BOLD Radio Experts - Important role of economic development agencies in the community

by Admin 4. February 2016 08:09

 

Sometimes in life, you just need some good advice. No one is an expert at everything. That’s why we’re proud to present the BOLD Radio Experts series where we welcome a qualified and experienced individual to offer sound advice on an aspect of running a business.


We are pleased to feature Greg Dandewich, Senior Vice-President at Economic Development Winnipeg. Greg brings his expertise to the subject of economic development agencies and their important role in the community.

Businesses from many different sectors and sizes enter the Winnipeg market and find success. Each have impacted our community in different ways. Some of these businesses have become mainstays and a point of pride for our city. Greg talks about how economic development agencies assist in helping to recruit, integrate, and grow these businesses.

Click to watch or listen to Greg's in-studio Expert segment.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

East Chapter meeting recap - Winnipeg tech entrepreneur takes us on a virtual tour

by Admin 3. February 2016 06:40

By: Brad Pachkowski - co-chair of The Chamber's East Chapter & business development at Instant Imprints

It was a virtual and literal eye-opening experience for those who attended the East Chapter meeting of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 26.

We had the opportunity to hear from Daniel Blair, an accomplished technology entrepreneur from Bit Space Development. The newest app technology developed by from Bit Space is Panoplã (pronounced pano-play), which gives the user the ability to create a panoramic virtual tour of their own facility, whether that would be a small business, retail store, tourist attraction, educational facility, or even real estate properties. 

After showing us how the software and hardware works in conjunction, Daniel allowed us to strap on Google Cardboard – a cell phone holder that simulates a VR (virtual reality) helmet – and took us on a virtual tour of a mall. I was amazed that when I moved my head, it seemed like I was looking around the mall, all without leaving my seat.

Daniel Blair demonstrated his Panoplã app for those in attendance at the Jan. 26 East Chapter meeting.

In addition, this app allows you to embed hot spots within the virtual tour that link to social media, or any additional information you wish to include. Another fun feature links the app to your tablet’s gyroscope, so as you move the tablet, the view on your screen moves as well.

Daniel’s ultimate goal is to make this software free for educational facilities, so that students in remote communities can go on educational field trips without the massive cost associated with travel. The (virtual) reality is, Panoplã levels the playing field, allowing small business to offer an online presence that rivals the big companies. The possibilities are limited only by one’s imagination.

Daniel also told us about one of his development partners, Michael Farris of Geofy. Geofy will help you build promotions for your business that leverage geolocation, driving traffic to your store and increasing sales all with a simple app.

In all, it was a very informative meeting that provided us with two “made in Manitoba” companies that have the potential to be big players in the world of technology. As Chamber members, it is important we help support them—through their success, we all succeed.

The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s Chapter program meets four times per month in different areas of the city to help members of the business community grow their network, generate or give leads, hear from a dynamic speaker, and tackle local issues affecting their business. Chapter meetings are not exclusive to Chamber members. Visit winnipeg-chamber.com/events to find out more about the next meeting near you.

 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

BOLD Radio Experts - Pension and retirement planning

by Admin 29. January 2016 08:47

 

 

Sometimes in life, you just need some good advice. No one is an expert at everything. That’s why we’re proud to present the BOLD Radio Experts series where we welcome a qualified and experienced individual to offer sound advice on an aspect of running a business.

We are pleased to feature Lindsey Ross, Investment Advisor at Steinbach Credit Union. Lindsey brings her expertise to the subject of pension and retirement planning.


You work hard now so that one day you won’t have to work at all. But before that day comes, when you’re “retired”, it helps to make certain that you’re saving money the most efficient way possible. Lindsey shares important advice on steps for pension and retirement planning.

Click to watch Lindsey's in-studio Expert segment. 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Chamber Connected - Hiring Syrian refugees? Start with Manitoba Start

by Admin 29. January 2016 05:56

By: Reis Pagtakhan

The recent influx of Syrian refugees to Canada provides a large group of potential employees for Manitoba businesses. For businesses that may not have the resources to reach out to these individuals directly, one place businesses can go for assistance is Manitoba Start.

Syrian refugees come to Canada as Canadian permanent residents. In other words, they are legally entitled to work in Canada upon entry. Unlike temporary foreign workers, permanent residents are not restricted on the length of time they can work in Canada, who their employer is, the type of job they can hold, and the location of employment.

Once Syrian refugees go through their initial settlement process, they are referred to Manitoba Start for language assessments. Manitoba Start, a not-for-profit organization funded by the Governments of Canada and Manitoba, works with these individuals to determine their language ability and how their foreign skills, credentials and experience match opportunities in Manitoba.

In addition to working with Syrian refugees, Manitoba Start works with other immigrants. As a result, Manitoba Start is a source for employers looking for employees from a vast number of countries and backgrounds.

But how do businesses know that these new immigrants are ready to work in their particular business?

One of the services that Manitoba Start offers is a job matching program that matches skilled immigrants with vacant positions in businesses. Manitoba businesses can begin this process by submitting a job posting. If a business is unsure how to draft a job posting, a Manitoba Start Job Developer can provide assistance free of charge. All candidates for employment are pre-screened by Manitoba Start. If a job match is made, neither the employer nor the employee pays a fee.

In addition to job matching, Manitoba Start also offers its Work Start program. Geared to younger, new immigrant professionals, Manitoba Start will provide up to 8 weeks of paid work experience at no financial cost to the business. In other words, the new immigrant can work at a business and have his or her salary paid by Manitoba Start for up to 8 weeks. If the business is satisfied with the work of the new immigrant after this period, the business will be allowed to hire that new immigrant without paying any fees to Manitoba Start.

In addition to job matching and the Work Start program, Manitoba Start also provides other workforce programs designed for businesses. These programs, such as diversity and intercultural training and English at work programs, range from free sessions to custom made fee for service programs.

Do businesses need to use Manitoba Start to hire Syrian refugees or other new immigrants? While the answer is “no”, for businesses needing assistance in doing so, Manitoba Start is a good start.

 

Reis Pagtakhan is an immigration lawyer at  Aikins, MacAulay & Thorvaldson, LLP   

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Getting to know Gourmet Inspirations

by Admin 28. January 2016 07:14

Offering locally sourced and sustainable products is a point of pride for Gourmet Inspirations. The new Chamber member discusses its own inspirations and what makes their business innovative.

What does Gourmet Inspirations do?

Gourmet Inspirations is a manufacturer of specialty gourmet food products. Currently offering a line of 5-star gourmet sauces for use at home.  The flavours offered include Creamy Peppercorn Whiskey, Sweet and Spicy Lemon, Strawberry Balsamic with Basil, and Chocolate Port.

Where did the idea for Gourmet Inspirations come from?

The inspiration came from the North in Manitoba! Chef Peter Fehr was working at a 5-star fly-in fishing resort where a rancher from Texas really enjoyed a creamy peppercorn whiskey sauce that was served on a steak dinner. The guest encouraged Peter to "put the sauce in a bottle and sell it". And that's what he did...

What is innovative about your business?

The ingredients are all words you can pronounce. Locally sourced ingredients are used where possible. There's "no nasty preservatives" in the product. The label is clean. Ingredients are gluten free with the exception of the delicious whiskey in the creamy peppercorn whiskey sauce.

The other innovative part of the products is the sheer versatility of the products. For example, the strawberry balsamic with basil sauce is great glazed on salmon, pork or chicken but is equally as good as a salad dressing or a topping on ice cream!

What is an important issue facing business today?

Some challenges include ramping up production which may involve contracting a co-packer which doesn't exist in Manitoba. The "modernization of inspection" by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also adding challenges. These include the implementation of various food safety program with take an immense amount of resources for a start up business.

What company or business person most inspires you?

Locally I would have to say Danny from Danny's Wholehog BBQ. His story is incredible and inspiring. He started his business with very little. He only had the help of a few family members to start. He's worked extremely hard to get where he is and has become a source of inspiration for us at Gourmet Inspirations.One of the things he talks a lot about is "sharing your story". I share this value with him and strive to share our story well and at the same time take the time to listen to others' stories.

Why did Gourmet Inspirations join The Chamber?

We're all about "local" at Gourmet Inspirations. We wanted to have increased support and be supported by other local business.

For more information or to connect with with Gourmet Inspirations, find them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

7th annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards nominees

by Admin 22. January 2016 04:46

 

With presenting sponsors BDO and Fillmore Riley, The Chamber proudly announced the nominees of our upcoming Spirit of Winnipeg Awards during State of the Downtown on Jan. 21, 2016. The annual Spirit of Winnipeg Awards, which will take place on March 4, 2016, at Regent Casino Event Centre, recognize innovation and business excellence in our community. 

Our Spirit Awards early bird ticket deadline is Jan. 31. Buy now for chance to win North American round trip airfare from WestJet.

 

Congratulations to all of our nominees:

 

Click on their names to learn more about them.

 

Not-for-profit

Sponsorship available

             Futurpreneur Canada

             Marymound
            
Seven Oaks General Hospital

 

Start-Up

Sponsored by: Red River College

             3D Signatures

             Enigma Escapes
            
Sightline Innovation

 

Charity

Sponsored by: Lafarge Canada Inc.

             Snowflake Place

             KidSport Winnipeg
            
Manitoba Lung Association

 

Social Enterprise

Sponsored by: Assiniboine Credit Union

             BUILD

             L'Arche Winnipeg
            
Manitoba Green Retrofit

 

Environment

Sponsored by: Emterra Environmental

             Cypher Environmental

             Emerge Knowledge Design
            
HD- Petroleum

 

Small

Sponsored by: Rogers Communications Inc.

             Botanical PaperWorks

             Solara Remote Data Delivery
            
ZenFri

 

Medium

Sponsored by: RBC Royal Bank

             Ft3 Architecture Landscape Interior Design

             Hugh Munro Construction
            
Online Business Systems

 

Large

Sponsored by: Peak of the Market

             Bothwell Cheese

             CN/CN Campus
            
Manitoba Hydro Telecom    

 

 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Leadership Winnipeg Through the Eyes of Katharine Cherewyk

by Admin 19. January 2016 10:16

I had been looking forward to our Dec. 18 Leadership Winnipeg gathering for weeks, and when the day finally came, I was not disappointed. This time, we were going to be discussing Winnipeg’s non-profit sector: a subject that my company, the Creaddo Group, and I are passionate about.

As usual, the gathering was an eclectic group of some of Winnipeg’s most fascinating and dedicated leaders. The morning began on a truly inspirational note, with a session from
Volunteer Manitoba, presented by fellow Leadership Winnipeg attendee, Dawn Bourbonnais. Volunteer Manitoba is a dedicated group that works at the very heart of Winnipeg, promoting volunteerism and connecting volunteers to organizations that engage their passion and utilize their talents. They also host the annual Volunteer Awards and manage the CONTACT database comprised of social, health and government services accessible for all Manitobans. They are the first point of info and referral for these services! Volunteer Manitoba is truly plugged in to the needs of our community, and I am so grateful for their hard work and the support they provide to Winnipeg’s non-profit sector.

During the second half of the morning, Noreen Mian, executive director of Volunteer Manitoba, led a powerful and informative session on governance training, followed by an equally interesting personal story presented by Debra Jonasson-Young, director of Executive Education for the Asper School of Business. Debra talked to us about her experiences on several volunteer boards and how important it has been to her own personal growth in business and in her career.

After a delicious lunch, it was time for Tom Carson of Insights Discovery to lead us through a follow-up exploration of our colour personality profiles. As a “Sunshine Yellow,” I definitely felt energized by the friendly and radiant atmosphere that I always experience at Leadership Winnipeg gatherings. I left fully charged, ready to work to keep Winnipeg great, and excited about the things that I am sure to learn at the next Leadership Winnipeg event!

 

 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Chamber Connected - Personalizing the decision to shop local

by Admin 18. January 2016 05:42

Word of mouth, local businesses working together deliver successful #UnwrapWPG campaign

 At the heart of the recent #UnwrapWPG campaign— named as a hashtag because of its interactive social media focus – was something much more than a push to ‘buy local’. The campaign was about personalizing small businesses by telling their stories and encouraging Winnipeggers to discover and “unwrap” stories of local businesses during the busiest shopping season of the year..   

 “I think talking about these local stories is important so that we don't get overlooked,” said owner of Generation Green located at The Forks, Sherry Sobey. “Most of us smaller business owners don't have the advertising money to shout loud enough. But more importantly, supporting local is what helps our economy.”

#UnwrapWPG was designed to gain momentum and increase awareness as the calendar approached mid-November, carrying through into December as holiday shoppers were searching for the last items on their gift lists.  

Stores, shops, and boutiques of all sizes and services were invited to participate in #UnwrapWPG and the campaign turned out to be a perfect fit for some businesses.

“We need to build from grassroots,” said Donnie Watson, owner of Manitoba Battery at 1026 Logan Ave. “It was a great option to get our name out there. If nothing else, taking part [in #UnwrapWPG] meant that we got our name next to a lot of other local businesses.”

A small and specialized battery supplier in Winnipeg, Manitoba Battery does not typically use radio and print advertising. The #UnwrapWPG campaign provided them an opportunity to become part of a conversation on small businesses and to tell their story in a way they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

“We just need people to know who we are,” said Watson, “then we expect them to come back because of our pricing and service.”

Brendan Reimer is the strategic partner of values-based banking at Assiniboine Credit Union, and he explained the deeper value of supporting local business.

“When we start to think about buying local, it’s important to start to learn about the stories of the people involved, because they have come up with really innovative ideas and had the courage to start a business, follow their dreams, and provide us with some kind of goods or service that we value,” said Reimer, whose organization Assiniboine Credit Union was an active sponsor and participant in the campaign.

Speaking about the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce’s involvement in the campaign, president and CEO Dave Angus explained the storytelling aspect stands out as the most rewarding. “We want to provide reasons for Winnipeggers to embrace the stories of our local businesses, come to their stores, and share in their passion. When you get to know the person behind the counter of a locally owned store, shopping there becomes a personalized way you support your community.”



The integration of social media using the hashtag #UnwrapWPG was a central theme because platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are where the public can most easily and immediately share their experiences and continue an inclusive conversation on a particular subject. That subject, labelled with the hashtag #UnwrapWPG, was the unique stories of Winnipeg’s local businesses.

One of the most active businesses on social media during the campaign was Kenaston Wine Market, which is located near the intersection of Grant Avenue and Kenaston Boulevard at 1855 Grant Ave. General manager Marlies Tibbs described how they were able to involve their employees and embrace the online conversation about #UnwrapWPG.

“We engaged our staff in participating with the hashtag,” said Tibbs. “We have four people on staff that handle our social media, so it wasn’t put on one individual. It makes it possible for us to be responsive and come up with new ways to post about our store.”

In promoting the use of #UnwrapWPG, the hashtag was included in nearly 2,500 Twitter mentions and hundreds more posts on Instagram and Facebook. According to hashtracking.com, the campaign hashtag made nearly five million impressions on Twitter timelines.

“People came in because they were aware of the campaign,” Tibbs said, commenting that customers visited Kenaston Wine Market because of the online conversation. “They heard about it on social media or in print ads.”

On the busiest shopping weekend of the year, which also happened to be the same weekend as the Grey Cup and the Santa Claus Parade, #UnwrapWPG was one of the top trending topics in our city according to trendsmap.com.

This kind of online discussion would not have been possible without the participation of the businesses involved. It was a collective effort that led to a far-reaching word-of-mouth effect for local businesses.

“I’d like to see more campaigns like this with more local businesses working together,” said Tibbs, commenting on the benefits for the business community.

 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Leadership Winnipeg Through the Eyes of Laura Bishop

by Admin 15. January 2016 10:32

As you walk into 177 Lombard, you are transported back in time. The architecture and decor of the building are reminiscent of days past and the history of the building is evident.

In the morning, we were treated to a presentation from one of our own, Dawn Bourbonnais, who gave us an overview of what and who Volunteer Manitoba is. It was wonderful to hear about what the organization does and how it is innately part of our community and economy. It never ceases to amaze me of how much our “little” city has going on within it.

We also had an indepth presentation on board governance, presented by Noreen Mian, executive director of Volunteer Manitoba. I found this presentation extremely educational and motivating. I have been involved with different boards in varying capacities, so it was interesting to hear about the different structures and what should be in place. I took the time to reflect on my previous board experience and was able to identify those that were governed and those that were not. I then came to the realization that I enjoyed the organizations which had a strong governance structure in place, where roles, responsibilities and policies were clearly laid out. Debra Jonasson-Young, director of Executive Education at the Asper School of Business, joined us and talked about her journey of volunteerism and board involvement

In the afternoon, Tom Carson rejoined the group and we had more discussion with regards to our Insights personality profiles and group dynamics. We were given time with our groups to reflect on how our groups are communicating and how we can work better as a team by understanding how the different “colours” interact. It is always a learning opportunity when you are part of a new team ... as our groups are past the “forming” and are probably in the “storming” or “norming” stage of the process. I think that our groups may have or will be able to reach the “norming” phase quicker because of the time that we have been able to focus on the different personality types and how best to work with each other. I truly believe that understanding yourself and how you are perceived by others is essential to growing both professionally and personally.

Some of us capped off the day with a great, relaxed evening of socializing at the Kings Head!

 

 

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Chamber Connected - Explore the world with The Chamber

by Admin 15. January 2016 05:41

By: Wendy Stephenson, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Literally, one step - or should I say misstep - and I had a minor international incident on my hands.

I had walked into the dressing room of a huge Tokyo department store, not realizing I was committing a grievous error. You never wear shoes on tatami mats.

However, I was not the first to have made a wrong move like that. In the mid-nineteenth century, America’s first consul to Japan shocked his Japanese hosts by walking straight into the shogun's presence in Edo Castle without removing his shoes.

In my case, I had store staff wildly waving their arms at me in alarm … but I couldn’t fathom what was wrong.
Having travelled considerably since then for business and pleasure, I have learned the importance of culture, tradition and protocol.

In China, for instance, business cards are always exchanged and should be done so with two hands as a sign of respect.

In Greece, it was unsettling to find myself staring at a machine gun in Athens airport. I had never seen any sort of weapon before in my life.

And again in China, simply knowing how to use the washroom facilities was an accomplishment. The toilet looked like a porcelain baby cradle lying on the floor.

Knowing what to expect and how to deal with situations is all part and parcel of the travel experience.

Harry Schulz, who has been on Chamber trips to Israel, China and Vietnam/Cambodia, says there are two aspects to such trips.

“You get a toe in the water. I can’t imagine jumping in cold turkey, not understanding the culture and going straight to the deal.”

In Vietnam, for example, it was interesting observing how they did things.

Driving through the countryside, he saw people in the fields, preparing the land with a hoe and planting the crops by hand … no automation, Schulz says, adding his business interests are agriculture related.

But he also noted the lack of automation in other areas. There were people with hand tools, banging out designs on silver trays, instead of using machine presses.

“You came to understand their idea of productivity is not like our idea of productivity.”

 


Another aspect of these trips is that other business people accompany you, because of The Chamber connection.

“You know many of them superficially, but you get to know them better. Some of my best friendships were formed on the road,” he says, adding a Chamber trip differs from a trade mission because it’s easier to bring along a spouse and share the experience.

“On these trips, there’s a comfort factor. You’re in a strange country, but you have a community (of travellers) where there’s a familiarity.”

However, there is value in having a business agenda.

“Some years ago, Dave Angus (Chamber president and CEO) went to Finland with a group to look at technology. It was a bit of mixing and matching … bonding with Winnipeg travellers, but also looking at the country’s business settings and talking collaboratively.”

Carol-Ann Borody-Siemens, who’s travelled with The Chamber to India, South Africa and Vietnam/Cambodia, agrees that there’s a comfort level travelling with a group of people, many of whom you know and have a similar attitude.

“Like in Vietnam, people rolled with what happened as if it were part of the planned experience,” she says, citing how the group was caught in a torrential downpour in the Mekong Delta, but it just added to the adventure.

Also, because of the type of people who went on the trip, the guides were asked insightful questions on the country’s history, economic growth and political/geo-political situation.

“We discovered what it means to our world.”

It’s through travelling, you learn the subtleties of a culture, what’s important to the people and how they live their lives day-to-day, Borody-Siemens says, laughing about the challenge of crossing the street in Vietnam.

“The first time I tried, it was not fun (vehicles were approaching from every which way and the traffic was steady). The whole country is like a ballet … as long as you are moving at the same speed and keep moving … you get into the rhythm, you’re OK.”

The trip was also a “cautionary tale,” she adds.

“In these cultures, people can be offended by things we do every day.”

She enjoyed Vietnam and would definitely go back, she says.

“We saw a lot and did a lot at high speed.”

For travellers who went on the first Chamber trip to China, it was a great introduction to the country and gave them a sense of the historical and modern-day reality, which has proved useful in interpreting the news.

“What was particularly impressive was seeing the economic growth … all of the building and construction … and seeing how China is positioning itself globally,” one traveller said.

While another added: “Watch out world … China’s coming.”

The trip also gave some travellers a new perspective.

“It was interesting being the object of their curiosity. People were wanting their pictures taken with us.”

At the same time, it was nice to have an opportunity to spend time with someone who lives there and to learn about everyday life.

“I would now feel comfortable going back on my own,” another added.

If you are interested in travelling to China, The Chamber is hosting a trip April 7 – 18, 2016. DEADLINE to reserve your spot is Friday, January 15.

Click here for more information, including an itinerary.

Be the first to rate this post

  • Currently 0/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tags:

Powered by Weblink International 1.4.5.0