Stratford & District Chamber of Commerce logo
Serving Stratford, St. Marys, Township of Perth East, Township of Perth South, and the Municipality of West Perth
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NewsMay Chamber News 
On April 13, Mayor Dan Mathieson presented his annual "State of the City Address" to a sold-out audience at the Stratford Country Club.  Mayor Mathieson focused on challenges that the city has identified as priorities - particularly social housing and increased daycare spaces.  He broadly outlined plans that Council has for the development of 35 new social housing units in the old Fairgrounds re-visioning, as well as an intent to add a further 20 units starting in 2020.  Combined with a renovation of the Anne Hathaway Daycare Centre to allow for more registrations, the City is determined to reach goals set in the last Strategic Plan.  He also highlighted the need for more skills training and the labour force hiring frustrations faced by employers, especially as manufacturers in particular are expanding their production capacity in Stratford, and the efforts being made to meet these needs.  Alluding to some announcements of new business activity over the coming months, the Mayor said that he was encouraged by commitment that businesses have made to Stratford as a place to be. 
Our Business Excellence Awards Gala was an enormous success with a sold-out crowd, a delicious dinner, the delightfully funny banter between our two emcees - Anita Gaffney and Rick Orr and, of course, the announcement of the winners of this year's awards (see below for that list).  Our speaker was Ted Hastings, a leading innovative entrepreneur in the IT sector, who spoke on his career path and "Keeping your competitive drive".  Using his own business biography, Mr. Hastings highlighted both the challenges and rewards of taking risks on ideas and people, being persistent in the face of failure and being careful in dealing with galloping success, and remaining focused.  His talk was very well-received, as evidenced by the comments and discussion of the audience.  A special moment was the awarding of the Business Leader Award to Jeff Orr, whose acceptance was gracious and thankful.
Congratulations to Gary West of Westlandyn Farms for his election to the Perth County Agricultural Hall of Fame.  Gary's commitment over the years to the betterment of agriculture, in conjunction with his involvement in many Stratford and County organizations, is worthy of recognition.
There are continuing concerns about the volatility in the US, economically and politically. Recent comments by the US President appear to signal more aggressive negotiations over NAFTA and his targeting of Canadian dairy producers are a particular worry.   What is troublesome is whether or not this posturing reflects a change in attitude from trade with Canada needing "just a tweak", or if it is just showmanship meant to reinforce the political base.  Either way, it is not in the best interests of business, trade and good relations on either side of the border.
Your Chamber has a goal this year to become more active in advocating - locally, provincially and federally - on behalf of our members.  This will increase involvement with other Chambers and business sectors to identify common challenges and present a more vocal united view.  I encourage our members to let us know about concerns that you have, issues that you feel should be raised, and threats/opportunities that may be of interest to business across our region.  Feedback is always welcome.

Brad Beatty
General Manager  

Welcome New Members
Please take a moment to welcome these new members to the Chamber. Check out their pages and show your support for local business!


Congratulations to this year's
Business Excellence Awards Winners!

Business Leader - Jeff Orr
Non-Profit/Charitable Award - Stratford Perth Museum
Manufacturing Award - Accumetal Manufacturing
Commercial Award - Nuhn Forage
Entrepreneur Award - Luckhardt Landworks
Innovation Award - Stratford Festival
Service Award - GOTECH Networking Solutions
Professional Award - Flex Physiotherapy
Hospitality Award - The Red Rabbit
Business of the Year Award -  Stratford Festival

Check out the photo highlights on our Facebook page - tag yourselves and share. But don't stop there! You can find more photos on the website of our Chamber photographer, Davidiam Photography. You can even download a high-resolution copy of your photo to keep!. Check them out here.

May's Business After Five is at
the Stratford Chefs School!
Wednesday, May 17th, 5:15-7:00
Stratford Chefs School is excited to welcome the business community for the May 17 BA5!  We have had an exciting year! Not only has the School successfully completed one teaching year in our new city centre space, but for the first time in the School's 34-year history we are offering spring and summer cooking classes and learning experiences devoted to the dedicated home cook!
Join the staff and board of the Chamber and the the Stratford Chefs School for some prizes, hors d'oeuvres, drinks and lively networking. Chamber members can attend for FREE!
Space is limited to 100!  Click here to register 

CFDC Chamber Ladies Learning Group
with guest speaker Stephanie Strugnell
Wednesday, May 24th, 6:45-9:00 
at the Wills & Prior store, 25 Wellington St.

Ladies, it's time again to get together and have some fun! Join us at Stratford's newest interior decor store, Wills & Prior as Stephanie Strugnell from Well Fed Roots talks to us about taking care of ourselves... about putting on our own "oxygen masks" before we help everyone around us.
We'll also have food samples from Urban Jars and juice samples from The Pulp Fresh Bar. It's just $10 plus tax to attend.Space is limited to 30.
Stephanie Strugnell is a Registered Holistic Nutrionist. She's also a new wife, essential oil addict, healthy food challenge creator, meal planning advocate, wellness coach and blogger. Read more about her company, Well Fed Roots, here.
Stratford Hyundai logo
Spotlight on our Corporate Partner: 
Stratford Hyundai
Stratford Hyundai is your premier retailer of new and pre-owned Hyundai Vehicles. It has long been our mission to provide our customers with a level of service that far exceeds any other dealership. We have assembled the most knowledgeable team of Hyundai sales, service and parts experts to ensure that all of our customer's needs are met, right down to the finest detail. We offer the full line of new Hyundai vehicles and a wide selection of diverse pre-owned vehicles.... see more on our website
Make your voice heard!  
Complete the Ontario Chamber of Commerce's (OCC) annual spring survey. This is an easy way to make your voice heard. Your survey responses directly impact the work of the OCC and directly impact what government understands about Ontario's businesses and economy. Help the OCC advocate for you, it only take five minutes!

Take the OCC's Spring Survey:

    Back to Balance, but not Prudence: ONTARIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Chamber challenges government to clarify where business growth will come from

TORONTO, April 27, 2017 : In response to  Budget 2017 , the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) expressed concern that there is no clear path for long-term fiscal prudence, while commending the government for Ontario's first balanced budget since the global recession. While there is no deficit over the planning period, there is also no plan for surplus. Given that, downward payment on the debt will be pushed beyond the medium-term. This will place tremendous fiscal burden on future generations and considerable pressure on future economic planning.

" Budget 2017  demonstrates that much of Ontario's fiscal outlook will depend on the prosperity of our private sector," said Richard Koroscil, Interim President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "The government acknowledged that business investment spending slowed in 2016, though expects firms to increase investment by 3.1 percent, annually, to 2020 - an amount that would outpace growth in real GDP growth and household spending. These assumptions depend upon business confidence - which has fallen precipitously in recent years according to the Ontario Economic Report - and U.S. demand, which is subject to considerable risk given recent comments by American President Donald Trump." .... continue reading the full press release here.

Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards

This is WSIB's first award program specifically
for small businesses in Ontario!
These awards will recognize outstanding achievement in health and safety initiatives in businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The top three winners will receive cash prizes for their excellence in health and safety efforts. These are funds that can be reinvested back into your health and safety program.
First place - $5,000      Second place - $3,000     T hird place - $2,000
Tell them about your safety culture, how you do inspections and deal with hazards and how you support workers to return to work and you can win.
The  nomination form guidelines and  award poster  is available online at
Apply today! Nominations close June 30, 2017.

SUMMER COMPANY is now accepting applicants!
This program is for students who are enrolled in school in the fall of 2017. Empowering the youth in our community will create a strong and healthy economy for the future!
#SummerCompany or call 519-305-5055

The 2017 Perth County Rural Guide is here!

Compiled by the Ontario Ministry
of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
this resource is full of helpful contact information.
Download it out here

Stratford Economic Enterprise Development Corporation Appoints  Joani Gerber as new investStratford CEO

Our congrats to our past-chair of the Chamber board, Joani Gerber, on her new role as CEO for investStratford. She brings a wealth of experience from a variety of positions which include both Waterloo and Stratford Accelerator Centres, Perth Community Futures Development Corporation and the Stratford Perth Centre for Business.
The Rotary Club of Stratford is pleased to announce their 13th Annual Charitable Golf Tournament will be held Wednesday, June 14th at the Stratford Country Club. They have appreciated the great support they have received in the past from sponsors. Please visit  for more information on sponsorship opportunities and golf registration or contact Ken Nesbitt, Stratford Rotary Golf Chair at 519-271-5279. Deadline is June 1st.

Community Living Stratford & Area is also holding their 13th Annual Charity Golf Tournament will be held Wednesday, June 21st at the Stratford Country Club. 9:00 Shot Gun Start, 18 holes with a cart, $135/player or $125/club member with lunch included. All funds raised assist local individuals with developmental disabilities in Stratford with support and inclusion services. For information and to register, please contact Shauna King, 519-273-1000 x 0 or

How to stay ahead of the new and young worker MOL blitz, happening May 1st-August 31st. Read more about the new and young worker MOL blitz here. 

Join Community Living for their last hurrah, the final Swing into Spring event on May 18th, 2017, with special guest appearance by Loreena McKennit. Best Western Plus The Arden Park Hotel, $50 per person, $95 per couple. For tickets and information email or cal 519-273-1000.

Speak Stratford Toastmasters
Gregory C N Smith, who has made it to the World Stage in Toastmasters will be giving his speech titled "Almost!"
Anyone is welcome to join the meeting tonight at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, room 1004.
275 St. Patrick St. Stratford.
Meeting starts at 7:00pm
13 Ways to Kill Your Community, featuring Doug Griffiths, President of 13 Ways 
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Community Hall, Mitchell Arena & Community Centre
185 Wellington St. Mitchell
Information and registration on Eventbrite by clicking here.

Tax on Tap: Planning for the Wealthy Family
Wednesday, May 24th, 5:00-7:00pm
Queens Inn, 161 Ontario St. Stratford
BDO invites you to join them for a pint at their complimentary Tax on Tap seminar. They will discuss various planning techniques that wealthy families, and those on their way to becoming wealthy, use to minimize taxes and protect their assets.
Register soon as seating is limited. RSVP by Wednesday, May 17th to Linda Geris at or 519-539-2081.

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Phone: 519.273.5250
Fax: 519.273.2229

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Thank you to our corporate partners:

St. Marys logo
St. Marys logo
Stratford Hyundai logo
St. Marys logo
St. Marys logo
St. Marys logo

Stratford Hyundai logo