Your Weekly Tune Up
Medicine Hat Living Wage Data
The Alberta Living Wage Network (ALWN or “the Network”) has released updated living wage numbers for 2022. A living wage reflects the hourly amount needed to cover actual costs of living in a specific community. Different from the legislated mandatory minimum wage, which is the same across the province, a living wage is community specific and voluntary. The calculation is based on a weighted average of the living wage for an individual, family of 4 and single parent family - based on Alberta Household Census data. The calculation includes direct local sourcing of expenses, learn more about how living wages are calculated at https://livingwagealberta.ca/. Medicine Hat’s Living Wage through this new report for 2022 is $17.50 and is the lowest living wage out of the participating municipalities in the province.
Alberta’s calculation methodology aligns with Living Wage Canada and utilizes local data sources whenever possible. Check out https://www.livingwage.ca/rates to explore the living wage in other communities across Canada.
Becoming a Living Wage Employer is optional and you can find out more about how to be recognized as a Living Wage Employer at https://livingwagealberta.ca/become-a-living-wage-employer/. Employers may find this information useful when recruiting and retaining employees.
Mandate letters on Health Care and Skilled Labour
A final set of mandate letters from Premier Danielle Smith directs government ministers to prioritize access to health care and skilled labour, when and where Albertans need it.
Letters to the ministers of Health, Mental Health and Addiction, Indigenous Relations, Infrastructure, Advanced Education, and Skilled Trades and Professions outline actions to improve access to health care and mental health services, promote careers in the skilled trades, continue building strong relationships with Indigenous Peoples and deliver on key infrastructure projects for Albertans.
Letters to the ministers of Agriculture and Irrigation; Forestry, Parks and Tourism; Jobs, Economy and Northern Development; Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction; Technology and Innovation; Treasury Board and Finance; and Transportation and Economic Corridors outline actions to create jobs and ensure the province’s economy will continue growing and diversifying.
View all the mandate letters here.
National Addictions Awareness Week
This week, people and organizations across Canada will recognize National Addictions Awareness Week. During Addictions Awareness Week, or any other day of the year, reach out to your loved ones, reach out to someone who is in recovery or just reach out. Help is out there if you need it. Albertans struggling with addiction or mental health can contact 211 for information about addiction treatment and support available throughout the province.
Additionally, members of our Chamber team attended the virtual Roundtable on Addiction and Mental Health Resources in the South Zone on October 31, 2022 and are pleased to be able to share the resources provided with you.
BDC: Don't let credit card interchange fees weigh down your business
Interchange fees represent 70% to 90% of the total fees paid by merchants. The actual interchange fee rate that a merchant is charged on a transaction depends on the card their customer uses. The rate varies by credit card brand, the type of card used and whether the transaction is in-person, online or by telephone.
So how can you lower your rates? You can use merchant benefit programs, such as those offered through our Chamber, to lower your rates and you can also place a surcharge on each transaction. Charging a fee on transactions is now allowed under the terms of the settlement of the class-action suit involving Visa, Mastercard and other credit card networks allowing merchants to pass on interchange fees to customers for the first time. However, there are some requirements to follow:
Under the settlement, surcharges can’t be higher than 2.4% of the transaction amount and you must:
- give your credit card network 30 days notice of your intent to start charging a fee on transactions. You’ll also need to notify your credit card processor.
- not charge customers more than your actual interchange fee
- not apply the surcharge in addition to a service or convenience fee
- inform customers of the surcharge:
- at the point of sale, both in store and online
- at the entrance of bricks-and-mortar stores
- verbally over the telephone
- on every receipt
You can find out more from BDC here.
Advocacy in Action
Off-site levies, a letter to the City of Medicine Hat
Earlier this year, the City of Medicine Hat undertook the process of rewriting its Off-site Levy Bylaw. The purpose of off-site levies is for the City and developers to come to an agreement to ensure that everyone is paying for their fair share of necessary new infrastructure so that our city can continue to grow. The Chamber Board and Staff had many opportunities to meet with City Staff, in addition to email correspondence with follow-up questions, following which the Chamber wrote a letter to the Mayor and City Council to outline our position. The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Development Industry are supporting the bylaw moving forward, as long as a number of other recommendations are also followed.
Next Level Events
2022 Presidents' Reception + Membership Appreciation
Thursday, November 24, 2022 (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM)
Scott Lehr, President of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors cordially invites you to attend our Annual General Meeting, Presidents' Reception and Membership Appreciation
Our Annual General Meeting, President’s Reception and Member Appreciation will feature appetizers, cash bar, and the opportunity to meet and network with Chamber of Commerce members, current/past Directors and Presidents of the Board, and the Chamber operations team and recognize members who are celebrating milestone anniversaries with the Chamber. Our Annual General Meeting follows the reception. Take a look back through the past year and learn how the Chamber of Commerce has played a pivotal role in our business community through our advocacy efforts, business engagement and member benefits programs.
MEET the MEE Cluster - Manufacturing & Export Lunch & Learn
This event is part of the APEX Innovate@Lunch Series. Fill up on innovation and a free lunch. Registration Required
Who should attend? Greenhouses, bakeries, breweries, food producers, construction companies––if you're in the business of making things by hand or machine, you're a manufacturer.
About the session: Learn about the Lean Accelerator Program and the value of joining the MEE Cluster. Upgrade your best practices in quality and operational processes. Create efficiencies in your business, realize opportunities and implement strategies to prepare for exporting your products.
About the presenter: Manufacturing & Export Enhancement (MEE) Cluster Alberta helps manufacturing companies in Western Canada adopt new technologies to grow and expand in domestic and international markets.
Join APEX Alberta on Monday, November 28th, 11:30 AM – 1 PM at Medicine Hat College in the Crowfoot Room (F160) for an in-person Lunch & Learn. Powered by Alberta Innovates & supported by Southeast Alberta's Regional Innovation Network. Register to save your seat.
Town of Redcliff Christmas Tree Lighting and Winter Celebration
The Town of Redcliff, the Redcliff Youth Centre and Redcliff Family Dental, invite you to join your friends and neighbours as we light up Redcliff's Christmas Tree! Be part of history and watch our tree grow over the coming years. Tree lighting will take place at 7:00 pm. Then take time to enjoy a hotdog, sip hot chocolate and say hello to Santa while staying warm around a crackling fire! Moonlight Madness is also happening this year! Take advantage of Black Friday sales and check a few Christmas gifts off your list! Shops are staying open until 9 pm and Who's on Third and the Redcliff Hylton will be serving a Featured Cocktail until late. Stay up to date on all the festivities on the Town of Redcliff Facebook page.
Enriching Your Business
2022 Chambers Group Insurance Plan Lunch & Learn
Don’t miss out…..
Chambers Plan Lunch and Learn Event will be held in the Chamber Boardroom Wednesday, Nov 23, 2022, from 12:00-1:00 pm.
Is your small or medium-sized business currently looking into a Group Health & Dental Benefits program? Or perhaps you are already enrolled in one but would like to research all of your options?
Are you experiencing rate fluctuations with your current carrier? If so, then this session is for you!
Come enjoy lunch with us and learn about the Chambers Employee Plan - the #1 Plan in Canada for Small Business.
We'll have you in and out in an hour! Limited Seating so register here early.
Hosted by: JoAnne Letkeman, Advisor, Brightan Financial Strategies Inc.
Fuelling the Business Community
Recognising two members at the ASTech Awards
Congratulations to two of our members on winning awards at the ASTech Awards
Dr. Ryan Comeau and Kinetisense took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Health: Medical Diagnosis for his initiatives in Health Care, AI, Software – Applications of advanced markerless human motion capture in health care.
Roxanne Doerksen and TRAD Industries was recognized as a regional innovation award winner for her initiative in Waste Recovery/ Agriculture – Economic and Environmental Waste Recovery through On-site Vermicomposting.
Read more about the winners here.
Midnight Madness 2022 was Madness!!!!
A couple thank you’s to all those that were involved –
- Thank you to all the Downtown Collective and all the Stakeholders coordinating with us.
- Thank you to all the Not-for-profits that filled the Market-pods in the cold, we are so grateful to be able to work beside such great organizations!
- Once again a huge thank you to Pattison Media Ltd. for your support and partnership with advertising and helping us get the word out.
- Thank you to BrokerLink for partnering and sponsoring the Chamber of Commerce event. The petting zoo and hot chocolate stand was once again a large success and we are so glad to work with such a great organization to bring this element to Midnight Madness.
- We also want to thank the City of Medicine Hat for helping coordinate things to ensure the event was a go!
LASTLY AND MOST IMPORTANTLY THANK YOU TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY FOR COMING DOWN AND SUPPORTING DOWNTOWN!
We have some big things coming for next year and we are excited already!
Fill Up On Funding
Applications open for Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund
The TIER call for proposals, announced at COP27, looks at clean opportunities like mineral and metal extraction, electrification and managing methane emissions. Applicants may receive up to $10 million per project, with a minimum request of $250,000. Funding is available across Alberta’s industrial sectors in both new and existing industries, such as petrochemical, agriculture, forest products, manufacturing, and energy. More information about the program and how to apply is on Emissions Reduction Alberta’s website. Interested applicants are invited to a webinar on Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m. The deadline to apply for funding is Jan. 19, 2023, at 5 p.m.
View other ERA funding online.
Applications Close Dec 23rd
The only accelerator in Alberta 100% focused on helping tech founders win customers and grow revenue. The next cohort is specifically tailored to meet the needs of entrepreneurs in rural areas. Register to attend the next info session on December 9th at 1 PM.
FIRST (First Industry Research Science Technology) Jobs
FIRST program offers a work placement and meaningful work experience for a current student or recent graduate of an Alberta post-secondary institution while supporting the growth of Alberta’s SME Tech Sector. The student placement is to be a remote integrated learning and work experience. Relevant professional topics are situated in the context of the workplace and are offered as a vehicle to enhance workplace performance – both for the young professionals and for the companies themselves. Applications are currently being accepted for 2023. Find out more.
Small businesses have always been there for you in your time of need. Now it’s your turn to be there for them. Nominate your favorite local small business by answering our #CallforSmall and give them a chance to win one of five $1,000 grants.
Procurement Support for Businesses (add to e-news and business resource page)
Nov 25 | Preparing your business for an economic slowdown | Register
Nov 29 | Level Up Your Learning - Social Media Content | Register
Nov 30 | Building Strong Online and eCommerce Businesses | Register
Nov 30 | Global talent recruitment strategies | Register
Dec 7 | Key updates affecting IRCC programs | Register
Dec 14 | Entrepreneurship in 2022 | Register
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