Chamber supports biotech and food industries
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce will lobby Ottawa to increase support for the biotech and food industries.
At the national chamber’s recent annual general meeting, delegates adopted policy resolutions to guide advocacy work over the next year. The resolutions included calls for the federal government to take the following actions:
- Create a national bio-economy strategy to build the industry.
- Encourage investment in biotechnology by allowing flow-through shares, similar to those available in the mining and petroleum industries.
- Help food-processing companies recruit staff and transition after changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker and Employment Insurance programs.
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce co-sponsored all three resolutions, which relate directly to the P.E.I. economy.
The Charlottetown chamber also co-sponsored a resolution asking the federal government to analyze the best way to provide Citizenship and Immigration services in the wake of a number of office closures. This resolution also urges Ottawa to develop a strategy to boost immigration in rural regions.
For more on the AGM, visit www.chamber.ca.
Hambly wins national award
The executive director of the Charlottetown chamber returned from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting with a national award.
Kathy Hambly won the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada’s Executive Director of the Year award, in the category of chambers serving fewer than 100,000 people.
“Kathy has demonstrated tremendous leadership and support for the growth of our chamber, the Greater Charlottetown Area, and the province as a whole,” said Wendy Drake, chamber president.
The award recognizes excellence in terms of contributions, innovation and management.
A chamber release notes Hambly has overseen a number of innovative projects including Island Advance, P.E.I. Connectors and the HR Toolkit.
Investors discuss ways to improve access to capital
A recent chamber roundtable highlighted the importance of matching potential investors with P.E.I. companies.
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce gathered the group of investors to explore ways to attract more investment in Island firms.
The Oct. 1 session featured entrepreneurs Mike Cassidy and Duncan Shaw discussing their personal experiences, accountant Paul Deighan discussing relevant tax policy, and Island Advance chair Ron Keefe reviewing investment models. Stan MacPherson, partner with MacPherson Roche Smith & Associates, moderated the event.
In addition to recommending effective matching services, roundtable participants noted the need for a thorough vetting process to ensure companies are ready for investment.
The chamber’s Island Advance initiative has been working to improve access to capital as part of its efforts to foster entrepreneurship in the province.
Business opportunities ripe at Advancing Island Connections
The Charlottetown chamber plans to host a second Advancing Island Connections forum to help business owners and newcomers explore partnerships and business opportunities.
Advancing Island Connections 2015 takes place Thursday, Nov. 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the P.E.I. Convention Centre.
The event follows the tremendous success of the 2014 forum, which attracted 350 people. About 60 per cent of those who attended came from the immigrant community.
Participants have the chance to learn about businesses for sale, partnerships and investment. The forum also includes opportunities for networking, exhibiting, and participating in one-on-one meetings with potential investors.
Anyone interested in businesses opportunities may attend free of charge. Register by visitingwww.charlottetownchamber.com or calling (902) 628-2000.
The co-sponsors include Island Advance and P.E.I. Connectors.
New program to help companies export
P.E.I. entrepreneurs who want to boost their exports can get training, mentorship and market know-how through a new export readiness program.
Trade Team P.E.I. launched the program Oct. 20, as part of Export Day activities.
“P.E.I. is leading the provinces in export growth this year, following a record year in 2014,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan, in a release. “Supporting Island businesses in continuing this momentum will help reduce our trade gap and see export growth continue to outpace the national average.”
Companies who export or want to start can take advantage of the program, which includes a self-assessment and interview process to determine a customized blend of training and market support.
Export Day also featured the presentation of the Exporter of the Year award to Esther Dockendorff of P.E.I. Mussel King.
Trade Team P.E.I. is a partnership that includes the province, ACOA and other departments and agencies involved in helping companies with export activities. For more information on the new program, call (902) 569-7787.
Input wanted on tax policy
The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce will provide recommendations for tax reform during a presentation to a provincial standing committee Nov. 4.
This summer, MLAs unanimously supported a review of the provincial tax system with a view to creating policies that encourage access to capital, entrepreneurship and economic growth in P.E.I.
In preparation for its presentation, the chamber has gathered input from the tax subcommittee of the Island Advance initiative. Some of the discussion areas highlighted to date include the small business tax rate, investment tax credits, and the competitiveness of the Island tax system when compared with other provinces.
To provide your comments, contact the chamber at email@example.com or (902) 628-2000.
Chamber calls for minimum wage strategy
The Charlottetown chamber has urged the province to develop a minimum wage strategy that defines the goals of minimum wage policy and creates a predictable, transparent and fair process of setting wage levels.
The chamber made the recommendation in its most recent submission to the province’s Employment Standards Board. In the submission, the chamber commended the provincial government for providing more notice of changes to minimum wage, thereby allowing companies to better plan and budget.
At the same time, the chamber reiterated its support for tying minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index and raising the basic personal tax exemption so minimum wage earners keep more income.
Visit www.charlottetownchamber.com to read the submission.
P.E.I. BioAlliance 10th Anniversary Luncheon
Oct. 30, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Harbourview Room, Delta Prince Edward
The luncheon will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the P.E.I. BioAlliance and officially launch BioTechnology Week 2015. Guest speakers include federal and provincial government leaders, and Andrew Casey, president and CEO of BIOTECanada. For tickets or information, call (902) 367-4400.
Ignition Fund Recipients
Innovation P.E.I. recently announced 10 successful recipients of Ignition Fund grants, which help support businesses develop and grow. Review the list of businesses by visiting http://www.gov.pe.ca/tourism/index.php3?number=news.
5 Minutes for Business
Read the latest issue of the Canadian chamber’s “5 Minutes for Business” at www.chamber.ca.