Member News: Nominations Open for the Civic Recognition Awards

Every two years the City of Medicine Hat recognizes selected individuals through the Civic Recognition Awards.  The chosen individuals are those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the community, and who by their dedication, activities and/or accomplishments have enhanced the quality of life in Medicine Hat.  In 2015, the Civic Recognition Awards Ceremony will be held May 20, 2015 at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre.  Nominations are open from now until March 13, 2015 and more information can be accessed here.


New M2M Discount: 20% off Digital Advertising Packages

All Chamber members receive a 20% discount on digital advertising packages through B Digital Ads Inc. when they provide proof of Chamber membership.  Digital advertising packages are available on high-definition screens at the Medicine Hat Mall, Co-op Mall, Co-op Gas Pump "Pump TV" and on digital billboards along the TransCanada highway and start at just $124.99 per month.


M2M Discount of the Week: New Year, New You!

Receive 20% off all services with Robert at Robert Joseph's Salon when you show your Chamber membership card! Call (403)527-3399 or stop in at #109 612 Kingsway Ave to book your appointment today!


New Member: Julia Lacey - Royal LePage Community Realty

Julia Lacey

Julia Lacey is an award winning REALTOR® with Royal LePage Community Realty.

She was born and raised in Medicine Hat and graduated from the Medicine Hat College with a Business Administration Marketing Diploma and received President Honour Roll. She is also a part of the Women in Business Board which is a non-profit group that provides networking opportunities to business professionals in the Medicine Hat Region. As well, she works exclusively with Lacey Homes, a reputable builder in Medicine Hat since 1986. She is involved in the new home construction process as well as the selling of existing homes.

She has been a Realtor since August of 2011. Since she has started she has won the following awards:

·        Achievers Club – 2012

·        Pinnacle Club – 2013 & 2014

·        The Presidents Gold Award  - 2014

She broke the record as the youngest REALTOR® to ever win the Pinnacle Award for her sales in Medicine Hat.

Julia Lacey is a hardworking, energetic REALTOR® who is devoted to helping you make the right move!


Benefit Highlight: Fuel Discounts at Husky/Mohawk

Start your new year off right and start saving money on your fuel expenses!

Chamber members receive a $0.02/litre discount on fuel with no minimum volume requirements at any Husky/Mohawk location through the Alberta Chamber of Commerce Group Plan.

Save money, save time on bookkeeping, enjoy ethanol-blended fuels that reduce harmful exhaust emissions up to 30% and get great service at over 600 locations in Western Canada and Ontario.

Call 1-800-661-3835 or email for more information.

 


Clarifying information on falling oil prices and Canadian dollar

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce has had a few inquiries in recent weeks related to the Canadian Dollar and the falling prices of oil and is taking measures to follow up and demystify the comments.

The Chamber of Commerce reiterated that we haven’t seen the Canadian dollar at this level since early 2009 when the dollar was in the low 80’s. Additionally, Canadians have seen the dollar around parity for almost three years. However, according to data provided by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the dollar is likely headed lower, likely to average 85 cents in 2015 and it could fall even below that because of three reasons.

1. Weaker oil prices because of surging U.S. production. The Canadian dollar is often called a ‘petro-currency’ because its movements track so closely with oil prices. A $10 increase in the price of a barrel of oil would push the loonie up by three cents; similarly, as oil prices drop, so will the dollar

2. The U.S. economy is booming, so American interest rates will rise sooner. There is a sea change in investor perceptions about the outlook for inflation and interest rates. With the U.S. economy roaring ahead at 4.6% GDP growth in the second quarter and the unemployment rate down to 5.9%, investors are expecting inflation could pick up very quickly and the U.S.

3. Markets are nervous about Canadian vulnerabilities. A torrent of investor funds flowed into Canada from 2009 to 2012 because the country was seen as a safe haven and this drove up the dollar. The Canadian economy fared better than any other G7 country during the great recession and our banks did not require any bailouts. However, Canada is starting to show vulnerabilities, particularly our soaring consumer debt and a potential housing bubble, right when the U.S. is getting back on track. Investors now have no need for a Canadian safe haven in the midst of the booming U.S. economy and so we have seen rising net outflows, particularly from Canada’s government bonds. Next year, when U.S. interest rate hikes become a certainty, while Canada’s remain unchanged, the flow of investment funds will accelerate and the loonie will head lower.

Overall, it’s not Canadian weakness that’s causing the loon to swoon, it’s American strength. What does this mean to the local economy? A lower dollar makes Alberta goods and services more attractive to global purchasers. In industries like tourism, it makes sense with a lower Canadian dollar being a cheaper place to take a vacation. If you are an exporter, somebody who is trying to move their product abroad into the U.S. market in particular, you’ve got a cost advantage that you didn’t have just a few months ago.

However, the Chamber of Commerce recognizes that a low loonie is truly a mixed blessing for entrepreneurs. For small and medium-sized businesses that do a lot of exporting, it’s a blessing, since their products are less expensive in foreign markets, including the U.S. which may strengthen demand. It also means more of our country’s consumers are likely to spend their money in Canada. But for those businesses that import goods or inputs from the south of the border it can have a major impact their bottom line.

It will impact Alberta businesses differently, obviously Alberta manufacturers and exporters are going to benefit because their products will be comparatively cheaper. Alberta’s top non-energy exports such as farm and food manufacturing and machinery and equipment will likely do well and tourism and hospitality should benefit.
It all depends on the extent to which product is displaced by US production.

The Chamber of Commerce recognizes that Oil prices have also plummeted by 40% since June and the severity of the decline caught almost everyone by surprise. However, the long-term investments can tolerate significant variation in revenues over the often 30-year lifespan of a project. While new projects may be delayed, and indeed some big ones may be cancelled, prices would have to be really low for a very long time in order to reduce production.

Cheaper gas is also a welcome boost for consumers. If prices continue at current levels, a typical U.S. household could save $1,100 and a Canadian family could save $1,300. That’s about $85 billion dropped into the pockets of North American consumers, a welcome stimulus. Globally, lower oil prices could transfer nearly $1 trillion from producers to consumers.

We are likely to have an oversupply in 2015, which will put further downward pressure on prices, so it's possible that oil could temporarily dip as low as $50 per barrel. Over the longer term, oil prices will depend heavily on a resurgence of demand driven by a healthier global economy. The Canadian Chamber expects it will pick up with the U.S. economy expanding at 3.5% and emerging markets growing 4.8%. This will provide healthy support to oil demand, pushing prices back towards the $70 range. This would put the Canadian dollar somewhere 83-85 cents, providing a nice boost to manufacturing exporters and generating more balanced growth in Canada.

Resources:
How Low Can Oil Go?
The Loonie’s Decline: Here to Stay?


M2M Discount of the Week: 15% off at Pizza Hut

Chances are you'll be cooking most of Thursday, and by Sunday will be so sick of turkey you won't even remember why it sounded so appealing today - so if you are having a get-together this week, give yourself a break and order pizza instead.

Members receive 15% off orders of $50 or more from Pizza Hut when they show their Chamber membership card. 


New Member: BDigital Ads Inc.

BDigital

Founded in June 2013, BDigitalAds Inc. is a digital advertising company serving a creative and forward-thinking client base in Medicine Hat and area. Our company specializes in the airing and production of affordable digital advertising campaigns in key, high-traffic locations throughout Medicine Hat. Our variety of screen locations range from high-definition digital ads airing on screens in the Medicine Hat Mall, to advertising space on highly visible digital billboards along the Trans-Canada highway. Our company will also consider additional proposed screen locations and promotional opportunities available on a negotiated and/or inquiry basis.


Benefit Highlight: Member Pricing on Payroll Services


Payworks offers comprehensive, innovative and integrated web-based Payroll, HR and Employee Time Management solutions all backed by unparalleled client support.

All active Chamber members receive exclusive Affinity pricing on web payroll services* and can sign up or find out more information by emailing or calling Southern Alberta area rep Matt Aldridge at (403)249-4939. 

 

*New Customers Only


Member News: Finley Hann merged with Scheffer Andrew

As of December 1, 2014 Finley Hann Engineering Ltd. has merged with Scheffer Andrew Ltd. combining the skills and experience of each company to provide an improved level of service.  Staff of Finley Hann will continue to be available at their current phone numbers and email addresses, however, will be working from the Scheffer Andrew Ltd. Medicine Hat office.  If you have an existing project with Finley Hann, you should notice very little change.


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