Vol 2 Issue V
County Provincial advocacy
lobbying government is tricky business survival
surviving in an economic downturn Federal
Local Government Leaders P.M. Agreement #1471570 If undeliverable, return to: 175 George Street North, Peterborough, ON K9J 3G6
a monthly publication of
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GOLF Consider your Nominations year round
It’s that time again, time to start thinking...GOLF!
Our annual Golf Tournament will be held on June 10th at the Kawartha Golf & Country Club. To take advantage of the great sponsorship opportunities contact the Chamber.
October 21, 2009
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yourstaff Stuart Harrison Ext. 202 General Manager Cynthia Hamu Ext. 201 Office Manager Shelley Gauthier Ext. 204 Administrative Assistant Anne Arnold, CSP Ext. 200 Membership Services Manager Cathy Martin Ext. 214 Event Coordinator/Marketing Assistant Lindsay Walker Ext. 210 Front Line Coordinator Krista Laidley Ext. 205 Licensing Supervisor Reception Ext. 0
executive/finance Mary LaRocque Chair Marlin Travel Terry Merrill Past-Chair Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront Arlynn Dupuis Vice-Chair McGillen Ayotte Dupuis Tony Smith Treasurer Tristone Media Group Stuart Harrison Secretary Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Jef Dueck Director-At-Large 91.9BOBFM/Country 105/Energy 99.7 Betty Johnson Director-At-Large Century 21 United Realty
4 6 8 14
on the cover
Surviving in an Economic Downturn
chamber events - club laurus - breakfast club
business after hours
hereâ€™s my card
your chamber News from the OCC
the voice of business
directors Dick Crawford Crawford Building Consultants Bob Doornenbal The Peterborough Examiner Brad Hilker Peterborough Regional Health Centre Patric Marren Nationwide Barter Drew Merrett Merrett Home Hardware Building Centre Joel Parkes Pearlhead Productions Kamran Qayyum Siemens Milltronics Process Instruments Inc. Diane Wolf Trent University
editor cynthia hamu DESIGN treehouse studio Printing commercial press
Mayor Paul Ayotte City of Peterborough Karl Moher Douro-Dummer Deputy Reeve County of Peterborough Marg Dawson Peterborough County Federation of Agriculture
stuart harrison Stuart Harrison is the General Manager of the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 705.748.9771 x202 or stuart@ peterboroughchamber.ca
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce 175 George St. N. Peterborough 705.748.9771 www.peterboroughchamber.ca
Lynn A. Hill FICB PFP
Lynn is the President of MultiLink Business Management Solutions and can be reached at 705.872.8357
ADVOCACYmatters Lobbying government is tricky business… quick look at the Chamber Network reveals a Canadian Chamber of Commerce with paid policy/ advocacy staff working on federal issues. The same thing applies to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce on provincial issues. At the municipal level the scope and effectiveness of government advocacy varies widely, however, in Peterborough we are very fortunate to have a Business Community with their sleeves rolled up and working hard on a number of initiatives. The Prosperity Round Table alone has active Task Teams working on Community Vision, Transportation and Infrastructure, Municipal Environment, and Sustainability. From 10,000 feet you would be able to see the Chamber of Commerce, the Prosperity Round Table, the Homebuilders’ Association, the Real Estate Board and others, working on issues that affect either their sector, or the Business Community at large.
“making law is like making sausage, its messy work”, we don’t always agree with each other.
Many of us work through our provincial and federal associations on provincial and federal issues as well. A good example of just how effective this can be came last year when our Chamber developed a Policy Resolution on access to health care. One short year later, after study by the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council, one of the key elements of our Resolution, is being recommended and you will likely soon see Pharmacists being able to write prescriptions, opening up a huge bottleneck
in the health care system. There is much more in our document that we will continue to work on, but one small step…. The tricky part is, and to coin an old phrase: “making law is like making sausage, it’s messy work”, we don’t always agree with each other. The recent Provincial Budget recommending a Harmonized Sales Tax is certainly an example of that. The issue is particularly troublesome to the residential Construction Industry, and we continue to work with our counterparts at the Homebuilders’ Association, both locally and provincially, to ensure a full understanding of the impact of the HST, and to work out a solution. Other than the odd squabble though, the HST is a major victory for the Business Community and like the GST, which replaced a hidden 12% Manufacturers’ Tax, will dramatically affect the cost of doing business in Ontario, making us more competitive. Locally, the Chamber has partnered with the Kawartha Manufacturers’ Association and the Prosperity Round Table Municipal Competitiveness Task Team to work on the issue of Commercial and Industrial taxation. To give you a sense of what it takes to affect change, the provincial government introduced legislation in 1998 recommending that all municipalities in the province move towards a “Range of Fairness”, which would see Commercial and Industrial properties taxed at between 0.6 and 1.1 times Residential (currently 1.82 for Commercial
and 2.6 for Industrial) On Tuesday April 6th Council approved a change in policy that would see the City move towards the Range of Fairness over a ten year period, starting in 2011. Even then, 22 years after 1998 we will only be at 1.5, not 1.1, but at least the Queen Mary has started to turn (note: at press time Council had yet to ratify the April 6th decision.) The Chamber of Commerce has long encouraged a regional approach to economic
development, and, with this in mind, is involved in the creation of a new Government Affairs Committee, which would see representatives from all four levels of government, as well as key stakeholders such as the organizations mentioned above, meet on a regular basis to discuss regional issues to coordinate and focus our efforts. We believe that this Committee will take a lot of the “tricky” out of advocacy work, and help this region prosper.
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2 for $30 High Performance Floor Finish Reg. $27.96 Liberty No Scrub Floor Stripper Reg. $31.60 Clean-It Vehicle Wash Reg. $19.76 Clean-It Ultra Laundry Detergent Reg. $20.71 Food Service Disinfectant/Cleaner Reg. $22.56 Food Service 2000 Sanitizer Reg. $31.00 Aromx-35 Odour Digester - 4L Reg. $43.04
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As this issue takes a look the Chamber’s partnering with the different levels of government to achieve a stronger Business Community, we thought it was only appropriate to include our local Government Leaders:
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Top, left to right: Warden, Ron Gerow; Mayor, D. Paul Ayotte Middle: Jeff Leal, M.P.P. Bottom: Dean Del Mastro, M.P. thevoiceofbusiness
by lynn a. hill
President, MultiLink Business Management Solutions
Surviving in an Economic Downturn olidly run businesses don’t necessarily fare poorly in economic downturns but, there are some best practices for all businesses to be following during this slowdown. Revisit your business plan. Your business plan should be the blueprint of your business. Does it need revision in light of this economic downturn? Do you need a new direction or a new Business Plan? Make sure your customer satisfaction is a top priority. Do you have a communication strategy for “talking” to your clients? Expand your relationships with your current client base. Can you offer them more products or services? Are there incentives you can offer for longer-term contracts with them? In a downturn, one of the first expenses to be cut is advertising. This is a real mistake. Expanding your client base is crucial to bringing in a constant and increasing revenue stream. However, ensure that you are advertising directly to your target market via the media and promotional mix that appeals to that target group. Can you diversify? Not all businesses will survive. Are there opportunities to buy a complementary business and broaden your client base? Diversification gives you more stability because a down market in one product may be compensated for by another product.
Expanding your client base is crucial to bringing in a constant and increasing revenue stream.
Consider lowering your prices. Although you still need to maintain profits, you also need to retain clients who are probably also feeling the effects of this economy. Involve your staff. In times like these, they are afraid of losing their jobs. Get them involved in looking for ways to cut costs or to save money or to create efficiencies. Acknowledge their efforts and let them know they are important to you and the Company.
Some of your clients will have trouble paying you. This is not a time for your company to have increasing collection issues. Watch for warning signs that might indicate your clients might be struggling such as different buying patterns or slow paying of their invoices. Be proactive and contact these clients. Maybe you can help in some way and in doing so, strengthen that relationship. And, make sure your
business takes advantage of every possible discount you can on your invoices. A Business Assessment or Diagnostic can certainly bring to light problematic areas for consideration. This type of an assessment is typically performed by a Management Consultant and covers Corporate/ Department Objectives, Staffing Roles and Goals, Workflow and Processes, Productivity and Efficiency, Cost Analysis, Management, Controls, Reporting etc. A Business Assessment can go a long way to increasing revenues, decreasing expenses while creating efficiencies and streamlining processes and can answer such questions as: Why are customer complaints increasing? Why are my staff frustrated and dissatisfied? How can I cut my expenses? Is my marketing strategy appropriate for my target market? Why do I feel like I am spinning my wheels? The above are Best Practice suggestions are for any business, regardless of the state of the economy. But, sometimes business owners get too busy to get back to basics. At a time like this, any of these methods can strengthen your business… and your bottom line!
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For some businesses, a downturn is an opportunity to gain market share. Thus, we are introducing a new feature in our monthly Voice of Business Magazine and on-line. The Magazine is distributed not only to our over 1000 members, but members of the Women’s Business Network, Sales and Ad, the Homebuilders Associatio n and Construction Exchange and the Kawartha Manufacturers Association. This new feature will start in February.
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Upcoming Events... businessafterhours tuesday may 5th, 2009 Quality Professional Service
location: Phoenix Alternative Learning Centre, 1097 Water St. time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm cost: Free, Compliments of OLG Slots at Kawartha Downs please note: Pre-registration is required for this event.
breakfastclub tuesday may 12th, 2009 location: Carousel Restaurant, 116 Lansdowne St. E. guest speaker: Lisa Doyle, Jackson Creek Retirement Residence time: 7:30 am cost: Pay for your breakfast please note: You do not need to register for this event.
1840 Lansdowne St. W., #14 Peterborough, Ontario K9K 2M9 Phone: (705) 749-EXIT (3948) Website: www.exitrealtyliftlock.com
breakfastevent thursday may 14th, 2009 Thriving In Challenging Times with Gary Harris, Harris Coaching & Consulting location: Rogers Room, Best Western Otonabee Inn, 84 Lansdowne St. E. time: 7:30 - 10:30 am cost: $20 members, $30 non-members please note: Pre-registration is required for this event
clublaurus thursday may 28th, 2009 location: Mexicali Rosaâ€™s, 320 Water St. guest speaker: Mike Nickerson time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm cost: Free, Compliments of Nationwide Barter please note: Pre-registration is required for this event.
Looking Ahead – June ’09
Growing your business...t o ge t h e r !
businessafterhours tuesday june 2nd, 2009 location: MEDIchair – Home Medical Equipment Specialists, *New location – 329 McDonnell St. (former Peterborough Volkswagen) time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm cost: Free, Compliments of OLG Slots at Kawartha Downs please note: Pre-registration is required for this event.
• Competitive rates on commercial loans and mortgages • Flexible payment options • Local credit approvals
breakfastclub tuesday june 9th, 2009 location: Carousel Restaurant, 116 Lansdowne St. E. guest speaker: Steven Bark, Chartered Accountant time: 7:30 am cost: Pay for your breakfast please note: You do not need to register for this event.
38thannualgolftournament wednesday june 10th, 2009 location: Kawartha Golf & Country Club, 777 Clonsilla Ave. time: Lunch from 11:00 am – 12:45 pm 1:00 pm Shotgun Start cost: $150.00 + GST per person Sponsored by Cabinetree and Higgins Hardwood Flooring Pleae Note: Many opportunities available to promote your business. For more information contact Cathy at 748-9771 ext. 214 or email at email@example.com
Proud of Our Past, Positive About Our Future
clublaurus thursday june 25th, 2009 location: Mexicali Rosa’s, 320 Water St. time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm cost: Free, Compliments of Nationwide Barter please note: Pre-registration is required for this event.
Peterborough Omemee • Bobcaygeon
(705) 742-4245 • 1-800-387-1627 www.darlinginsurance.net
Frank Maulson Sales Representative
Unless otherwise specified, registration is required for all Chamber events. To register, please call 748-9771 Ext. 0 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call me for a free no obligation consultation or market evaluation. *Not intended to solicit active listings or buyer representation agreements
Synergystix Welcomes the Newest Member of Their Team
Synergystix would like to welcome Scott Moloney, Registered Massage Therapist, to the Clinic as the newest member of their team. Scott brings over 10 years of experience to Synergystix with valuable expertise in a wide range of massage techniques. Synergystix Partners In Health is located at the corner of Charlotte and Rubidge Streets. To book your appointment, please call (705) 742-8244.
Vanguard Self Storage Opens Location on Chemong Road
Full-Time Location for Peterborough Festival of Trees Gift Shoppe
The Peterborough Festival of Trees Gift Shoppe, always a popular attraction at the annual festival, has established a full time location in the lower level of Peterborough Square. Their hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm. Call (705) 743-1705 for more information or visit their website at www.pfot.org.
Coyle Packaging Group Opens FASTSIGNS
Vanguard Self Storage was recently opened at 1604 Chemong Road. Owner Bert Grant says the facility offers modern, clean and secure storage, complete with gated access and video surveillance. The fully staffed office, including a moving supplies store, is on site. Full details are online at www.vanguardselfstorage.ca or call (705) 741-2002.
Coyle Packaging Group has just moved its sign and graphics business from Jameson Drive in the Industrial Park to 943 Clonsilla Avenue, in the former Rolands Drapery building. Opening under the new name: FASTSIGNS of Peterborough. FASTSIGNS is a franchise offering signs, banners and displays. For more information visit the website at www.fastsigns.com/553 or call 705-775-0400.
Lazer Graphics has Expanded Their Digital Print Division
Summer Barbeque Series Offered at Friendly Fires
Lazer Graphics has expanded its on-demand digital print division. A recently installed Xerox 700 Digital Printing Press makes for a great complement to their existing array of digital print devises. The Xerox 700 allows for a wider range of print options, stock and finishing capabilities. Short-runs, delivered in a timely manner, cater positively to the current business climate. Call Craig Brown for more information at (705) 745-0339.
New Courtyard for Peterborough Lions Community Centre
The Peterborough Lions Community Centre, located at 347 Burnham St. Peterborough (beside East City Bowl), are thrilled to announce a new rear courtyard, which accents their building. Built beside their covered deck and surrounded by privacy fencing, it is licensed (LLBO) for your enjoyment. Visit them online at www.peterboroughlions.ca.
Friendly Fires are running a series of Barbeque classes, Saturdays throughout the summer, starting April 11th. Featuring a number of local experts, such as Chef Brian Henry, Franz Roessl, who recently celebrated his 25th year in business, and Kevin Ross from Jake‘s. Full details and the class schedule are online at www.friendlyfires.ca.
Christensen Fine Art Expands Services with a Computerized Mat Cutter
CO2 Solutions Adds Mould Remediation and Graffiti Removal
Michael Gareau of CO2 Solutions Dry Ice Blasting is proud to announce the new services added to his already diverse business. These new services include ‘Mould Remediation’ and ‘Graffiti Removal’. Michael’s accreditations include Certified Mould Remediation, Water Restoration and Odour Control Technician, all coming from the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification Board). For more information call them at (705)768-6868, or visit www.co2solutions.ca.
Congratulations to CBS Group Inc.
CBS Group is thrilled to announce that they were voted #1 Internet Company for the third year in a row (2006–2008) and #1 Graphic Design Firm 2007 and 2008 in the Reader’s Choice Awards, Durham Business Times. CBS Group is also celebrating 10 years in business this year. For more information on CBS Group, visit them at www.cbsgroup.com.
Changes at Peterborough Community Credit Union
Leon Butterworth has retired as General Manager of Peterborough Community Credit Union, after 40 years of service working on behalf of their members. Beth Bruesch will be succeeding as the General Manager. Best wishes to Leon Butterworth, and congratulations to Beth Bruesch! Their website is www.pboccu.com.
Christensen Fine Art recently added a computerized mat cutter to their frame shop, allowing them to provide an endless combination of mat designs. The gallery is located at 432 George Street, just South of Brock. Call (705) 876-9623 for more information.
Does your business have some new and exciting news to share? If so, please submit your information (approximately 75 words) to email@example.com by the 1st of the preceeding month for inclusion in the next month’s issue (i.e. February’s newsletter, January 1st deadline). Please note that information will be printed at the General Manager’s discretion.
welcome to our new members who joined the Chamber from Mar 5, 2009 - Apr 8, 2009
BRT Provisioners Inc.
Handy Dan Inc.
Importers Barb Thompson (705) 295-6833 www.brtgroup.com
Residential Construction Sherry-Lou Flint (705) 778-5858
Goodfellow Property Maintenance Landscape, Lawn Care & Tree Services Bruce Vanvolkenburg (705) 768-6340
James S. Hauraney Legal Services James Hauraney (705) 748-2333
Imagine Events Event Planning Margaret Hamilton (705) 295-1518
Alket Kulla RE/MAX Eastern Realty Inc., Brokerage Real Estate Agents, Brokers & Appraisers Alket Kulla (705) 743-9111 www.alketkulla.com
ReViVe Career Management Services Ruth van Vierzen (705) 772-2443 www.revivecareer.com
Pearlhead Productions Music Services Joel Parkes (705) 749-5435
Example: how about offering a discount for early payment, cash payment or pre-payment? Who wouldn't be interested in saving money these days?” Michael J. Hughes THE Networking Guru
“The "new" economy is affecting professionals in many different ways: from fewer haircuts (a small problem for me), to delaying purchases or conserving cash. For every negative issue, there is a (sometimes hard-to-find) positive side. Find and leverage it to optimize your results.
please utilize their services whenever possible
Check out the downloadable flyer on the Chamber website at peterboroughchamber.ca for a complete listing of all the great savings you and your employess can enjoy by simply being a member of the Chamber.
NEW this month: Basket Express 10% off all gift baskets to Chamber members. Kate Kidd www.basket4u.ca 705-742-4390 Fruit & Gourmet Gift Baskets. For any reason, every season.
Vanguard Self Storage
Offering 10% discount on the rental of a storage unit for all Chamber members.
Cindy Mellow & Trevor Hand firstname.lastname@example.org 705-741-2002
March Mexicali Rosa’s by Jef Dueck (91.9BOBFM/Country103/Energy 99.7), Committee Co-chair On March 26th, Club Laurus met once again at Mexicali Rosa’s in downtown Peterborough. This was our third event at Mexicali Rosa’s and everyone has been enjoying the great variety of appetizers provided! As per usual, we went around the room for everyone to give a quick introduction which is always beneficial for our first time attendees. We then gave the floor to Jeffrey Lingard, a Chartered Accountant with Morrison & Hollingsworth, for a very appropriately timed presentation on Tax Tips! Jeff gave us a quick overview of some of the many changes for this year and he also shared a number of tips for both personal and business Tax Returns. Beginning this April, Club Laurus is pleased to announce that we too now have a sponsor! Nationwide Barter is our new partner in Club Laurus and, thanks to Pat
Marren and his team, Club Laurus is now able to offer free admission to all Chamber Members - all you need to do is register! We also happily welcome non-chamber members to come as a one-time guest to see what Club Laurus has to offer! Pat will be our guest speaker for the month of April and details on that event will be in the next Voice of Business. On May 28th Club Laurus is excited to welcome Mike Nickerson to give us a quick, but powerful look at “Economic Growth vs. A Sustainable (and fulfilling) Future”. Mike is a well known author and speaker, and gives presentations across North America and around the world on a variety of topics - find more information about Mike and his works online at www.SustainWellBeing.net . Admission is FREE - just register in advance by calling the Chamber Office at 748-9771 email@example.com!
March by Betty Johnson (Century 21 United Realty), Breakfast Club Committee Co-chair Our guest speaker for the Chamber Breakfast Meeting, held on Tuesday March 10th, was Rick Copeland, working in conjunction with local Office Manager Bonnie Spry, to speak about the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Mr. Copeland provided pointers on administering CPR and stressed the importance of people being trained in
CPR, as a person having a heart attack has a much better chance of survival if they are attended to immediately. For more information on The Heart and Stroke Foundation, they can be reached at 749-1044, or check out their website at www.heartandstroke.ca
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Club Laurus Profile Winner Congratulations to Mike Frampton of Crime & Trauma Scene Cleaners Crime Scene Cleaners services and restores all types of trauma, decontamination, distressed property and biohazard scenes resulting from crime, disaster or misuse. We are here to serve you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you require more information, please contact Mike @ (705) 761-8826 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breakfast Club Winner Profile Congratulations to Kim Holmes of STAR 93.3 and 107.9 The BREEZE: Results. This is the focus of every department at STAR 93.3 and 107.9 The BREEZE. If your goal is to bring your product together with new or repeat buying customers anywhere in Central Ontario than we would like to work with you. Each station has its own active and affluent market; Give our Team a call. Radio Works. Let us show you how.
April by Bob Behan (The Protectors Group), BAH Committee Chair Another hidden business gem was recently uncovered on McCloskey Drive, just east of the city. Discovery Dream Homes hosted the April Business After Hours event and left an awesome impression with all that attended.
summer home they are planning for Thunder Bay. The virtual tour is fun and gives clients a genuine appreciation of their dream home, prior to construction, which allows them to make adjustments if necessary.
Discovery Dream Homes manufactures timberframe, log and conventional stick with timber accent homes. They are a family business with over twentyfive years of experience and have three generations of the King family active in the operation.
They also have one of the most advanced manufacturing plants in North America. We watched as full logs fed into a CNC machine. The precisely crafted finished pieces served as a testament to the beauty and high quality of materials used for each home.
The professional and friendly staff led our exploration through the impressive model home, built on site. Personnel proudly demonstrated their innovative design process and took us through a 3D virtual tour of a client’s magnificent
We are grateful for the wonderful hospitality and the opportunity to network with business associates while learning about a terrific business. Thanks Ray for sharing your dream with us!
Spring Has Arrived! Take advantage of the warm weather and choose from a wide selection of Golf Polos and Button Down Oxfords!
Valid Until May 31, 2009
“Specializing in Promotional, Silkscreening and Embroidery”
the Chamber & Licensing Offices will be closed on the following dates: n Monday, May 18th, 2009 – Victoria Day n Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 – Canada Day n Monday, August 3th, 2009 – Civic Holiday n Monday, September 7th, 2009 – Labour Day n Monday, October 12th, 2009 – Thanksgiving n Thursday, December 24th, 2009 – Christmas Eve (Close at 2pm) n Friday, December 25th, 2009 – Christmas Day n Monday, December 28th, 2009 – Boxing Day n Thursday, December 31st, 2009 – New Year’s Eve (Close at 3pm) n Friday, January 1st, 2010 – New Year’s Day
by shelley gauthier Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For additional information on Ontario Chamber of Commerce activities, please refer to their website at www.occ.on.ca.
Government Announces New Green Energy Plan Ontarioâ€™s current power grid has made it difficult for small business in the renewable energy sector to bring their projects to life and tap into Ontarioâ€™s energy market. The original system was designed to deliver power from a few large generating facilities but all this will change if the provinceâ€™s proposed Green Energy Act becomes law. In order to tap into renewable energy sources the government is proposing to upgrade the current power grid to allow consumers to tap into green energy sources such as solar power, biogas, and wind. The expansion of the electricity grid will assist in making the electricity system more reliable for businesses and consumers as more power sources will be allowed to access the grid making more power available for consumption. It will also promote new conservation measures and a greener environment as business and
consumers will have to conform to new measures related to the energy efficiency of buildings and the use of appliances. These new measures have yet to be determined. The government is also proposing to set a domestic standard requirement for any new renewable energy product. This would mean that it would be mandatory that a certain percentage of the content contained in the renewable energy product be manufactured in Ontario. As a result there could be the creation of new jobs, innovation, and new investments in the province. The government has projected that these proposed changes will create 50,000 jobs in the first three years, helping to restore Ontarioâ€™s economy.
Employment Rules Changing for Business All businesses will be directly affected by new Ontario rules governing how you, in every aspect of your business, must accommodate people with disabilities. A wide range of new rules is being created that will affect how you hire and manage your employees; communicate to your employees and customers, clients, suppliers; change or renovate your buildings and internal structures; and deliver quality customer service, all with the laudable intention of providing an appropriate working and business environment for people with disabilities. These new rules are part of the Ontario Governmentâ€™s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.
For further details on the Green Energy Act please visit: http://www.mei.gov.on.ca/english/
To view the proposed Employment Accessibility Standards please visit: http:// www.cfcs.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/ accessibilityOntario/accesson/business/ employment/
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benefacts by Brian Bulger
Group Benefit Plans are NOT Designed to be Preventative Maintenance Programs
The fact is, Paramedical and other coverage provided within Group Benefit Plans should really only be utilized when medical conditions arise on an as needed basis. Once the problem is corrected the treatment should come to an end. That’s the way all benefit plans are designed to work. Premium costs for both health and dental are mostly based on the claims experience (usage) of each individual firm’s own participants. It’s a dollar-in dollar-out system just like any other business. Stock insurance companies are required to charge sufficient premiums in order to pay for the administration costs of providing plans to their firm clients, pay for all claims, and make a profit for their shareholders.
As the employees of most insured firms share in the cost of their coverage, it is in everyone’s best interest to keep their plans as affordable as possible. In order to do this a concerted effort from all the participants is needed to keep insurance costs down. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan guarantees that all claims are fully pooled for their clients with 1 - 9 employees. Therefore, each firm’s own individual claims experience cannot affect their premium rates at renewal. This article has been brought to you exclusively by your Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan Agent/ Broker, Brian Bulger. For more information, Brian can be reached at 741-1400.
Even though certain Paramedical Service Providers may promote and offer their services for the purpose of “Corrective and Preventative Maintenance “ insurance companies do NOT factor in the costs of providing ongoing maintenance for any type of service that is provided through their benefit plans. If they did premium rates for EHC would be considerably higher than what is presently charged.
It only takes a small number of employees using the annual limits of just two of the paramedical services to cause an increase to your firm’s health rates. It’s pretty straight forward; if your firm has a high level of paramedical claims you can expect your premiums to be increased accordingly at renewal time.
For many years now Paramedical Services have been a component of the Extended Health Coverage (EHC) that most firms include with their benefit plans. Typical paramedical services include treatments provided by Chiropractors, Massage and Speech Therapists, Acupuncturists, Podiatrists, Chiropodists, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists, Clinical Dieticians, Audiologists, Psychologists and Naturopaths. Usual coverage limits range from $300 to $500 per service, per family member, per calendar year.
If the tooth fairy won’t pay your dental bills,
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Check out the downloadable flyer on the Chamber website at peterboroughchamber.ca for a complete listing of all the great savings you and your employess can enjoy by simply being a member of the Chamber.
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HEATHER HARVEY Certiﬁed General Accountant
Providing small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs with accounting and ﬁnancial management services. 469 Water Street Peterborough, ON K9H 3M2
Bus: (705) 743-8200 Fax: (705) 748-0225 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Martin Boruta President
1434 Chemong Road, Unit 1 & 2 P.O. Box 2379 Peterborough ON K9J 7Y8 Telephone: (705) 742-2204 Fax: (705) 742-8312