Milton Chamber of Commerce CEO and Chairman Scott McCammon looks back on what can be described as a difficult year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies have struggled to change protocols and subsidies. McCammon believes the House’s greatest success has been keeping its members informed. “While everyone wants to stay safe, the unpredictability has made day-to-day operations extremely difficult, including job retention,” he said in an email interview.
The recent limits on retail and restaurants designed to limit Omicron’s impact are just the latest challenge. He calls for a proportionate response, including loan forgiveness, targeted payment extensions to small businesses. “At the provincial level, a lot of targeted supports ended months ago, and at the federal level, they are drastically reduced,” McCammon said. An article on the House website details a $ 7.5 billion rebate program to help businesses hit by the most recent round of restrictions. More information will be available later in January.
Support from the Milton Chamber of Commerce to CN Intermodal
The Chamber of Commerce has supported construction plans for CN Intermodal since it first announced plans for the 400-acre complex in South Milton in 2015. In January 2021, the Federal Cabinet announced its approval with 325 conditions. In November, the Canadian Transportation Agency also gave its approval. As one of the conditions, CN created an 11-member committee for consultation, and the House sits as a member. “This group was established as an advisory group to provide information, exchange ideas, listen to feedback and address concerns from the community, Indigenous groups and all levels of government and other stakeholders,” explained McCammon.
The intermodal facility continues to face widespread community opposition. Halton Region will continue to challenge approvals in court on jurisdictional issues. Milton MP Adam van Koeverden supports the Region’s position.
From Milton Farmers Market to Milton Shopping Center for the winter
Terra Greenhouses Market is unable to operate its winter farmer’s market. Several vendors approached the Chamber of Commerce to organize one, and they decided to partner with Milton Mall. “You will find many of your favorite sellers there, keep shopping locally,” McCammon said. The market will take place on Saturdays from January 8 to April 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
McCammon hopes to return to in-person networking events, but realizes that the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic could change that. Whatever happens, the House will fight for the best interests of the membership. “We will continue to advocate on their behalf to ensure their concerns are heard,” he said.
For more information on the Milton Chamber of Commerce, including the latest information on provincial supports related to COVID-19, please visit their website: www.miltonchamber.ca