Month: April 2019

The Value In Protecting Yourself And Your Employees

New venture

  Many entrepreneurs feel that when they leave their job to start their own enterprise they may have to forego things like benefits for a while. This isn’t the case. The Chambers Plan allows them to take the risk on their new venture without risking their personal or family’s health. The Chambers Plan can insure you before you take on employees and provide traditional group benefits even if you are your only employee.

  As a not for profit plan designed for start-ups and entrepreneurs, the Chambers Plan has assembled more than 30,000 other businesses into Canada’s largest pool of its kind providing additional protection and stability for small and medium business enterprises.

One of the great things about the Chambers Plan is that it allows start-ups to participate fully in the pool if they have 3-9 employees, though some 1 and 2 person firms may also qualify. If they are fully pooled they join the other 35,000 businesses and renewals are based simply on what’s needed to sustain the pool. This keeps their costs predictable until they grow to a size where they can take on additional risk. If they had a bad year for claims due to an employee or their dependent it won’t impact rates the way it would if with a traditional carrier.

In addition, as you grow you can move into the Chambers Plan’s partially pooled option. With this your firm takes on more risk as a portion of their claims will be rated against premiums, although for taking on that risk you benefit from reduced rates. As the Chambers Plan is a not-for-profit program, surpluses go back into your claims and provide reduced rates.

Regardless of the firm size, the Chambers Plan offers typical benefits such as life, disability, critical illness, health and dental plans. To determine what levels of protection you want to put into place and also match your budget, a local Chambers Plan representative can help you marry up the two. It’s also important to prioritize the protection when you start your own benefits program, keeping in mind your advisor can help you to evolve your benefits plan as you grow your organization or should your needs change.

 The Chambers Plan also provides the best in class out-of-country protection which can be particularly important if you need to travel for your new business. If you and your staff must travel often this can save you significantly rather buying travel protection on each trip.

Other benefits can be sculpted based on budgets. Costs for things such as paramedical benefits for physiotherapy, chiropractor and massage therapists etc., can be capped or limited to provide budget control. Dental coverage can also be tailored to the company budget as well as the needs of the staff. Drug coverage is another area where a variety of options will meet a variety of budgets. Benefits today are no longer a one size fits all product. Firms with younger demographics may prefer more wellness-related benefits such as paramedical with less drug coverage, while an older staff may prefer having the scripts in place.

Protecting your staff shows them you care. It improves your staff retention, makes it easier to hire new employees and makes your workforce happier and more productive with less absenteeism. The advantages of providing protection over doing nothing are numerous. In fact, when workers are polled about either having a benefits plan or a $10,000 raise, the majority took the benefits option. In addition, it’s a great area to enhance compensation since health and dental premiums are not taxable benefits though are deductible for the employer. It may cost a lot less after tax than implementing a raise or bonus for both the employee and employer.

Protecting your family and those of your employees is a feel-good thing to do for employers. The Chambers Plan gives you that ability regardless of the size of your organization. They insure most industries and the plan is guaranteed renewable. With the stability in premium provided by the program there’s no reason your small business can’t have a benefits plan as soon as your business is ready regardless of size. You don’t have to give up traditional benefits just because you’ve gone into business for yourself.

 Having the freedom to do what you love while protecting your family’s health and well-being is a part of the entrepreneurial wish-list. That’s why more than 30,000 small and medium sized business have chosen the Chambers Plan to help provide that protection.

Learn more about the Chambers Plan.



Oakville Chamber of Commerce gives thumbs up to Draft Economic Development Strategy

The draft Economic Development Strategy being received by the Town’s Planning and Development Council signals that the Economic Development Department is committed to providing a foundation upon which businesses can prosper.

Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce said “The Oakville Chamber of Commerce is encouraged to see that the Economic Development Department has listened to the business community and is making plans to improve the business climate in Oakville.”

“Last fall we released The Roadmap to Business Success highlighting four pillars identified by our members: Business Competitiveness, Transportation, Recruiting and Retaining Talent and Innovation. This strategy clearly addresses many of our member priorities that will foster a business supportive environment while encouraging economic growth for the Town” Redden continued.

The draft Strategy has been developed through research and community consultation of which the Oakville Chamber was part of, underscores key areas of concern to the business community such as reducing red tape, improving transportation services, and the ability to recruit and retain talent.

The document also highlights professional and financial services, digital media, information communications technology film and life sciences as key sectors of growth. 

Tim Caddigan, Chair of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce said “We commend the Town’s Economic Development Department for identifying opportunities where the Town can support existing businesses while promoting the long-term health of our local economy.”

 “As an advocate for the Oakville business community, we look forward to further consultation with the Town of Oakville as it embarks on finalizing its five-year strategy and its commitment to making Oakville the best place to work in Canada.”

Provincial Budget 2019

“The Oakville Chamber has been focusing our advocacy efforts on four key priorities: Transportation and Infrastructure, Business Competitiveness, Recruiting and Retaining Talent, and Innovation. The Chamber is encouraged to see these member priorities reflected in the Provincial Budget.

The Chamber also welcomes the government’s focus on building a more competitive tax environment. The Ontario Job Creation Investment Incentive will provide the needed tax relief for business while promoting investment and job growth. The Oakville Chamber, along with the Ontario Chamber Network, will continue to encourage the government to help small businesses scale-up by creating a variable small business tax rate.

The Oakville Chamber looks forward to seeing more details on the government’s planned investments of $14.7 billion in infrastructure over the next ten years, and will continue to press the government to address the province’s infrastructure deficit.”

-Drew Redden, President, Oakville Chamber of Commerce


Read the Ontario Chamber of Commerce analysis.

Read the Provincial Budget 2019.



24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence

The Oakville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Oakville West presented the 24th Annual Oakville Awards for Business Excellence on March 27th at the Oakville Conference Centre. The Oakville Awards for Business Excellence are dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Oakville’s businesses and the invaluable contribution they make to Oakville’s economic development, unique character and outstanding quality of life.

Being recognized by one’s peers, either by nomination or award recipient, is a thank you for the hard work and risk the finalists have incurred. As ambassadors for business in Oakville, finalists and award recipients provide guidance and inspiration to new and seasoned businesses – as well as young, aspiring entrepreneurs. They help foster the spirit of adventure and enterprise, risk and reward for young people and so it is fitting that the proceeds from the Oakville Awards for Business Excellence help support the Rotary Club of Oakville West’s youth programs, including the Rotary Education Awards, Camp Enterprise, and the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.


Congratulations to the Award Recipients!

RBC Royal Bank Large Business of the Year
Encore Market Engagement
Ken Pickthall and Brian Vanstone (Encore Market Engagement) with Award Presenter Peter Choma (RBC Royal Bank)

Bell Mid-size Business of the Year
BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.
Cynthia Hastings-James and Susanne Cookson (BestLifeRewarded Innovations Inc.) with Award Presenter Lena Demarco (Bell)

Henderson Partners LLP Small Business of the Year 
Sounds Good AVS Solutions
Robert May and Nikki Lord (Sounds Good AVS Solutions) with Award Presenter Christie Henderson (Henderson Partners LLP)

Professional Services Provider of the Year 
MNP LLP (Cornwall Road location)
Matt MacDonald (MNP LLP) with Award presenter Tanya Leedale (O’Connor MacLeod Hanna LLP)

The Morris Mercanti Service Industry Award 
The Oakville Academy For The Arts
Heidi Schofield (The Oakville Academy for the Arts) with Award Presenter Lynn Mercanti

KPMG Young Professional or Entrepreneur of the Year 
Blake Wyatt of Wyatt Development Group
Blake Wyatt with Award Presenter Carlos Alvarez (KPMG)

Oakville Hydro Conservation Leadership Award 
Mauser Packaging Solutions
Wojciech Tymczak, Shubi Bhattacharya, and Karen Anderson (Mauser Packaging Solutions) with Award Presenter Rob Lister (Oakville Hydro)

Genworth Community Builder Award 
Oakville Soccer Club
Dave Harris (Oakville Soccer Club) with Award Presenter Kiki Sauriol-Roode (Genworth)

CN Charity/Not-For-Profit Excellence Award 
The May Court Club of Oakville
Donna Samuels (The May Court of Oakville) with Award Presenter Daniel Salvatore (CN)

Oakville’s Business Icon Award
Geotab Inc.
Award Presenter Michael Leblanc (FCT) with Neil Cawse (Geotab Inc.)


Watch Geotab Inc. CEO Neil Cawse’s acceptance speech filmed by YourTV.

For our full event album, please visit our Flickr page.