Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce president, Angela Minish kicked off small business week in the Border City Oct. 15-21 at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster’s small business week luncheon. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
It’s been anything but business as usual so far for the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce during small business week in Canada.
That became clear when Chamber president, Angela Minish set the agenda during the small business week kickoff luncheon of the Rotary Club of Lloydminster on Monday.
Minish jumped right in talking first about the Chamber’s Annual Celebration of Business Excellence taking place tonight at the Centennial Civic Centre.
“We have a large number of nominees this year and we are looking forward to seeing who the recipients are,” she said.
There are nominations for Employer of the Year, Community Spirit Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Diversity Award, Integrity Award, Downtown Business of the Year, Customer of the Year and Non-Profit of the Year.
The awards are like Oscars for top performing Lloydminster businesses in the past year.
“It’s thrilling and exciting for the business award winners because they are the best in their category in Lloydminster,” said Minish.
“We have so many outstanding businesses in Lloydminster.”
The award nominees are generated by the public and a “secret” committee choses the recipients based on “very strict criteria” according to Minish.
Minish also wished Red Bicycle Communications and the Lloydminster & District Co-op good luck as finalists at this weekend’s Saskatchewan ABEX awards in Saskatoon.
Also top of mind this week are proposed changes to small business taxes by the federal government that the Lloydminster Chamber has been lobbying against.
“The proposed changes will drastically affect business owners’ abilities to save profits to grow their business, save for retirement and will discourage entrepreneurs from taking the risk associated with starting a business,” said Minish.
Minish said the fight against the changes has included local information sessions with MNP tax consultants, the distribution of template letters to write to local MPs and a website campaign with other Chambers of commerce across Canada.
“Our voice has been loud,” she said noting the consultation period for small business tax changes closed on Oct. 2.
Ironically. the federal government tweaked its tax plan a few hours before Minish spoke, to reduce the current small business tax rate of 10. 5 per cent to 10 per cent on Jan. 1, 2018 and to nine per cent at the start of 2019.
The government also said it’s planning to “simplify” its income sprinkling proposal that targets how small business owners distribute income to family members.
Minish took the opportunity to tell Rotarians the Lloydminster Chamber will be holding a Marijuana and the Workplace workshop on Nov. 22 with pending legislation next July to legalize cannabis across the country.
“Employers have a few questions in terms of what does this mean for our workplace, how do we monitor that and just going through policy and case law,” said Minish.
“It fits in with drug and alcohol testing as well as cannabis too.”
Minish also noted that many Rotarians are also Chamber members and pointed them out in the crowd as representing some of their corporate members that help sponsor the Chamber.
That came after she was introduced as an instructor of business at Lakeland College, a former track athlete and a mother of a young daughter.