a short-sighted and bandaid solution to a more complex set of issues and problems. MINIMUM WAGE Ontario proposes the creation of an Advisory Panel to provide “recommendations on how the government should determine future changes to minimum wage.” The Panel would be composed of representatives from multiple sectors and be headed by an independent

Chair. The Panel would be required to consult interested parties and report back to government with six months of passing the budget. OCC ANALYSIS The OCC is currently consulting its members on both the level of minimum wage and how the wage should be determined. ONTARIO YOUTH JOBS STRATEGY The Budget commits $295 million over two years for a Youth Jobs Strategy, $195 million of which is dedicated to an Ontario Youth Employment Fund. The fund would provide hiring incen-

tives to employers. The government is also creating a Youth Entrepreneurship Fund of $45 million over two years which will connect youth to mentors and provide more seed capital for start-ups. OCC ANALYSIS The OCC supports efforts to connect youth to employment opportunities. Ontario’s skills gap is growing, and younger workers represent a large, untapped pool of labour with much to offer. For additional Ontario Chamber of Commerce advocacy and activities, please visit their website: www.occ.

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Mayor Responds To 2013 Ontario Budget On May 2nd at Queen’s Park the Ontario government released its 2013 provincial budget. The budget outlined several things that could impact the Kingston community. “I am encouraged to see the government continuing the social services upload, and investing in our local youth and businesses,� said Mayor Mark Gerretsen. “Unfortunately, this budget does not contain a change to the heads and beds levy, something the City of Kingston has been actively pursuing with the government since 2007.� “The 2013 Ontario Budget announced $35 billion to infrastructure spending. Unfortunately, this budget does not contain a lot of new spending for medium sized municipalities like Kingston, but instead focuses on transit projects in Toronto and the GTHA, as well as infrastructure for small and northern municipalities. We will continue to work with the government and opposition parties on how this funding can meet the needs of communities like ours.� Highlights of this year’s budget include: Establishing a Youth Jobs Strategy of $295 million over two years to create jobs and mentorship opportunities for about

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30,000 youth and promote entrepreneurship and innovation. Investing in infrastructure for public transit, roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. Reducing auto insurance rates by 15 per cent. Helping 46,000 more people receive home and community care quickly and in the comfort of their own home. Providing tax relief to small businesses by increasing their Employer Health Tax exemption from $400,000 to $450,000 of payroll. Taking steps to transform social assistance to help more recipients find jobs and improve their financial security. Honouring the existing social services upload agreement. Creating a $100 million infrastructure fund for roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure for small, rural and northern municipalities. Support for public transit systems across the province will be made permanent and enshrined in the budget bill. The government will consider new revenue tools to support transportation and public transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. $13.5 million over three years for drinking water source protection. During the province’s 2013 budget consultations the City of Kingston made a submission calling on the government to make changes to the heads and beds policy, deliver long-term sustainable funding for municipalities and invest in local infrastructure.

human resources

How do you manage an employee who is performing poorly?

By Connie Carrillo

A sales representative, John Smith, is an underachieving employee. Mr. Smith is missing sales quotas, has poor relationships with coworkers and managers and copes poorly with change. Does this sound familiar? The fundamental question for most managers in this situation is whether to fire the employee or work with them to manage his performance. Answering this question is impossible without first identifying the cause of the poor performance. Does it arise from incompetence? Weak motivation? Or inadequate support from management? Without the correct answer to these three possibilities, companies will not maintain good employees, and won’t bring out the best in their workforce. If managers wrongfully believe the problem is motivation, they may fail to invest in the employee, by giving the training and technology they require. Performance will typically worsen and the company will lose employees who would have been profitable, had management provided the supports for success. How do managers identify the problem? How do they know when the solution is to continue the employment relationship or to terminate it? When they maintain the employment relationship, how do they know how to improve it?

Answering these questions correctly requires employers to have systems in place to Communicate expectations to employees; Measure the extent employees are meeting these expectations Provide and receive feedback from employees. First, how do employers best communicate expectations? With a well drafted job description. These job descriptions outline the job’s responsibilities, what employees must do to meet those responsibilities and how well they must do it. They also show how the job interacts with other jobs in the company, so employees can see how they contribute to the company’s goals. In our example Mr. Smith was not clear about what territories he was directly responsible for servicing, or what products and services yield the most profit. With that knowledge Mr. Smith would know where to focus his efforts and what he should be trying to sell. Second, how do employers measure how well employees are meeting these expectations? By developing and implementing “Key Performance Indicators.� While job descriptions explain the job’s responsibilities, management requires a tool to identify how well these are being met. Performance must be measured, quantifiably and qualitatively alike. Performance Indicators provide these measures. Continual improvement, for the employee and the employer alike requires feedback between the two. Feedback is a genuine dialogue. The content of this dialogue should be informed by how well the employee performed against the key performance indicators, discussed above. But feedback requires more. Interventions to improve performance may not be obvious; the most effective interventions, including training and technology, will reveal themselves in the dialogue between manager and employee. Further, feedback must include regularly scheduled performance evaluations. Best practices tend toward quarterly evaluations. Effective performance evaluations do not just happen; managers should be trained. When carried out poorly, they may be demoralizing rather than empowering. In conclusion, managers should design and maintain a performance management system for all of its employees. Having job description, key performance Indicators, and regular performance feedback can contribute to growth and stem poor performance. If you need help with developing a performance management system, consult a human resources professional. Connie Carrillo is a Certified Human Resources Professional, operating as HR on Target. You can visit Connie at her website, www.hrontarget.com , email her at carrillo25@hrontarget.com or phone Connie at (613) 389-3265. She is also a member of Professional Expert Advisors Kingston (“PEAK�) www.peakteam.ca/.

Ontario Technological Skills Competition Continued from Pg. 5

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10 Kingston Business Today - Monday, May 27, 2013

schools and post-secondary schools across Ontario. As Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities toured the event, students competed in their chosen trade for the chance at a gold medal; many winners were honoured with a monetary award and the chance to head to the National Competition, to be held in Vancouver from June 5 to 8. Representing Kingston and area will be Julia Foell from St. Lawrence College won Gold in Aesthetics;

Lucas Silver from the Limestone District School Board, winning Gold in TV & Video Production. Also recognized were Amanda Oliveira from St. Lawrence Colleg winning silver in Aesthetics, David Lougheed from the Limestone District School Board with a Silver in Web Site Development and Holly Francoeur , from Limestone District School Board winning Gold in Restaurant Services. Swelling with approximately 20,000 visitors from across Ontario, the contests were held at RIM Park and Manulife Sportsplex on May 6 and 7, and pumped approximately $3.5 million into the local economy. Skills Canada – Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the skilled trades and technologies as viable, firstchoice career options for Ontario youth. www.skillsontario.com

Secondary school students win the Website development contest. From left to right: Kingston’s David Lougheed wins silver,  Marc Mailhot of Fonthill wins gold and George Liu of Niagara Falls wins bronze.


COMING EVENTS JUNE 4 - The Results Driven Website

explore the structure of IPP plans and identify opportunities to increase retirement and investment assets: Where: All workshops will be held at Innovation Park at 945 Princess Street.When: Registration begins at 8:45 AM, and the workshops will run from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM.Cost: Each workshop costs $25 for Chamber members, and $45 for non-members (plus HST). JUNE 6 - Workplace Policies & Procedures To register for any of the workshops listed above, please email Presenter: Connie Carillo from HR on TargetLearn to develop us at events@kingstonchamber.ca policies and procedures from initial design, and reviews existing JUNE 20 - 24th Chamber Classic Golf Tournament documents to recommend improvements. Tee off times: 7:30am and 1pm June 11-Business Hall of Fame Inductee Breakfast Host: Colonade Golf Club 7:30 am – 9 am (registration 7 am) Presenting Sponsor: Thomson Jemmett Vogelzang Host: Days Inn, Kingston Banquet and Conference Centre. Enjoy a great day of golf with prizes, food, networking and Sponsor: Bell more at the 24th Chamber Classic Golf Tournament! Spots still Join us as we celebrate some of Kingston’s true business lead- available for the morning flight, so contact the Chamber to regers and visionaries! In partnership with KEDCO, we are pleased ister soon! to induct the 2013 group of honourees: June 27 - China Trip Information Session, Visionaries: John Molloy, Lily Inglis Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront, 5:30 pm Enabler: Kathy Wood Learn more about the Chamber’s 2014 excursion to China. Mentor: Shai Dubey, Peter Swan Learn about the itinerary details and costs, and hear from people Community Builders: Peter Splinter, Walter Fenlon Tables or individual tickets available for purchase, contact who have been on the trip in the past. April Mixer events@kingstonchamber.ca Presenter: Jay Adamsson from Analytic-ORAny business or organization knows the need for a website. But very few actually put in the effort needed to make their website a strategic part of their operations. This seminar focuses on strategies that get results.

JUNE 13 - Managing Cash Flow

Presenter: Gord Davis from ScotiabankCash flow is one of the most critical components of success for businesses of all sizes. Learn how to effectively manage the operating cash flow for yourself and your business

Thank you to our partners

JUNE 18 - Individual Pension Plans for Incorporated Business Owner

Presenter: Don Maycock from Advantage Wealth PlanningLearn how an IPP (Individual Pension Plan) can significantly increase your retirement assets by as much as 65% compared to a traditional RRSP. This seminar will

Events PHOTOGRAPHED By

TAYLOR STUDIOS

Gail Vaz-Oxlade speaking at Inspiration to Women April 25 at the Krock Centre.

EMPLOYERS

Events Supported By

Via Rail

Winners of the post-secondary Aesthetics contest in The Ontario Technological Skills Competition, held on May 6 and 7 in Waterloo, Ont. From left to right: Amanda Oliveira of Amherstview wins silver, Julia Foell of Kingston wins gold and Tatiane Soares of Toronto wins bronze. Foell will be competing in the national competition in Vancouver from June 5 to 8.

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Help to identify candidates who meet your recruitment needs Support to access funding through government employment programs

An employment counsellor Career counselling A way to establish training objectives Creation of resume and cover letter (bilingual) Interview coaching Information on the local labour market

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Kingston Business Today - Monday, May 27, 2013 11


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