They’re Not Just Businesses:First, They’re Employers
This month’s research expedition led the #ChooseTBayFirst team into the showrooms, garages and front offices of Thunder Bay’s automotive sector, where we were reminded of the TBay Two Degree Rule: In Thunder Bay there are only two degrees of separation between people, or “Either you know the person, or you know someone they know.”
The Two Degree Rule means that when you walk into a car dealership, a garage, a parts or glass place or a rental outfit, you either know someone employed there or someone who knows someone who works there. By choosing to spend your money at a TBay automotive business, you’re supporting well-paying jobs for people you’re connected to, which means you’re also supporting local home ownership and local property taxes.
Most of the businesses we interviewed in the automotive sector had between 15 and 25 employees, most of which were full-time. Halfway Motors Nissan, the largest case study, employs 48 full-time staff between the dealership and sister business Car-Star, along with two part-time students. Done-Rite Auto and sister business Fat Guys Auto Parts are responsible for almost 50 local jobs between them. Floyd’s Auto & Plate Glass has 15 staff, and Spadoni Leasing employs 20. But staff jobs are only part of the picture.
The best part about our interviews with members of the auto sector was their commitment to supporting other local businesses. Even our smallest case study, D&M Auto, which employs four people, spoke strongly about their commitment to working only with local suppliers. In fact, it looks like the auto sector in Thunder Bay understands the TBay Two Degree Rule better than anyone, and why it’s so important to support other local businesses.
“The staff and owners of other local businesses are our customers,” says John Trevisanutto of Halfway Motors Nissan. “Our customers need to be able to afford cars, and they need jobs for that. When we support their employers, we support their jobs. It’s our way of both earning their business and helping to make sure there’s business for us to earn. We all need to support each other.”
In other words, when you buy from a TBay automotive business, you’re supporting local jobs in their suppliers’ shops too.
Learn more about the amazing people and businesses among our Members:
Support community good works with the Charity Connect program. Learn more.
Participants in the 100 People Who Care campaign donate, nominate and vote for their favourite Member charity to receive a quarterly group donation. Sign up.
Upcoming Chamber Events
We had a busy year in 2019 and we’re so excited to tell you about it. In our Annual Report video, you’ll learn about the Chamber’s activities, including:
– Advocacy at the local, Provincial and Federal levels
– Engagement activities designed to connect our Members with each other and with the community
– Empowerment activities which help educate, strengthen and promote our Members
The Chamber is seeking candidates interested in serving as our representative on the Board of Directors of Thunder Bay International Airports Authority Inc.
The Government of Ontario is moving forward with a centralized procurement model across the Ontario Public Service and the broader public sector which may adversely impact small- and medium-sized businesses and regional economic development across the province.
On Tuesday January 21, Charla made a deputation to the Standing Committee on Finance & Economic Affairs. Her presentation covered the issues most relevant to our regional economy, including mining, forestry, transportation, procurement, Bombardier, skilled trades and immigration.
The goal of Ontario’s proposed Ontario Forest Sector Strategy is to sustainably grow the forest sector, create opportunity for Ontario families, support industry and encourage innovation and new investment, while ensuring the sustainability of forests. In this letter to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Thunder Bay Chamber outlines its support for the Strategy.