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President’s Message  

September 9, 2016

Hello everyone. My August message focused, in part on the small business roundtable that the Chamber hosted in late June. We followed the Roundtable discussion with an on-line survey emailed to our members. The results will be added to the report we will be submitting to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

However, in reviewing the results, we discovered a number of responses focusing on more local issues. There were a number of items raised, both during the Roundtable discussions as well as the on-line survey and two stood out as key issues. The first was the difficulty in securing workers that had the requisite skills to do the job. The second issue was the increasing lack of job commitment. Too often, potential hires had a minimal work ethic or a commitment to the job itself other than to ‘show-up’ and expect to be paid.

Speaking for the Chamber Board, we’re delighted with this type of input and beginning this fall, we will be planning a number of initiatives to address them. Our local business sector is vital to our economy and these initiatives will focus on the issues with a view to successfully resolving them.

Now that fall is upon us, we’re looking forward to a season of activity. On the professional development front is the launch of Breakfast Connections. These hugely popular early morning ‘PD’ sessions have consistently drawn good crowds and both the learning and networking have been positive.

Working with our partners, Your Community Futures and the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre, we’ll be presenting a number of topical workshops designed to both inform and enhance local business expertise. Having said that — here’s what we’d like to get from our members.

Tell us what you’d like to learn more about. Give us topics we can add to our Breakfast Connections roster. Once we have your input, we’ll create the session. The first Breakfast Connections will be presented on Wednesday, September 21. Visit our web site for details.

On the business social scene, September marks the start of the season’s popular PubNites. These business after hours networking events attract great crowds and our business colleagues tell us they are terrific for making productive contacts. We launch on Tuesday, September 28 at Au Vieux Duluth and it all begins at 5:00 p.m. We look forward to having you join us.

The Chamber has responded to the government’s report on changes to both the Labour Relations and Employment Standards Acts. In a letter to MPP McDonell, it has expressed its concerns about a number of proposed changes to the Acts that could negatively impact our business sector. The Ontario Chamber and chambers across the province are asking the government to carefully examine the current Acts before enacting changes that will affect Ontario businesses.

Here are some other upcoming events we’d like to share with you.


  • Cornwall / Akwesasne Chambers fall meet and greet. Details are being finalized and the event will be held in mid October.
  • Bridges to Better Business. We’re planning a dynamic half day event on October 19 with a series of outstanding workshops. Check our web site.
  • Amazing South Africa / Dubai trip. Our web site has details


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