Do you ever feel overwhelmed when visiting a new place? You can’t see everything and you don’t want to drive somewhere and be disappointed.
I just got back from vacation with my family and we relied so much on Visitor Centres. Even though I had downloaded tourism guides and planned stops on Google Maps, in the end we made most of our decisions based on recommendations from Visitor Centres.
At the Kawartha Chamber, we’re proud that we offer this service for our members.
In the summer we hire students for locations at the Buckhorn Welcome Centre (1980 Lakehurst Road, Buckhorn) and our Chamber office in Lakefield which doubles as a tourism office (12 Queen Street, Lakefield). Kawartha Chamber staff and summer students tour many of our member’s locations so they know the products and services they provide. They shared their experiences on social media which helped increase awareness of the tourism operators. On top of that, the Chamber provided over 3,550 referrals to member businesses during the month of July between website and walk-in traffic!
In addition to supporting tourism in the region, our staff spend a great deal of time developing programs to support small businesses in the services sector (such as accounting, legal, human resources, communications). We have introduced a new Award of Excellence for the service sector this year. Be sure to nominate a local service provider who has gone above & beyond for you or your family, nominations are now open! See below for the details.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Nominations Are Open For The 19th Annual Awards Of Excellence
Nominations are now open for the Chamber’s 19th Annual Awards of Excellence. Please consider nominating a business, organization, or individual.
Any business, large or small, located in Peterborough County or within the City of Peterborough can be nominated. Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged.
Over the past few years, the Chamber’s Awards of Excellence event has outgrown most sit-down venues in the Kawarthas. Thus, the Chamber is announcing an exciting new social gala format for this year’s presentations. This will be an hor d’oeuvres-style social event. There will be both silent and live auction items, a cash bar, and time for socialization before the awards. Awards will be presented on the evening of Thursday, November 8th at Lakefield College School.
The Chamber is also excited to announce the addition of a 10th category to its Awards of Excellence. This year, the award for Service Sector Excellence will be presented to a deserving business that has gone above and beyond in the delivery of their service. This award has been sponsored by Herod Financial.
To submit a nomination, visit kawarthachamber.ca/nominations/ and choose a category. A description of each category is provided below.
Citizen of the Year – Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank
This prestigious award recognizes and honors a person that has been a leader in moving our region forward and has been responsible for improvement to and well-being of the community, beyond personal or business gain. In addition to why the individual is being nominated, the application should include information on background, business involvement, community involvement and any involvement the individual has had in other businesses, associations, trade organizations or community organizations. The impact that the nominee has had on the overall community is extremely important. The award will be given to an individual and not to an organization or association.
Commercial Development or Renovation – Sponsored by BALL Real Estate Inc. Brokerage
Recognizes business operators and property owners who make a significant contribution to the overall image of the region through physical improvements, or an ongoing effort to maintain high aesthetic standards.
Customer Service Excellence – Sponsored by CIBC
Recognizes business operators that raise customer service to a level of excellence and would therefore be considered a model for other businesses in the community to follow.
Entrepreneur Innovation – Sponsored by Gastles – Registered Patent Agents
Honours a business that has excelled in the field of innovation through the use of innovative products, marketing techniques, service and/or environmental practices. Other criteria include demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit in the form of risk taking and leadership.
Not-for-Profit Excellence – Sponsored by Darling Insurance
Presented in memory of Mary Barrow, a great community supporter.
This award recognizes a not-for-profit organization that exemplifies excellence in service to the community. The organization has an established reputation for innovation, strategic partnerships, effective volunteer management, successful marketing and promotions, delivering exceptional programs and services, and achieving measurable results for the betterment of the community.
Outstanding Business Achievement – Sponsored by County of Peterborough
This prestigious award recognizes and honours a business that has been a leader in moving our region forward and is deserving of the term “Outstanding Business.” It recognizes businesses which make significant strides in development as demonstrated by expanding market share, product/service innovation, environmental practices and/or employee relations.
Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Nexicom
Presented in memory of Brian Holmes, Lockside Trading Co.
Honours a business that has demonstrated retail excellence. Considerations for nomination should include: a high level of sales, a high level of customer service, innovative products or services, proven marketing techniques, environmental practices and other factors that lead to excellence.
Service Sector Excellence – Sponsored by Herod Financial Services
This award honours a business that excels in the service sector*, including but not limited to the trades, health and wellness and professional services. This may be demonstrated by a willingness to go beyond the normal call of duty, maintaining an effective pre and post-service relationship, possessing exemplary environmental practices, providing the client with value for money, expanding market share and exhibiting a high level of expertise.
*Tourism/Hospitality providers, Retailers, and Not-for-Profits should be nominated in their respective categories
Tourism/Hospitality – Sponsored by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development
Honours a business that has demonstrated the ability to promote our region as a tourism destination point, and/or provide exceptional service in the hospitality field. Considerations include: guest services, unique regional promotions, quality of facilities, environmental practices, signage and staff knowledge of the region.
Young Professional – Sponsored by Community Futures Peterborough
Presented in memory of Judy Heffernan, Peterborough CFDC
This award honours a young professional under the age of 35 who demonstrates innovation, risk-taking, entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional leadership, resulting in a sustainable business with capacity for ongoing growth. This person is an owner or an employee of influence within the business and is a role model for other young professionals.
The Chamber Is Working Hard To Promote Its Members And Region
The Kawartha Chamber has gained over 230 followers on its social media platforms since June. Mention the Chamber in your posts or use the hashtags #KawarthaChamber and #WealthofChoice.
The Chamber will help increase your engagement by liking, sharing, or retweeting. Do the same for The Chamber to help grow its reach and awareness of its member businesses and communities.
Send your member news to firstname.lastname@example.org to be shared on the Chamber’s social media pages.
In addition, the Chamber’s website received over 8,500 page views in July, with the business directory as the most visited page on the site. That is views of the Chamber’s standard and select member’s rotating website ads, and many of the visitors searching through member listings.
You can also send your upcoming events to email@example.com to be posted on the Chamber’s events calendar, or you can post them yourself if you prefer through your Member Information Centre login.
Earn Your Membership For Free
Did you know you could earn your Chamber membership for free?. Here’s how:
- Pay your membership dues within 30 days of the invoice date and be entered into a draw for a free membership next year. (To be drawn at the AGM.)
- Refer a new member and once they have paid, you will earn 10% off next year’s membership dues. Refer 10 new members and yours is free
For more information, contact the Chamber office at 705-652-6963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business After Hours Bridgenorth Hop – September 19th
As the summer winds down, the Chamber will be ramping up its events, the first of which will be the Bridgenorth Hop on Wednesday, September 19th.
The Chamber will be visiting member businesses, including the Bridgenorth Deli, Style Boutique, and TCB Office Furniture & Supplies.
Attendees will have the opportunity to see and hear first hand what these members have to offer, and have an opportunity to mingle and network with fellow attendees.
This event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19th.
You can register now, and be sure to save the date.
The Chamber thanks its networking sponsor, Blue Diamond Window Cleaning.
Lakefield Sidewalk Sale – August 11th
Come visit the Chamber’s booth at the Lakefield Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, August 11th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Chamber will have a variety of games and challenges set up for visitors to enjoy, as well as lots of great local information.
There are sure to be some great sales from local vendors, great live music, and representation from many local non-profits.
Come out to enjoy the day and find some great deals. Read more information.
The Chamber’s Habitat Women’s Build Team
The Kawartha Chamber has a build team for this year’s Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build in Curve Lake First Nation.
As part of this project, the Chamber will be holding a fundraiser to help raise money for the build.
Businesses and individuals can donate money to the fund and, for each dollar you donate, you will have your name/business written on a square foot of the Chamber’s house blueprint.
Come visit the Chamber’s booth at the Lakefield Sidewalk Sale, where the blueprint will be on display and will the CHamber will be be accepting donations.
Save The Date: BOSS Session on Team Building – October 2nd
Join the Chamber from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday October 2nd, at Camp Kawartha for a BOSS session on team-building programs, practices and activities. Learn about the importance of establishing trust, setting goals and honouring the goals of others.
Team building can help with self-esteem, developing communication skills, encouraging risk-taking, provide strategies for solving problems and encourage cooperation. Refreshments will be provided.
The Chamber thanks its professional development sponsor, Lynn Woodcroft, Sales Representative, Frank Real Estate Royal LePage.
Candidates For Upcoming Elections
The municipal elections are fast approaching on October 22nd.
Here is an unofficial compilation of all candidates running for the various municipal and school board positions in Selwyn, Trent Lakes, North Kawartha, and Douro-Dummer.
The Chamber is exploring options to host a municipal elections event; keep an eye on upcoming communications for more information.
Chamber Attends Science Minister Discussion At Trent
The Kawartha Chamber was in the audience at at Trent University’s Student Centre on Wednesday, July 25th for an event featuring Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef and Navdeep Bains, the federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Minister Bains and MP Monsef hosted a discussion on the government’s plan to grow the economy using innovation. Climate change, economics, immigration policies, and high-speed internet in rural areas were some of the areas Minister Bains focused on during the hour-long conversation.
Both Minister Bains and MP Monsef spoke on the importance of high-speed internet connectivity, stating that it is critical to help rural communities advance. If small businesses want to succeed, an online presence is needed. In this modern time the internet is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity.
Employee Wellness – A Concern For All Business Owners
Why should a business owner be interested in wellness? People who live healthy lifestyles and are happy at home and at work, get sick less, are absent less, and are the most productive at work. This saves money on temporary staffing, staff turnover and benefit plan premiums. According to a related article:
- The Canadian economy loses over $16.6 billion every year due to absenteeism.
- Obese Canadian employees have 77% higher drug costs and spend 35% more on health services.
- Mental health addictions account for two-thirds of all disability claims in Canada.
For busy business owners, implementing a wellness program can seem time-consuming and expensive. The reality is launching an effective wellness program is a proactive business decision that can directly affect your bottom line.
Read more in this article submitted by Brian Bulger, The Life Insurance Guy.
OCC Blueprint For A Prosperous Ontario
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has sent letters to all Cabinet Ministers of the new Ontario PC government, outlining OCC’s blueprint for a prosperous Ontario.
The letters state that every Cabinet Minister has a role over the next four years to increase Ontario’s business competitiveness, investment growth, government accountability, and find a fiscal balance.
Chamber Offers Preferred Rate On Merchant Services Through First Data
Did you know the Kawartha Chamber offers an affinity program with First Data Merchant Services, offering Chamber members discounted rates on Visa, Mastercard, and Interac?
Basic rates are Visa 1.44%, MasterCard 1.46% and Interac $0.05 (additional fees apply.) First Data guarantees to lower your overall cost of credit card payment processing Also available through First Data – SMART Point of Sale Terminals. View the offer details.
For more information on this and other great Chamber offers, visit the Chamber’s Member Discounts Page.
For more information about the businesses and events listed above, please visit the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism website at kawarthachamber.ca.
All photos supplied by Kawartha Chamber of Commerce except where noted.