Does your business accept credit cards?

If your business accepts payment by credit card, you may not be aware that if a customer provides a credit card number over the phone or by keying it in (instead of using the chip or pin), the liability could rest on the business if a chargeback occurs.  If for some reason a keyed-in transaction must occur, please ensure you have both a signature for the cardholder and an imprint of the card.  The merchant should also validate the cardholder's identity by checking a proper form of ID, such as a Driver's license, and compare signatures with that on the payment slip.

If you frequently need to process "remote transactions" or those where the cardholder and card are not present, ensure that you understand the rules and regulations set by the card brands and reach out to your merchant services provider if you have questions.

News We're Following February 26, 2016

Minister Morneau Charts New Direction for Canada's Middle Class - Can Gov - Finance Minister Bill Morneau has announced the creation of a new Advisory Council on Economic Growth, to be chaired by Dominic Barton.

Historically low oil prices and declining revenue impacting third quarter results - AB Gov - Alberta faces a significant budget shortfall as oil prices continue to collapse – to the lowest levels in more than a decade – causing a substantial hit to government revenue.

Tax base sees continued growth in 2016 - City of MH - Implementation of audit recommendations impacts some properties.

Government announces go-forward plan for emerging ride-for-hire services in Alberta - AB Gov - Transportation Minister Brian Mason has announced a plan that will establish a reasonable framework for ride-for-hire companies.

5 min for Business - The Budget is Coming!

In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, Hendrik Brakel, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's Senior Director, Economic, Financial and Tax Policy, is at Star Wars level of excitement over the federal budget, which will be tabled on March 22, because the stakes are huge for the government and expectations are sky-high.

Will an empire of program spending overwhelm the plucky investments in productivity? Will the evil deficit be defeated in one of the sequels or will it conquer the planet? Will the youthful lord follow in the footsteps of his father?

Come March 22, we’ll be watching for spending for productivity-enhancing, trade-enabling infrastructure, a reasonable plan to return to balanced budgets and measures to boost business competitiveness.

Read 5 Minutes for Business.

Benefit Highlight: Big Discounts on Radio Advertising

102.1 CJCY is a proud member of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce and as such wishes to help their fellow members stretch their marketing dollars further with big discounts on radio advertising!

Chamber member business have two options to choose from:

Option 1 - $299 (regular price $630)
21 x 20-second commercial messages per week in a special "Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce" feature with a 6a-12 Midnight Plan Schedule.

Option 2
10-30% on multi-week campaigns

For more information, please contact the station via email or phone at (403)488-4690.

Alberta Chambers of Commerce weighs in on Provincial and Federal budgets

The Alberta Chambers of Commerce has been busy in its advocacy regarding the development of the 2016 - 2017 provincial and federal budgets. This includes meeting with officials at both the provincial and federal level, including a meeting with Finance Minister Ceci later this month.

President & CEO Ken Kobly presented to the Federal Standing Committee on Finance in Ottawa on February 19th as part of pre-budget consultations as well on behalf of the Alberta business community. The Alberta Chambers budget submissions can be viewed online through the following links:

ACC 2016 Federal Budget Submission 

Letter to Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau 

Letter to Premier Notley re: federal budget submission

ACC 2016 Provincial Budget Submission

Letter to Provincial Finance Minister Joe Ceci

New Member: Comm Ventures

Comm Ventures is the Shaw Business Authorized Dealer for Medicine Hat.  We offer customized Shaw Business Solutions for businesses by working one-on-one with you so we design the service and get the local support you need. 
Our initial point of contact with your team involves us

  1. Reviewing your invoices for Internet/Phone/Business TV
  2. Pinpoint Inefficiencies and determine places where we can save you money
  3. Provide a final solution for your business telecommunication needs

We are a local Shaw business support team and, like you, understand how important your time and your money is. Working with local clients from small coffee shops to large hotels is what Comm Ventures specializes in.

With no up-front capital required for your company with our Smartvoice phone offering you really can afford a new phone system right now with all of the new features and benefits that come with a new system to make you and your company more efficient.

Call (403) 487-1899 or email Kent Jackson at Comm Ventures so we can help!

New M2M Discount: Exclusive room rates at the Super 8 Medicine Hat

Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce member businesses and their employees receive the exclusive room rate of $79 plus GST for a standard room at the Super 8 Medicine Hat.

Please mention your Chamber membership and the discount when booking your room, and show a valid membership card if required.

Member News: Safety Connections again offering Free Training programs for Unemployed Albertans

Safety Connections is proud to announce they have been awarded an Alberta Works contract for the 10th year in a row and are now accepting applications for the following two NEW programs that will be running in both Medicine Hat & Brooks;
  • Class 1/3 Driver Training Program
  • Industry Basic Readiness Program
These Government Funded programs can be accessed by unemployed or underemployed Albertans that qualify, meet eligibility requirements and are accepted into the program. The NEW Class 1/3 Driver Training Program is geared towards individuals looking to gain a Class 1 or 3 license and utilize the license in an occupation – Transport, Construction, Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Mining, Forestry, etc. Safety Connections' Industry Basic Readiness Program is geared towards those seeking to gain entry level employment or apprenticeship, but lack current industry required safety tickets under OH&S. Graduates of the Industry Basic Readiness Program may gain employment utilizing their training in entry level positions in Construction, Trades, Oil & Gas, Agriculture, Maintenance, Safety, etc.

Unemployed or underemployed Albertans are welcome to apply for the programs in person at either our Medicine Hat or Brooks office.

Canadian Chamber Outlines Top 10 Barriers Holding Back Canada’s Economy

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released their "Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness for 2016." According to the Canadian Chamber, this list represents the key obstacles that need to be overcome in order to allow Canadian businesses to prosper. The Top 10 Barriers covers a variety of topics, including both obstacles to Canada's competitiveness now and problems that the Chamber sees on the horizon. 

Read the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's blog post.

Watch the Canadian Chamber of Commerce's video.

Read the full Top 10 Barriers to Competitiveness document.

News We're Following February 19th, 2016

Iran sanctions lifted by Canada, but Justin Trudeau still faces 'delicate dance' - CBC - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's sweeping sanctions relief for Iran will be a boon for Canadian businesses.

Statistics Canada's Business  & Community Newsletter-February Edition  - Stats Can - In this issue of Statistics Canada's newsletter they look at Price Indexes, Valentine's Day by the Numbers, and recruitment for the 2016 Census. 

Nominations open for Alberta’s highest honour - AB Gov - Albertans are invited to nominate outstanding citizens, community leaders and innovators for membership in the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Nominations open for the 2016 Community Justice Awards - AB Gov - Alberta Justice and Solicitor General is now accepting nominations for the 25th annual Community Justice Awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that are leading community safety and crime prevention initiatives.