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Your source for business and chamber news in the Greater Kingston Area September 3, 2013

Vol. 2 NO. 8

Queen’s reaching out to businesses, community during Homecoming Networking events gives businesses a chance to recruit Queen’s students; free open houses and sporting events give the public a chance to explore campus By Michael Onesi

When Queen’s University Homecoming rolls around this October, local restaurants and business are going to be packed with thousands of alumni returning to campus. This year’s Homecoming (Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 18-20) – the first since 2008– will be a little different. The University is working closely in partnership with the community to help connect students with alumni and the Kingston community. Another important change that school officials are making this year is organizing more events for the general public. One activity that the local business community should take part in is the Alumni-Community Networking events at The Grad Club on Oct. 4 and 18 from 4-6 p.m. Alumni and Kingston business leaders are invited to come and meet with Queen’s students currently in graduate or professional programs. The students will be eager to share their research and future plans, as well as gaining some career advice and guidance. The event is being organized by Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce and the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS). “Many businesses in Kingston face current and/or pending shortages of skilled staff across a number of disciplines, and connecting directly with Queen’s students while they are in school can help create connections for local businesses to find and attract their future labour force,” says Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Hutcheon. He also notes that Queen’s students are not only a major consumer group for

Kingston businesses while they are studying at Queen’s, but they are also a huge pool of potential future skilled labour for local businesses. Becky Pero, of the SGPS, feels the networking events are a great opportunity for students to meet with alumni and community members and learn from their experiences. “Additionally, these events are intended to strengthen ties to Kingston while encouraging alumni and community members to learn more about graduate and professional students on campus and their research and academic activities and interests,” says Pero. “Homecoming can have a major impact on a Kingston business community beyond just creating an influx of customers to local shops and restaurants. Hopefully the networking event can help companies meet some students who will one day become star employees,” says Sarah Indewey, Queen’s Manager of Volunteer Relations and Reunions. Here are some other activities where you do not need to have a Queen’s degree to have fun: Football games: The Gaels take on Wilfred Laurier (Oct. 5) and Guelph (Oct. 19) at 1 pm at Richardson Stadium. Buy tickets ahead of time; the games may sell out. Free movies: Downtown Kingston! is holding a special Movies in the Square screenings at sundown in Springer Market Square on Oct. 4 and Oct. 18. Soccer: Watch the men’s soccer team take on RMC at the West Campus field by Richardson Stadium at 5:30 pm on Oct. 4. Admission is free.

Open houses: many faculties and departments – such as Civil Engineering and the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining – are opening their doors from 9 to 11 a.m. on Oct. 5 and Oct. 18 to show off their facilities and latest research. Student Clubs and Graduate Studies Showcase: Learn what Queen’s clubs and groups are working on and hear about the exciting research being done at the uni-

versity, at Grant Hall from 9 to 11 am on Oct. 5 and Oct. 19 Art: A guided tour of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre takes place on Oct. 5 and Oct. 19 at 10:15 a.m. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a docent will be on hand to answer questions. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and free for children under 18 and Queen’s alumni. “You don’t need a degree from Queen’s

to enjoy Homecoming,” says Indewey. “We want to reach out to the community. We hope people from the Kingston take the opportunity to explore the Queen’s campus and get to know the school better.” A full list of Homecoming events can be found on the Queen’s University Alumni Relations website at homecomng2013.

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e: G: eGoerogrege m a N a mee: 44 Business Bureau orld is mumbling. NBetter w Aeg: 44 . e g h t in l f b o m t s u e r m e s h i t A gWarning Sign: Is convincceedd the rest of the world in v n o c s I : n ig S g Warnin Do people sound like they mumble? If your customers tell you they love doing business with Do people sound like they mumble? you, then you may deserve a 2013 BBB TOrch AwArd Does background noise make it difficult Nominate yourself or any company committed to ethics and trust. Does background noise make it difficult Contact Lyndsay at 613 233 3562 or to follow a conversation? follow If so, you may have ato hearing loss and a it isconversation? probably making you frustrated and even tired.

A message from the Chair Your words could be bad for business

Donna Woodbury Chair, Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce

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I have no intention of preaching or providing a grammar 101 lesson but I must declare right up front that I’m one of those people who judges basic writing skills. I like capital letters at the beginning of sentences. I do cringe when the incorrect ‘there’, ‘they’re’ and ‘their’ is used. I shake my head when ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ are used in place of one another. While these reactions may seem a bit over the top, it’s important to note that I am a consumer. I hire companies to do work. I buy products and services. When I read emails that arrive from companies wanting my business, the language used is a reflection of that company’s willingness and ability to care about their message. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit (the largest online repair community) has publicly declared that he won’t hire people who use poor grammar. In fact, anyone who applies for a job takes the mandatory grammar test. Wiens wrote, “If job hopefuls can’t distinguish between ‘to’ and ‘too,’ their applications go into the bin. Grammar is relevant for all companies. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. “ Recently, and for the first time ever, I replied with some constructive criticism to an email that was riddled with typos and grammatical errors. The weekly blast was sent by a respectable regional organization announcing an upcoming Unexpected business challenge? event for business leaders. If this orPEAK Professional Expert Advisors Kingston ganization was trying to entice prohas the skills to solve specific business fessionals to spend problems and develop strategies money and time for growth. learning from their experts, this particular email would Visit the PEAK website and you could... do little to persuade anyone. I never did receive a response to that email. In fact, I haven’t received • accounting • advertising/marketing • benefits/employee retirement • business law a blast since but I • communications • human resources • insurance • IT management • strategic planning don’t take it perThe PEAK Professional Expert Advisors Kingston Inc. contest ends December 31, 2013. The prize consists of a $75 gift certificate from sonally. Hopefully, Olivea Restaurant, Kingston. The odds of winning will depend on the number of qualifying entries received during the contest period. Complete contest rules can be found on the PEAK website. that organization


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For those of you who know me well, I love to travel. But in the summer, there is no better place to be than Kingston and area. Summers in Kingston are glorious with an endless amount of activities to keep you busy, places to visit and outdoor patios to suite every palate. I know that the local businesses and tourism operators greatly appreciate our support as well. Fort Henry added a fantastic video show to their Famous Sunset Ceremonies this year along with many other events and activities. There are still lots to see and do at the Fort this season. Have you checked out their new outdoor patio with one of the best views in Kingston? I love walking downtown and seeing so many visitors enjoying our wonderful city and everything it has to offer. Even we locals can enjoy being a tourist in our city. Kingston Trolley Tours offer 3 Trolleys with Hop-on, Hop-off services and stops at several local attractions. I bet you could learn a thing or two about the history of our city if you took this tour. Of course there is the Farmers Market. This is a great time to buy from our local farmers with their freshly picked harvests. Movies in the square, put on by our local Kingston BIA, were once again very popular with Kingstonians. The classic movie Ghostbusters, starring Dan Aykroyd, was the perfect selection to end the season. In the retail world, and for other businesses who either support re-

now takes a few extra minutes to review their weekly emails before hitting the send button. With so many companies vying for our business and with all else being equal, messaging will give one particular company the competitive edge. Poorly written emails containing run-on sentences, omitted punctuation, misspelled or misused words are difficult to read and easy to misunderstand. Unfortunately, in this fast-paced world and with never-ending to-do lists, many people don’t take the time to proof their work. It doesn’t help that we have come to rely too heavily on grammar and spell check programs that don’t always work. The best advice is Lindsey Foster is a member of to seek another set of eyes. Sending the message to someone PEAK. She operates WordWorx, you know or calling in a co-worker to a communications company that review your work can make the world specializes in ‘putting words to of difference. Don’t be embarrassed. work for you’. This proactive approach can affect your bottom line. hank you for over years If you set your writings standards of supporT ingsTon area as high as your business standards, a client or prospect will recognize your professionalism and appreciate that you take as much pride in emails as Phone 613-542-0820 • Fax 613-548-8616 your workmanship.

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By Donna Woodbury

tailers or market to students, September represent Back to School. For many of us this is a bitter sweet feeling. We do not want to see the end of summer, but we all appreciate the extra business that this season brings to our businesses. Families are getting their kids ready for school by purchasing new clothes and school supplies. Post-Secondary students are coming to town, some of them for the first time. This is your opportunity to gain a new, loyal customer. Are you capitalizing on this potential extra business? Students are savvy shoppers. Many do their research before they come in to our stores. Smartphones have made it easier to shop for the best prices without even leaving your stores. Have you thought about how you are going to win and keep their business? With three post-secondary institutions in Kingston, businesses and restaurants have a unique opportunity to increase their sales. September can equal Christmas sales for some savvy business owners, with the appropriate planning. Consider your staffing requirements. Do you have enough staff to cover this busy period? How are you marketing to the students? What can you do differently to stand out and get noticed? These are all great questions to talk to your teams about and prepare yourself. There is lots on the go at the Chamber this month. Be sure to sign up for one of our workshops. There is still availability in ‘HR Policies’ as well as ‘Logo’s and Branding’. Our Breakfast series starts up again on September 17, with the Leaders Breakfast at St. Lawrence College. And don’t forget to set a calendar reminder to attend ‘Connect’, The Business Expo, where you can connect with other local businesses on September 26 th. This is the largest networking and trade show of the year with over 100 local exhibitors in the Rogers K-Rock Centre. Looking forward to seeing you at a Chamber function this month.


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Sustainable Kingston Welcomes the Business Section to our Community! Kingston is a city that is a vital, dynamic and sustainable economic centre where research, innovation, investment, and business enterprises thrive together and where a variety of people want to visit, live, work, and do business. Developing a sustainable economy depends on building many relationships and partnerships with businesses, industry leaders, educational institutions, notfor-profit organizations, and the community at large. Our economy relies upon, and is built upon, a strong cultural, social, and environmental foundation. The Economic Pillar is focused on the attraction of new businesses and people to Kingston. This is critical to the city’s growth and sustainability and assists us in building a strong and vibrant local community. The retention of talented people in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in Kingston are fundamental to achieving this. Existing businesses and the jobs they create, are critical components of a strong, sustainable economy. The intention of Sustainable Kingston is to educate, motivate and support partner organizations and citizens in establishing, implementing and achieving their sustainability goals in support of community sustainability in Kingston. Together we can achieve and be the difference that makes the difference.

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4 Kingston Business Today - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sarah Anson-Cartwright

Just over a year ago, the government announced an accelerated labour market opinion (A-LMO) process for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), shortening the process from several weeks to within 10 business days. Business welcomed that initiative with great enthusiasm. Last week, however, new government regulations came into force to create more disincentives to using the program. There is no commitment to service levels at present; the prior commitment to efficiency has fallen to the side. Since the spring, the TFW program has been subject to a death of a thousand cuts. Certainly, the program is a long way from being eliminated. But, the measures discussed in late winter, stated in the budget, and then announced on April 29 make it clear the government is tightening the screws on the program. Those measures include suspending the A-LMO process, introducing a user fee, and requiring a transition plan for employers to hire Ca-

nadian workers, among other measures. The irony is that such changes will penalize small and medium-sized businesses; those firms who rely on 83% of the TFW positions approved via the LMO process, according to 2012 data. They are the firms in low unemployment and/or low population locations where skilled workers are not available or where Canadian workers are unwilling to move to work. A new user fee for positions requiring an LMO was introduced last week via regulations. The fee comes as no surprise; the government announced its intentions in the budget after consulting with employer groups and industry associations late last winter. What concerns many chamber members and the employers who turn to the program as a last resort in recruiting, is that the fee comes with no service guarantees. (The gazette notice simply states that the department intends to develop and publish service standards for the processing of LMOs.) The employers will pay the fee without knowing when they will receive an opinion.

The opinion may be negative, which shuts down the request for a temporary foreign worker. Where an LMO is positive, it is valid for six months. In other words, to fill positions, employers may require more than one fee paid per worker. Not only has the government nixed the faster processing and introduced user fees, it has estimated the government will earn between $9 million and $17 million in each of the next 10 years. These are net earnings after costs, or “funds made available to the Government of Canada as a result of the fee.” While employers struggle to locate workers with the skills they need, the government has seen a revenuegenerating opportunity. It has swapped commitments of efficiency for new fees without service standards. This hardly bodes well for an economy with skills shortages that are not quickly or easily addressed, and where temporary foreign workers have made the difference to filling employers’ labour market needs.

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Protecting your personal Facebook account

By Jennifer Baker

Over the past several months I have noticed an increase in the number of similar updates from friends and colleagues. These fake Facebook profiles are popping up all over the place. These accounts are created by

custom. If users are concerned about their privacy, it is recommended to set the profile picture album privacy to, at a minimum, “friends.” This ensures only your friends can view your profile picture album. 3. About Lately Facebook has been actively encouraging users to update personal information, including current location, hometown, relationship status, work, and education. Many times, however, the default setting for all of this information is “public.” Take a peek at this section to ensure you’re not oversharing your personal life, and that you have set the appropriate privacy settings. 4. Friend Lists Hiding your Facebook friend list from the public is the most important component to securing your personal privacy. Without this vital list, hackers will be unable to send misleading requests to your existing friends.

To update your settings, from your personal profile click “Friends,” then in the top-right, click the writing utensil, selecting “Edit Privacy.” Select “Only Me” as the privacy setting. This ensures that only you can see your friend list. Remember folks: Just b e c a u s e Facebook asks you to include key information, does not mean

that it is a requirement! Only share information with which you are comfortable.


hackers, but they are not breaking into your account through emails and passwords, rather, they are gathering public Facebook information and creating a second you. It is important, therefore, to be confident about the information you share with friends and the public. There are a few key areas to focus on, including: 1. Cover Photos The large horizontal image at the top of your Facebook personal profile is your personal cover photo. While some people have chosen not to upload a custom image, many people have taken the opportunity to showcase family, wedding, vacation, or personal photos. It is important to be aware that these photos are visible to the public and that anyone can save these photos to their desktop for their personal use. If you are concerned about your privacy, consider removing this image. 2. Profile Picture Your Facebook profile picture is the image that appears whenever you create posts, or comment on friend’s posts. Users can change the privacy setting for each profile picture either to public, friends, only me, or

Booking now being accepted for Chamber Trip to China Travel. Learn. Network!

The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce is offering an 11-day trip to China, departing March 29, 2014. This trip is operated by Nexus Holidays and is offered in partnership with Marlin Travel Service Guaranteed. 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 some local business tours. Accommodations are all in five-star hotels in Beijing, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Suzhuo and Shanghai, and international flights are on Air Canada. The price of the trip is only $2,499 for Chamber members, and $2,699 for non-members, per person, based on double occupancy. This price includes all airfare (international on Air Canada, and domestic within China), bus transportation (to and from Toronto airport, and within China), most meals, 5-star hotels, attractions, english-speaking guides, taxes and fees. The cost of your travel visa, personal expenditures and gratuities, as well as a couple of meals, are not included. A full information session will be presented on Wednesday October 9th. This session will include presentations from the travel company, and it is free to attend with no obligation to join the trip. People interested in attending the information session should register in advance to The session will run from 5-7pm at the Travelodge Hotel. Also, you can visit us at the Chamber’s Connect Business Expo on Thursday September 26th at the K-Rock Centre to learn more!

Need Business Help?


And, bookings and further trip information can be obtained through Jackie Lacey at Marlin Travel Service Guaranteed at 613.384.4567 x 115 or


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Kingston Business Today - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 5

Providing quality bilingual services 8 helpful tips services. To become a leader in bilingual recruitment just follow these simple tips below:

bilingual staff member CONNECT him or her to francophone supports in the comBy Jim Barber munity.

EDUCATE your staff in your organization about the importance of offering bilingual services.

SUPPORT your bilingual staff to help them maintain and develop their skills in French or in English by providing them with the tools to do their job in both languages.

STRIVE to provide the same range and quality of services in French that you provide in English. WHEN RECRUITING, LOOK TO HR resources to post your job offer in French and in English.

By Catarina Macedo

ACFOMI has been providing quality bilingual services in the Kingston and Thousand Islands region since 1976 and was one of the leads in Kingston obtaining their official designation as the 25th Bilingual city in 2009. As the French Languages Service Act will take effect in 2014, providing bilingual services will be mandatory in all provincially funded organizations. There are specific tips that will help all businesses in providing quality bilingual

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX when it comes to recruiting bilingual staff. Partner with immigrant-serving agencies and consider hiring qualified francophone staff whose English may need upgrading. CULTIVATE a workplace that supports diversity. Encourage your bilingual staff to speak French among themselves, even if their direct supervisors do not understand French. If you have only one

OFFER your bilingual staff opportunities for professional development in French or in English, to allow them to build vocabulary relevant to their specific fields of expertise. PROTECT your bilingual staff to ensure that they are not overloaded with tasks that are not in their job description that is language specific in your organization. ACFOMI is always available to provide you further tips and support in your bilingual recruitment needs! You can reach Catarina Macedo, one of the Job Developers at ACFOMI, at 613 546-7863 or by email at

Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario – Conseil régional des Mille-Îles

AVIS DE CONVOCATION ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE ANNUELLE À tous les francophones de la région des Mille-Îles Prenez avis que l’Assemblée générale annuelle de l’ACFOMI aura lieu le mercredi 18 septembre 2013 à 19 h au Centre culturel Frontenac situé au 711, avenue Dalton, à Kingston. Nous recherchons activement des membres pour siéger au conseil d’administration de notre organisme régional. Tous les francophones de la région des Mille-Îles sont les bienvenus.

Pour information, communiquez au 613 546-7863 ou visitez le

Please recycle this paper when you are finished with it

6 Kingston Business Today - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The shoe fits for this entrepreneur

Rodney Sothmann had a dream of opening his own shoe repair store. And like many would-be entrepreneurs, the idea was on the back burner because he thought the way you started a business was to throw a lot of money at your plan, spending lots of cash on a building and equipment. In other words, he subscribed to the “build it, and they will come” notion of starting a business. Fortunately for Rodney, and like many other successful entrepreneurs in the Kingston area, he had a chat with a business advisor from the Entrepreneur Centre for the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) who showed him that there was more than one way to start a business. Today, Kingston Shoe Repair and Orthopedic Shoe Service, located in a modest storefront on Montreal Street, is thriving. “I didn’t know much about business, and still don’t know a lot. And Mark Hanley from KEDCO was the one who really coached me on different approaches to doing business. The idea that I had, that lots of people have, about taking out a big loan and starting that way was only one approach,” he said. “They convinced me that the best thing for me was to start small and slow, to start in my home. It was about minimizing risk. And also a big part of that choice was the ability to start working right away without having to wait for a bunch of really big things to come through at the same time, like financing and marketing and a building. It gave me a chance to get familiar with running a business, and learning about the market here in Kingston, seeing how much of a demand there was, and how many orders I could get done.” Although still a young man, Sothmann had extensive experience in shoe repair and creation and maintenance of orthopedic equipment. In his hometown of Montreal he took a job working in a shoe repair store in a mall even though he had no experience. Actually, he was the only one to apply so the store owner, looking to be able to spend more time with his family, taught him the basics of shoe repair and how to run the store. He moved on to a bigger operation, before going to Toronto to study orthotics and prosthetics at George Brown College. “There aren’t really any places in Canada where you can learn about shoe repair, so through this program I learned some new skills and realized a lot of what I was learning was really relevant to shoemaking. After that I got a job doing only orthotics, but even with that there was a lot of shoemaking involved. I was always pushing to-

wards that side of the industry because I had all that experience from back in Montreal. So I was trying to use that to my best advantage.” Sothmann moved to Kingston in 2009, and worked for another firm related to orthopedics, which gave him more experience working with shoes and braces. “But I always thought there was a need in Kingston for another shoe repair shop, because there wasn’t that many, and I was something I was interested in doing. I was always interested in owning my own business and being more independent. So I looked into it, and over the last couple of years, just kept collecting more information, and also getting the equipment I needed if I was ever going to start,” he said. After his initial meetings with the Entrepreneur Centre, he took his equipment out of mothballs and set up his shoe repair business as a side project in his basement, and quickly realized how busy he was going to get. That was in March of 2012. The day after Thanksgiving, he opened his store on Montreal Street, thanks, in large part to Hanley and the staff at KEDCO. “They connected me up with an accountant, and she helps me out with financial planning for the business and a marketing consultant who coached me a lot on marketing strategies. They are an endless fountain of suggestions and options and all these different ideas to try,” he said. “And I tried some of them, and some worked real well, and some didn’t, but it was just good to be able to test different ideas and to think outside the box. So that was really helpful.” The biggest thing Sothmann said he learned was patience. “I made a minimal investment at the beginning and I recouped that investment from the work I did inside my house. And I was able to do that while waiting for a really great opportunity to come along as far as location went, as opposed to forcing myself into a location that I perhaps couldn’t afford, or was less than ideal,” he said. “Honestly, if I hadn’t hooked up with KEDCO I think I would still be working for someone else and not doing what I am doing. I would still just be thinking about it, and have a bunch of machinery sitting in storage. And even if I did start something, I don’t think it would have gone as well. I think my success, in large part, was listening to the advice I was given, and it’s brought me to where I am today.” For more information on Sothmann’s business, visit For more information on the programs and services offered through the Entrepreneur Centre at KEDCO, visit

Pet tag business has limitless potential By Jim Barber

Already an experienced business professional in the manufacturing sector, Derek Vince decided to venture into a doggone new enterprise. His wife Gwenneth Howard purchased a well-established dog training company called Luv-A-K9 nine years ago and when a representative from a dog-walking company started talking about the need for a better way to access medical information about the pets they were looking after - the idea for what is now DocuPet was born. The philosophy behind DocuPet is similar to that of the MedicAlert bracelets and necklaces, only far more sophisticated. “The program is for cats and dogs, or any pet that you can tag or is already tagged. When you get a tag you go onto our website and login with an individualized serial number. A private page comes up where you can load all the information about your pet –medical information, special requirements, photos, that sort of thing. The second that pet goes missing, you hit the alert button and your pet’s information is immediately sent out to all the veterinarians in Kingston, the Humane Society, Animal Control officers and to any other DocuPet member that has signed on to be part of the search team,� Vince explained. So, the more people who sign up, the bigger the network of people who can help find lost pets, or get information if one is found. It also helps veterinarians access the information about a pet without having to resort to costly examinations and testing if a lost animal is brought to them. DocuPet is working to get partners, such as municipalities, charities and even private corporations such as real estate companies, to get tags into as many hands as possible. But that’s only one part of the equation. “I realized very quickly that I needed very deep pockets to make this happen, and that’s when I thought of getting some practical advice from the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO). And

when I talked to their small business advisors, they said the timing was perfect,� said Vince. Mark Hanley, the manager of the Entrepreneur Centre at KEDCO, was working on creating a high-end, high-tech investment group and technological centre of excellence in Kingston, and thought DocuPet would be an excellent project for them to take on. Vince made a presentation and two of the members of this ‘pod’ got on board and formed a partnership. “Not only did these fellows have the capital, but they had the expertise on hand that was needed as well as the marketing savvy.� Vince said. “It’s a real marketing think tank. We’re down there once a week and things are morphing constantly every time we meet. There are so many different verticals in progress.� And Vince gives a great deal of the credit for DocuPet lining up the financing, the synergy with the investors and their access to high tech help, as well as their marketing acumen, to Mark Hanley and KEDCO’s hard work and dedication to making the project a success. “I think, in general KEDCO is doing a fabulous job.� “They are fantastic. You make a phone call and they get back to you pretty darn quick. They will come to you or meet you at a coffee shop. It’s very non-institutional and free of that bureaucratic feeling.� Vince, who said he turns 66 later this year, can’t believe the potential that DocuPet has. “I have never worked so hard in my life, but it is fun. I know there is a need for this product in the marketplace and there are so many potential applications for it that it’s incredibly exciting to be involved with. The sky is the limit.� For more information on DocuPet visit http:// For more information about the programs and services offered by KEDCO to new or existing businesses, visit www.kingstonentrepre- Derek Vince with Savannah at a recent dog show

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Collection: Four practical questions ber, when a supplier assigns a customer to collection, it’s a firing by any other name; the relationship is dead. So be judicious; weigh each case with care. Living relationships worth saving don’t belong in collection. What Goes Into Collection?

By Stu Woolley

In KBT’s June issue, I recommended collection as a remedy whenever in-house cash-recovery stalls due to a lack of customer cooperation. In this follow-up piece, I’ll unpack the protocols of collection assignments via the “4 Ws”… Who Ends Up In Collection? Collection issues and solutions focus on unpaid invoices pooling in the over-90-day column. Clients won’t pay or can’t pay. While there’s a world of personal difference between “won’t” and “can’t”, both have the same commercial effect: potential bad debt. So we cherry-pick. Based on a review of every file in collection range, we select those that warrant the “woodshed” treatment. But remem-

Collection agencies work vexed files. Often, they get cash-positive results. But they’re not dealers in junk. We can give them any file they’ll accept, but there are commonsense criteria to consider. First and foremost: no “bugs”. A disputed or problematic billing has no prospects in collection. Collectors aren’t relationship mediators or the entomologists of commerce. If a customer is unhappy with product, service, invoice or personal considerations, fix whatever needs fixing in-house. Make it right. Follow the papertrail: contracts, deal memos, engagement letters, purchase orders, proofs of delivery, service signoffs, etc. We give our collection agencies a leg-up when we supply documentation that narrates the non-payment problem, stem to stern. Contractual clarity is a top-shelf asset; collector power is maximized on our behalf. Size matters. Small debts make poor assignments. Even with a commission rate 25% or more, there’s not a lot of extractable value for an agency in chasing a $90.40 invoice. Not surprisingly, some

agencies won’t take files below a specified minimum value. It’s policy: they’re after marlin not minnows. Vendors that trade in lowvalue invoices, beware! There may be no recourse for the billings you can’t get paid in-house. When Do We Engage A Collection Agency? It’s a timing issue. Old debts are harder to resolve than recent ones. The older the money, the greater the risk. A 2-year invoice is simply a non-starter. And even a single-year exposure makes a dubious prospect. The ship of debt has already sailed and disappeared over the horizon. Along with the debtor. But if a supplier begins working pastdue accounts at 45-days, that’s usually timely enough. By the salient 90day mark, all potential collection targets will be well-identified. Unless we have “intel” hurrying an account to the woodshed, it’s unlikely we’ll contact a collection agency before 100 days. Precise timing? There isn’t any. It’s always a bit of a guessing game. “When do I squeeze the collection trigger?” No one wants to wait too long or act too soon, and since each debt is an individual situation, cookiecutters won’t help. Receivables “instinct” generally makes a good guide; emotion, not so much. But here’s an empirical rule-of-thumb: at 90-days, if voluntary payment just isn’t in the cards, it’s probably time to start thinking seriously

about letting the file “go external”. And sooner than later. On occasion, a creditor will have reason to expand the credit zone. Some payment holdups take longer to dissolve than others. But 6 months is the bookend on credit “stretch”. An unpaid invoice drifting aimlessly into its 7th month is a doubtful account. Time to get the show on the road! But first, let the non-payer know what’s waiting in the wings. A collection warning is smart procedure. It declares supplier resolve, and it often induces payment at the 11th hour! Where Do We Find Collection Competence? Consult the Yellow Pages or search on-line. Visit websites. The only collection agency worth courting is one with a track record of professionalism and success. If an agency’s webpage doesn’t tell you everything you want to know, pick up the phone and speak to a sales rep. Ask questions, get answers. Have a frank conversation about the agency’s criteria, its commission rates, its legal hammer and anything else you want to know. Vet vigorously; request testimonials. If an agency doesn’t feel like a fit, move on. Big isn’t necessarily better. A local agency can be a die-cut asset. Never underestimate the practical value of a compact firm with extensive, cash-catching knowledge


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small & medium size


about your operating area. If your client base is local or regional, a smaller, proximate firm may have its finger on the commercial pulse of the towns where your clients are found. Alternatively, bunking with one of large firms in the GTA is smart if your company sells products or services nationwide. Large can be beautiful, too. Looking south of the border? If you have debtors in the U.S., use an American agency. American debtors are much less likely to underestimate the coercive power of a U.S. operation. And if your debtors are offshore, well, I wish you a lot of luck! For most SMEs, offshore exposure is misery without cure. Expect commission rates to vary. We always want the most advantageous rate, yet a rate-driven selection may not actually be best in practice. For example, a large agency might offer a 25% contingency rate, which seems preferable to a smaller agency that comes in at 30% or higher. But don’t be misled. Customized results are what count. You’ll likely discover that the agency with the lower rate of commission won’t accept assignments under “X” dollars, whereas the agency with the higher contingency rate is willing to take lowvalue files as a relationship inducement. A loss-leader, in other words. A firm that’s willing to take your “minnows” likely wants all your collection business. A proposition worth considering.

What does it take to be innovative? New and renewing Chamber members Can we remain competitive? How do we attract the best and brightest? Better yet, are you asking yourself these questions? If you are, this may be an interesting opportunity for you. AIESEC is the largest student-run organization in the world with presence in over 120 countries with over 60 000 members worldwide. We focus on providing an international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential through our Global Internship Program (GIP). The local chapter at Queen’s University mandates international internships, both outgoing and incoming. We work with Kingston businesses to give international students the opportunity to live and work here in Kingston. AIESEC provides your company access to a global pool of the best and brightest students from around the world. For a local business, an international intern adds diversity to the workplace and brings new discussions

and perspectives to the forefront. For growing businesses, a hassle-free recruitment process allows the flexibility to ‘try new things’ without long-term implications. Your benefits: Customized hiring - we can source talent with particular language and technical skills from specific regions that are not readily available or affordable. Flexible timing - our program allows you to manage seasonal peak times and specific projects with a high-quality, temporary solution. Interns can for short or long-term internships ranging from 6 weeks to 78 weeks (18 months). Turn-key solution - you tell us what you want, and we take care of the rest. AIESEC makes arrangements for visa paperwork and processing, finding accommodation, and integrating the intern into the community. Cost-effective - the expenses for you consist of the intern’s salary (a minimum $2000/ month) and the administration fee for our service ($1500 for private companies, $1000 for non-profit). Let’s talk what opportunities await you. Check out our website w w w. a i e s e c . c a / queens or contact us directly at vpcomm.queens@ to book your consultation today.

New Members: Adam Raynor Website: Award winning REALTOR® born & raised in beautiful Kingston. I offer the highest level of service to both Buyer’s and Seller’s contact me for all your Real Estate needs today Bowenworks Website: The Bowen technique is a completely new concept in bodywork. Bowen is a soft-tissue technique that restores the body’s innate ability to balance. It is safe and appropriate for everyone from highly trained athletes to newborns, pregnant women, the elderly, and the chronically ill. Dillinger Studios Website: Dillinger Studios is grassroots production company that strives to create meaningful, captivating and exciting multimedia projects that reflect a passion for storytelling. Eagle Lake Pharmacy – Graham’s Pharmacy Website: Prescriptions and over-the-counter items available in an early 1900’s apothecary setting. Graham’s Pharmacy specialize in diabetes care and run monthly clinics in topics from osteoporosis, arthritis and blood pressure to allergies and foot care. Free delivery of prescriptions from Wolfe island to Amherstview. GP Property Management Inc. Website: Print Fleet Website: PrintFleet’s industry-leading family of print management solutions range from simple rapid assessment to advanced, managed services offering unparalleled agnostic data collection, data integrity and back end support. William Britton, CFP Website: William Britton, CFP, helps you plan today for an ideal tomorrow - providing sound financial guidance and service that suit your personal needs. Get in touch with William to learn more about your investment and insurance options.

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Academy of Learning College ADECCO Employment Services APEX ELECTRICAL SERVICES At Home Support Services for Seniors Bartlett Communications Solutions BCM Computer Technologies Inc. Blinds by Agnes Camech Industrial Inc. Cantabile Choirs Cataraqui Woods Dentistry Central Airways Ltd. CIBC Commercial Bank Colonnade Golf & Country Club Conservatory Pond Retirement Residence, Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT

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CROSSROADS Training Academy Ltd. Digital & Analogue Telephone Services Downtown Kingston! BIA E.I. du Pont Canada Company Earthworx / Shea Construction Eastern Fluid Power Inc. ExecuTrans Transportation Specialist Fix My Pod Focus Eye Centre Inc. Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Francophone Immigration Support Network of East Ontario Frank Cameron Chartered Accountant Professional Corporation GO Courier Good, Elliott, Hawkins LLP Grizzly Grill (The) Haven Home ClimateCare HRPA Inspiring Connections Insurance Specialty Group Kingston INVISTA (Canada) Company, Kingston J. Harrison Excavating & Pipeline Ltd. JDA Technical Solutions Inc. Johnson Waste Disposal & Delivery Kelly Services (Canada) Ltd. KEYS Job Centre King’s Town Chiropractic Kingsdale Chateau Kingston Honda Kingston Mazda Kingston Netting Kingston Symphony Association K-Rock Centre Le Chien Noir Loyalist Collection Services Inc. Manco Recycling Systems Inc. Martello Enrichment School Inc. JK - Gr 6 Military Communications and Electronics Museum Motorcycles & More Neil’s Flowers Limited Nova Health Naturopathic Centre Paul Davis Systems of Kingston Penny Robinson, M.Ed Consulting Hypnotist Peter’s Place Restaurant Premier Homecare Services Queen’s University, Campus Bookstore Queen’s University, QCED R.W. Electric Ramekins Casual Fine Dining Retire-At-Home Services Kingston RMC Foundation Rosewood Retirement Residence Scott Environmental Group Shoebox Services Inc. Skebo & Associates Inc. Skyway Security Speedpro Signs Kingston Sunbelt Business Brokers Bizcap Superior Propane Inc. The Capital Corridor Thyssen Krupp Elevators Tierney, Simpson & Prytula, Certified General Accountants Tres Ors Jewellers United Association Villager Custom Screenprinting and Embroidery VIVA Productions Windmills Restaurant and Catering Wine Kitz WTC Communications

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Students learn entrepreneurial skills while helping food bank patrons KINGSTON, ON – Enactus SLC has developed Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbooks and videos in an effort to help students and food bank patrons manage their food budgets and food assortment, enabling them to cook healthy, delicious meals. Recipes for an Empty Wallet evolved as part of the Enactus SLC (formerly SIFE SLC) team’s Foot Cents program, established in 2010 amidst public outcry regarding Ontario Student Assistance Program’s (OSAP) suggested food budget of $7.50 per day for students. The Enactus SLC team realized that two systemic issues made a $7.50 per day food budget seem unaffordable for many students. The first was that many individuals simply don’t know how to cook. The second was that some individuals lack financial literacy skills. Without these key skills, students had a tendency to replace food

preparation with unhealthy processed fast food because it was convenient and inexpensive. Enactus SLC has developed two versions of the Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbook and numerous videos as an evolution of their work with Sandy Singers and the Partners in Mission Food Bank in Kingston and the Food Cents SLC Workshop, developed with St. Lawrence College Executive Chef Professor Thomas Elia. Conscious that their target audience may not have access to the Internet or a printer, Enactus SLC has printed and distributed copies of the Recipes for an Empty Wallet cookbooks to OSAP offices, post-secondary school food banks, and to be included in food bank hampers. Enactus SLC team members learned and applied entrepreneurial principles in order to execute this project. Creating recipes, research,


collaboration, project planning, and budget management were all critical to the successful publication of these cookbooks. By volunteering to participate in this project, students are able to apply what they learn in the classroom to real projects. The result is a product that the entire Enactus SLC team is very proud of. The student cookbook is available in both French and English and both books have been designated as highly accessible by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The cookbooks can be downloaded and the videos can be viewed at or Donations to Food Cents are accepted at www.givetoslc. ca/foodcents; a tax receipt is provided for donations and 100% of donations will go towards Food Cents initiatives..



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COMING EVENTS Chamber Workshop: Human Resource Policies: Is Your Business Protected? Speaker: Connie Carrillo of HR on Target Thursday, 5 September 2013, 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM Learn to develop policies and procedures that respond to legal requirements and business needs. Best Practices: The financial return to your business from sound human resources policies Legal requirements: Do you know which policies the law requires you to have in place? Potential liability: What are the risks of not having these policies?

Chamber Workshop: Logos & Branding: How to Brand Your Company Better for Success Speaker: Trevor Trewartha & Karen Bonhomme of 1dea Design + Media Inc. (formerly Bonhomme Design Studio) Thursday, 12 September 2013, 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM Having designed over 100 company brands over the years, join Karen and Trevor as they share their stories as to how you can carrythrough your company identity and make the consistency of branding and communication work for you. Simple things as the look of your email signature, your social media profile or the way you answer the phone, Karen and Trevor will provide you with some practical advice as to how YOU

can build upon your company brand. Chamber Workshop: Managing Cash Flow Speaker: Gord Davis of Scotiabank Tuesday, 24 September 2013, 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM Cash 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. Chamber Leaders Breakfast at St. Lawrence College Tuesday, 17 September 2013, 07:15 AM – 09:00 AM Hear from 3 of Kingston’s leaders, including Police Chief Gilles LaRochelle, St. Lawrence College

President and CEO Glenn Vollebregt, and Colonel Francois Chagnon, Base Commander, Canadian Forces Base. Host: St. Lawrence College— Davies Hall Connect: The Business Expo (Formerly the “MegaMixer”) Thursday, 26 September 2013, 02:00 PM – 07:00 PM Join us for the largest networking event of the year at the K-Rock Centre! Book your exhibitor space today, as spots are filling up fast! Additional sponsorship opportunities for exhibitor reception, grand prize, and registration bag are also available. For more information including availability, pricing, or to contact the Chamber, visit the Connect website at Chamber Workshop: Individual Pension Plans for Incorporated Business Owners Speaker: Don Maycock of Advantage Wealth Planning Thursday, 3 October 2013, 09:00 AM – 11:00 AM

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The Ontario Chamber of Commerce issued Emerging Stronger 2013 in January of this year. It surveys the progress that business, government, and civil society have made over the past year. It identifies the challenges we still face, and sets out the tangible steps we must take to ensure that Ontario emerges stronger from this period of economic transition. Hear Josh Hjartarson, Vice President, Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber discuss how the recommendations in Emerging Stronger offer a policy roadmap for the next several years. Chamber Workshop: Group Benefits Pricing Speaker: Richard Dobing of Strategic Benefits & Insurance Services Ltd. Tuesday, 5 October 2013, 09:00 AM – 10:30 AM As a business owner, who currently offers group benefits to your employees or is considering offering them, have you ever wondered how insurance companies actually determine the price you pay. As a past group underwriter, and currently a Group Benefit Specialist, Richard has over 20 years of experience with Group Benefit programs. Partnered with the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, he is offering this seminar to shed some light on the true cost of group benefits. Chair’s Gala featuring the Business Achievement Awards Thursday, 7 November 2013, 06:00 PM – 10:00 PM Join the Chamber as they celebrate this year’s winners for the 2013 Business Achievement Awards. Nominations are being accepted until August 30th, 2013.

Is your business supporting Diversity in the workplace? - Nominations are open for the Kingston Immigration Partnership Employer Award! Each year the Kingston Immigration Partnership (KIP) awards a local employer that has demonstrated a commitment to supporting diversity and immigration in our community. Past recipients include Weston Bakery (2011) and Brown’s Fine Foods at St. Lawrence College cafeteria (2012). This is your chance to nominate your own business or another local employer that not only creates opportunities for immigrants, but is also dedicated to supporting diversity in the workplace and is a strong supporter of community efforts to welcome and integrate immigrants. The award is open to any employer (private, public, non-profit) and any size employer in the KFL&A area, excluding organizations mandated to provide settlement services to immigrants. The award winner will have demonstrated success and leadership in making Kingston a more welcoming and inclusive place for immigrants.

Examples of that success could include: a regular practice of hiring newcomers to Canada, opening up your office to immigrant interns or international student placements, support for newcomer families as they settle here in Kingston, promising workplace practices regarding diversity, or community involvement related to immigration. The award winner will be decided upon by the KIP Employer’s Advisory Committee that consists of ten local businesses and public organizations. The award will be presented in November 2013, as part of the KIP Annual Assembly and Diversity Works event. You can nominate an employer by filling out the nomination form available online (www.kipcouncil. ca) or receive it upon request (contact Ruth Noordegraaf: ruthn@kip. or 613 544 4661 ext. 5156). The nomination period closes September 13th.

Thank you to our partners Kingston Business Today - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 11








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Sometimes being being shut outout is aisgood thing.thing. Sometimes shut a good Between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, a total of 1,015 companies and individuals were convicted under the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Employment Standards Act, incurring Between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, a total of 1,015 companies and big fines and public shaming on the ministry website.

individuals were convicted under the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s Employment Of all individuals named in these cases,and nonepublic were HRPA members. Standards Act, incurring big fines shaming on the ministry website. HRPA regulates the named professional practice of its members whoHRPA agree members. to abide by its Rules of Of all individuals in these cases, none were

Professional Conduct. For more information on how HRPA-member HR professionals can help you reduce your workplace legal and compliance please visit who HRPA regulates the professional practice ofrisks, its members agree to abide by its

Rules of Professional Conduct. For more information on how HRPA-member HR professionals can help you reduce your workplace legal and compliance risks, please visit tario. It connects its membership to an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunithe national standard for excellence in human resources management and the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation, reserved for high-impact HR leaders.

HR Information Service is a service of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA)—Canada’s HR thought leader with more than 20,000 members in 28 chapters across Ontario. HRPA connects its membership to an unmatched range of HR information resources, events, professional development and networking opportunities and annually hosts Canada’s largest HR conference. In Ontario, HRPA issues the Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP) designation, the national standard for excellence in human resources management and the Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designation, reserved for high-impact HR leaders. R0012282398

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