Issues & Insights: Ontario Economic Report Highlights Opportunities & Challenges
By Charla Robinson, Chamber President  

In February, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, released its inaugural Ontario Economic Report.  The Ontario Economic Report (OER) is a landmark agenda aimed at shaping and informing future public policy. While providing a broad overview of Ontario's economic health and direction, the OER also includes economic information pertaining to Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. 
The OER details the state of Ontario's economy using innovative research provides useful information:
*    Business Confidence Survey
*    Economic Outlook 2017

Read more....
In Case You Missed It

Prime Minister Won't Tax Health Benefits

In a previous newsletter and blog post, we expressed concern about reports that the federal government is considering taxing employer-paid health and dental beneļ¬ts.  At that time we asked our members to send an email to local MP's and the Minister of Finance to share your views on this issue.

In the House of Commons on February 1st,  the Prime Minister said the government will not be moving forward with the tax.  We will continue to monitor developments, but this is very positive news. Thank you for being part of this initiative. The Chamber network has a powerful voice when we all work together!

FedNor Invests Nearly $700,000 to Support Innovative Businesses and Youth
The Government of Canada is investing $698,400 to enable the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NOIC) to launch two three-year pilot programs in support of innovative, small-medium sized enterprises, and youth recruitment and retention in Northwestern Ontario.  
$499,000 will support the launch of the Go Global Business Growth and Talent Development project. Through this initiative, innovative small and medium-sized enterprises in Northwestern Ontario will have access to funding to help them hire young professional employees for 15-month placements. The goal of the project is to assist companies with business growth and market development.  
The remaining $199,400 will enable the NOIC to introduce its Youth Effect project that will provide entrepreneurial, innovative youth (aged 18-29) with experiential learning and training through 15-week placements with innovative small and medium-sized enterprises. Under this program, SMEs that identify a need for support with a specific project will be matched with qualified youth based on their skills, interest, and need. The project is expected to lead to full-time employment for many of the participants.

For more details on how your business can benefit visit the NOIC website
Welcome New Members
Pl ease join us in welcoming the following company that join ed the Chamber in February:
Cara Operations

Member to Member (M2M) Discounts
Our enhanced Member-to-Member (M2M) Discount program facilitates Member-to-Member relationships and encourages shopping locally. This is an excellent opportunity to support your fellow Chamber members and promote your business.  Current offerings include:
Good News

This month's Good News highlights the following Chamber members:
City of Thunder Bay
Days Inn - North
Days Inn & Suites
FORM Architecture Engineering
Grand Portage Lodge & Casino
Habitat for Humanity Thunder Bay
North Superior Workplace Planning Board
Northern Policy Institute
Our Kids Count
Perfect Fit Lingerie
T he Blue Door Bistro
Resolute Forest Products

Upcoming Events

March After Business - Celebrate the Luck o' the Irish with us! 
Wednesday, March 15th, Beaux Daddy's Canajun Grillhouse 
Presented by RBC
Limited booth space available!
Register today  
Leaders Luncheon with the Canadian Forces 
Tuesday, March 28th, Da Vinci Centre
Keynote speaker: Col. Mark Larsen, Director Air Reserve, Royal Canadian Air Force
Presented by Intercity Industrial Supply
Event will include presentation of recognition awards to local businesses who are supportive of the Canadian Forces.
Register now

Business Awards Gala
Saturday, April 8th, Valhalla Inn
Presented by Bell
Symposium: 5:30pm  Dinner & Awards: 6:30pm 
Celebrate businesses who have contributed to the success of our community!
View the list of nominees & register online 
Leadercast: Powered by Purpose  
Friday, May 5th, Victoria Inn Hotel & Convention Centre
8:00am - 5:00pm   
Leadercast is the world's largest one-day leadership conference, broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast to hundreds of locations around the world.  This year marks the first year that Leadership Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the event locally.
Register today!
Limited exhibit space available.

Nathan is loving his placement at Thunder Bay Transit. Bob is teaching him how to maintain and fix the steering box.
Co-operative Education Offers  Exceptional Youth Learning

Co-operative Education teachers and students in the high schools are thankful to the many businesses, companies and employers that take on our students to help mentor them and allow them to put their education and skills into action.

Co-operative education is a structured way of learning that combines in-class learning with periods of actual placements in fields that interest the student. Co-op placements provide students with excellent work experiences and the chance to be mentored by employees with many years of experience in that field of work.

If you are interested in providing students with a life changing and challenging experience please contact your local school board.

More information
SHIFT Updates

SHIFT Board Directors Needed
Are you, or someone you know, a forward thinking, energetic and progressive individual who loves Thunder Bay? SHIFT is looking for new board directors to help the under 40's socialize, mobilize and realize their full potential. Deadline for nominations is Monday, April 10th at NOON. 

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