Employment Standards changes January 1, 2018: Are you ready?

On Monday, December 4, 2017 the final set of employment standards regulations were approved and the employment standards information has been updated since that time. Our blog provides a quick summary of the changes coming into effect January 1, 2018. General information about employment standards rules can be found online at www.alberta.ca/eschanges. Updates can be obtained by emailing [email protected] and you can view and register for webinars online as they become available: https://ers.humanservices.alberta.ca/es-webinars.aspx. Details regarding Bill 17: The Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act are online as well as the Employment Standards Amendment Regulation. As a business, if you have questions or concerns related to the Employment Standards changes, please share your feedback with us by emailing [email protected] Read More

Value Added Benefit: Digital Marketing Packages

Gaslamp Village Media Inc. is offering a savings up to $750 on digital marketing packages. Beginning with a Starter Web package which includes a mobile responsive, semi-custom design, 5 standard pages, CMS framework, contact form, full technical support & many more features. Also available to Chamber members are discounted SEO packages which include improve search rankings, google analytics, detailed SEO plan & more!

Federal Tax Changes Update

The federal government announced new rules for income-sharing by introducing a reasonable test for family members, except if those family members are:

  • A spouse over the age of 65
  • Over 18 who make a "substantial labour contribution" of at least 20 hours per week
  • Over 25 who own 10 per cent or more of a business that earns less than 90 per cent of its income from the "provision of services"

The Standing Senate Committee on National Finance released their report on tax reform the same day recommending a delayed implementation of any tax changes for at least one year and, consistent with chamber advocacy:

"That the Government of Canada undertake an independent comprehensive review of Canada's tax system with the goal of reducing complexity, ensuring economic competitiveness, and enhancing overall fairness".

Read the Senate report: Fair, Simple, Competitive Taxation: The way forward for Canada

Read Finance Canada's Press Release: Government Simplifies Measures to Restrict Income Sprinkling

For more information regarding Corporate Tax Changes visit our advocacy page on our website here.

5 Minutes for Business: In Praise of Profit

In this edition of 5 Minutes for Business, Jayson Myers, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President of Policy, examines the role profit plays in driving growth and assuring economic prosperity for Canadians. This role should be a fundamental tenet of all government decision-making. Our governments must at least be aware of the negative impact higher taxes and regulatory compliance costs have on profits, job creation and business investment. This holiday season, let's celebrate profit! Read 5 Minutes for Business.

Value Added Benefit: Print Advertising Discount with MH News

Advertising on the Chamber’s monthly page is exclusive to Chamber members. The regular price of a 2x2 ad would be $252.64/insertion; however Chamber members can receive the same size ad for a savings of over $200. Additionally, Chamber members receive an exclusive discount on advertising on the Business Beat page every Wednesday.

Alberta Renewables Auction Recipients Announced

This can be marked as a win for Medicine Hat and a win for our Chamber, as we had encouraged Government to make sure that they considered our region for alternative energy projects and also had a policy on alternative energy which was adopted in 2014. We had not renewed it last year, as the Government was moving in that direction.

Developing a Framework for Alternative Energy in Alberta’ was renewed in 2014, after previously being adopted in 2011 and completed in 2017. We are pleased that three companies were chosen in the opening round of the Renewable Electricity Program, which will result in about $1 billion of private-sector investment in green power generation in Alberta. The successful bids have set a record for the lowest renewable electricity pricing in Canada and are all projects based in southern Alberta.

  • Capital Power, which will build the 201-megawatt Whitla Wind project 60 kilometres southwest of Medicine Hat.
  • EDP Renewables Canada Ltd., which will build a 248-megawatt wind farm at their Sharp Hills project east of Hanna, roughly 50 kilometres north of Oyen.
  • Enel Green Power North America, Inc., which will build two projects – the 115-megawatt Riverview Wind Farm and the 31-megawatt Phase 2 of Castle Rock Ridge Wind Power Plant just outside of Pincher Creek.

See the Government of Alberta press release here. See our letter to the Minister of Energy here.

Business Beat: It Was a Good Year

The past 12 months were an eventful year for business in Medicine Hat. Unemployment is down compared to 2016. Commercial construction is up. New neighbourhoods are breaking ground. It appears helium is on the horizon. Aviation history was made in our back yard. A 200-megawatt wind farm was recently announced 50 kilometres from the city. Advanced technology companies are either growing or relocating to Canada’s sunniest city. It’s hard to ignore the flurry of residential and commercial construction taking place in the city’s south end, to the point that all serviced commercial lots are now spoken for. Masterpiece Care Corporation’s new 121 suite Southland Meadows facility has been hailed as Alberta’s finest and is one of many projects completed or underway in the city’s south. On the residential side, Lansdowne Equity Ventures cut the ribbon on a new neighbourhood and hailed smooth City Hall processes as reasons it was able to break ground less than a year after beginning the process. Read More

Member News: BBB Presents the 12 Scams of Christmas

With Christmas right around the corner, there are many scammers that are looking to take advantage of people over the holidays. According to the Better Business Bureau the 12 scams of Christmas are: 12. Counterfeit goods. Low prices on luxury goods are almost always cheap counterfeits. At best, you'll look like a Scrooge. At worst, you may be helping finance drug illegal activity. 11. Look-alike websites: When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words. 10. Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam. 9. Malicious e-cards: Electronic cards can be great fun, but be careful. Two red flags to watch out for are: the sender’s name is not apparent; you are required to share additional information to get the card. 8. Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate. 7. Emergency scams: Be cautious if you get a call from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested, or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s true. Read More

Member News: Happy 50th Anniversary Richardson's Jewellery

Celebrate our 50 year's in business with savings of up to 50% off! Richardson's Jewellery was established in 1967 and continues to showcase the most complete selection of jewellery products in our region. From our well priced Canadian diamonds to our fun and fashionable sterling silver we've got the perfect gift! 

Canadian Entrepreneurs Age 50+

The Centre for Elder Research, Sheridan College, Oakville,(ON) is conducting a national study to learn more about new and established Canadian entrepreneurs age 50+ as well as those individuals 50+ who are actively pursuing a defined business idea. Individuals 50+ represent the fastest growing age demographic for founders of start-up businesses in Canada, and the trend continues to rise. Despite this, little is known about older entrepreneurs. The purpose of this study is to address gaps in knowledge by investigating the experiences, needs and interests of new and established entrepreneurs in this group. The study is funded by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), and we want to ensure entrepreneurs age 50+ from all Canadian provinces and territories have an opportunity to contribute to this study. The results of this survey will help the Centre for Elder Research to learn more about the experience of Canadian entrepreneurs in this group. The results will inform a report and recommendations that will be made public with the intent that supports offered to older entrepreneurs truly reflect their needs and interests. If you meet the age requirements, feel free to complete the online survey.