Multi Listing Services Could Help Estate Agents Achieve 12% Higher Sold Prices

MLS

One feature of the soon to launch OpenBrix property portal is their MLS function, or Multiple Listing Service, and it’s a benefit that Adam Pigott and his team are unashamedly pushing. 

Why? Well simply because it works to help all parties in the property market – not just the seller or the buyer or the agent – but all of them.

 

What is a Multi Listing Service?

An MLS is a database or network established by estate agents to re details on current property stock listed for sale or let. It essentially allows member estate agents to see what stock other estate agents have on their books with the wider goal of connecting buyers and sellers.

It has become the norm in the US and Canada and allows agents to offer properties that fit a buyer’s requirements that they may have otherwise been unable to do, with the agents involved choosing how to split the commission of the sale when working together.

 

Why should UK agents adopt an MLS platform? 

OpenBrix has researched MLS data for the Canadian property market, a market that’s similar in many respects to the UK, to ascertain whether agents that use and promote the MLS actually achieve higher prices for their clients. The answer is that they do – by 12%.

OpenBrix says that Canada residential real estate is a market worth $361billion USD in sales (2019). About half the size of the UK but nonetheless the 8th largest in the world (UK $745bn USD).

In July this year, data suggests that the average Canadian house sold at a value of $571,471 CAD. Whereas those that sold via the Canadian MLS system achieved $640,800 CAD – a difference of 12.1%. This analysis was across a sample size of 42,000 transactions.

If this were translated to the UK market it would suggest that agents could achieve £28,591 more for their sellers than the average UK house price of £235,673 (HM Land Reg). And if agents wanted to look at this purely selfishly, that could equate to earning almost £430 more per sale in fees at a typical 1.5%.

 

As validation of this, leading Canadian real-estate broker Irene Kaushansky of Kaushansky Brown in Toronto offers us this exclusive comment: 

“Having not lived in a real estate world without MLS I personally cannot imagine doing business without it. We have over 58,000 realtors in our Toronto Board but whether it’s that or 5000, or even 500, no matter how connected you are, there is no other way to know all agents and buyers. The more exposure there is for a property, the more buyers have an opportunity to see it and the greater the potential sale price for our sellers.”

“I’ll give you a very current example and it’s only because it happened this week.  A property was listed at $1.439m and after one week we had 47 private showing appointments.  On offer day, we received 5 offers. Here’s the thing – the top price from one local agent was $1.6m but the final sale price we achieved was actually $1.675m from one of two agents from outside the area that I didn’t even know. While this is just one example to illustrate the above, it gives you an idea of the power of MLS exposure in dollar terms.”

 

Adam Pigott, CEO of OpenBrix in an untypically brief comment on the matter ads “Using our MLS system on the OpenBrix portal could make agents and their clients more money. The data proves it and it’s plain for agents to see once they start to be open to the power of this concept. Don’t be left behind.”

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The Future of Meat in Canada is Shifting to Plant-Based Products

beyond meat

By Lisa Kramer, University of Toronto.

The plant-based foods sector is also starting to sizzle. Consumers are increasingly following the advice of the new Canada Food Guide, which highlights the nutritional benefits of protein sources like nuts, beans, legumes, pulses and tofu in place of meat, eggs, fish and dairy products. And these eating habits are expected to stick, with a recent report anticipating that up to 60 per cent of “meat” may come from non-animal sources by the year 2040.

Consistent with these shifts in consumer preferences, plant-based meat company Beyond Meat recently saw its stock price surge almost 40 per cent, after its first performance report as a publicly traded company revealed far better-than-expected sales.

This is the same company that also enjoyed one of the hottest initial public offerings of the year, rising more than 150 per cent on its first day of trading earlier this year. Overall, the stock’s price is up about 400 per cent since its debut.

 

Restaurants, grocers offer plant-based foods

Adapting to shifting consumer preferences, several Canadian restaurant chains have introduced plant-based items to their traditionally meat-laden menus. When A&W Canada launched the Beyond Meat Burger last fall, restaurants across the country sold out within days and took months to restock sufficient supplies to ensure a smooth relaunch.

Tim Hortons now sells vegan breakfast sausagesQuesada introduced tacos made with veggie meat and Earl’s has launched its own Beyond Burger as well as a new vegan menu.

Canadian grocery stores are also catering to consumers’ predilection for plant-based meats. Last month, mainstream supermarkets across the country began carrying the Beyond Burger, with some opting to place the product not in the health food aisles but instead in the butcher section alongside steaks and ribs.

With many consumers avoiding animal-sourced protein, “the opportunity emerges to shift focus to developing and producing alternate types of food,” says DietHive.com.

And some retailers have additionally developed their own in-house varieties of plant-based foods, including the President’s Choice selection of veggie burgers, chicken-less fingers and beef-free crumble. Furthermore, shoppers now face an embarrassment of riches in the dairy section, with anyone seeking to avoid cow’s milk enjoying a choice of beverages made from soy, almond, coconut and oat.

These developments are indicative of a sea change in the market for vegan foods, with demand coming not just from vegetarians. Meat eaters, too, are drawn by the lower health risks associated with non-animal sourced proteins, a desire to reduce the environmental impact of their food choices and concerns about animal welfare.

 

A backlash

But some industry groups are attempting to push back against the plant-based food movement. In January, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency received a complaint about non-dairy products “being labelled as ‘cheese’ when they are allegedly not.”

Likewise, the Quebec Cattle Producers Federation recently expressed concern that calling veggie burgers “plant-based meat” is misleading to consumers, noting that the regulatory definition of meat is “the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal, or a product or by-product of its carcass.” Yum?

But studies support the view that consumers are not the least bit confused by the use of monikers such as “milk” or “meat” in reference to plant-based foods. This makes sense, given the products’ labels tend to feature prominent information about their origins. And so prudent producers and retailers are preparing for the future by catering to consumer preferences for these foods rather than fixating on the past.

An important lesson emerges from another industry that faced a major shift in consumer demand. When digital photography was emerging as a new technology, a then-leader of the photography sector, Kodak, faced a difficult choice.

he company could cannibalize its own camera film sales to become an early leader in the digital space, which would be painful but potentially lucrative. Or it could try to postpone the inevitable and cling to a fading technology. Kodak chose the latter path, and the competition ate their lunch.

Now tech companies like Panasonic, Sony and Samsung stand alongside Canon and Nikon to dominate the world of digital photography, leaving Kodak a mere shadow of its former self.

Forward-looking meat-producing companies must reframe their thinking to recognize that they are in the protein production business. With many consumers avoiding animal-sourced protein, the opportunity emerges to shift focus to developing and producing alternate types of food.

 

Adapting to the future

The federal government stands ready to facilitate such changes, recently introducing more than $150 million in funding for the Proteins Industry Canada “supercluster,” aiming to encourage farmers and entrepreneurs in the Prairies to use new technology to increase the value of Canadian crops such as canola, wheat and pulses.

Another reason such a shift makes sense is the fact that raising animals as food is expensive. To produce a pound of animal-based protein requires many more pounds of crops and litres of water than are needed to produce a pound of plant-based protein.

With a surge in demand for commodities like peas, which are a key ingredient in products like the Beyond Burger, savvy Canadian farmers and producers are pivoting to adapt. Industry giant Maple Leaf Foods, for one, recently announced an investment of US$310 million to expand their plant-based offerings.

With all of these changes, investors in companies that are in the business of producing plant-based food stand to be winners, as does anyone who aims to enjoy the taste and texture of meat without the downsides of conventional meat.

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Foodtastic continues its impressive growth with the purchase of L’Gros Luxe and the opening of several new restaurants

food

Foodtastic Inc. is pleased to announce that it continues its growth strategy with the acquisition of le L’Gros Luxe and Rotisserie de Joliette, and its expansion into the Toronto restaurant market with the opening of its newest Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery.

Peter Mammas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foodtastic, said, “L’Gros Luxe is a great local Quebec brand and we are excited to welcome it into the Foodtastic family. We are happy to be able to help this great concept through this difficult time, which has affected many restaurants and brands. L’Gros luxe has been a Quebec favorite for several years, serving delicious comfort food and great cocktails.  Our mission is to help the existing franchisees, through our marketing, operations, and buying power. L’Gros Luxe is the perfect conversion concept for many restaurants, and we are already looking at several opportunities in the greater Montreal area, as well as reopening several locations that closed due to COVID 19. This acquisition of a homegrown Quebec business is consistent with our strategy of acquiring quality brands with growth potential that complement our existing brand portfolio.” Said Peter Mammas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foodtastic.

An important part of the transaction was the retention of Alex Bastide, the creator of L’Gros Luxe, who will retain an equity stake in the concept. “Foodtastic is an amazing company and I’m thrilled to continue being a part of L’Gros Luxe, and its exciting future! With the financial support from Foodtastic we can now expand our operations throughout Quebec.” said Alex Bastide

 

Rotisserie Joliette

“We are very happy to acquire Rotisserie Joliette, the first rotisserie founded in 1960 by the Benny family. The family continued its expansion throughout the province with the Au Coq and Rotisserie Benny brands, both of which are part of the Foodtastic family” added Mr. Mammas

 

Supporting Franchisees, a main concern for Foodtastic

The restaurant industry is traversing a very difficult period caused by COVID 19. Many restaurants were forced to close due to the pandemic, and when they were allowed to re-open it was with limited seating. Foodtastic quickly recognized that our franchisees would need all the support and sales they could get, and we quickly transitioned our brands to take-out and delivery. This immediate action coupled with government programs helped many locations to remain open through the early months and minimize their losses. Foodtastic also eliminated franchise fees while dining rooms were closed at all their sit-down locations.

“Deferring royalties, like many other chains did, would have only pushed the financial burden to our franchisees down the road, we felt we had to step up and help them unconditionally and that is what we did by completely forgiving royalties for 3 months.” 

 

Foodtastic continues with its expansion strategy

Although the restaurant industry is facing a very uncertain future, Foodtastic is continuing its pursuit to expand its current restaurant system. Foodtastic is very pleased to announce that 6 new restaurants have opened in the last few weeks creating over 200 jobs in Quebec City, Montréal, Gatineau and Toronto.

  • Au Coq, 7070 Sherbrooke, Montreal
  • Big Rig, 5860 Mavis, Mississauga
  • Chocolato, 2 Petit Champlain, Québec
  • Monza, 5660 Sherbrooke, Montreal
  • Monza Promenades Gatineau
  • Souvlaki Bar, 105 Ave Guindon, Saint-Sauveur

“We are very pleased with the work our entire team has done which has allowed us to continue with the opening of new locations. Currently we are focused on growing our Rotisserie Benny and Au Coq brands, and will move forward with the opening of 12 new locations over the next year.” Mr. Mammas continued “We realise that the next several months will be challenged for our dining room concepts but believe with the continued help from the government, landlords, and suppliers we will be able to support our franchisees through these difficult times”

 

4 New restaurants will be also be opening in September:

  • Au Coq Gare Centrale
  • Big Rig Richmond Hill
  • La Chambre Blainville
  • Chocolato – Delray Beach USA

 

Acquisitions a major part of the Foodtastic growth plan

Foodtastic has acquired prominent brands over the last 20 months. We will continue to pursue our strategy by investing in acquiring new brands in the next couple years, as well as supporting our existing network.” concluded Mr. Mammas

Foodtastic is the franchisor of multiple restaurant concepts including, Au Coq, La Belle et La Boeuf, Monza, Carlos & Pepe’s, Souvlaki Bar, Nickels, Rotisseries Benny, Chocolato, Big Rig and Bacaro. Foodtastic is a leader in the restaurant franchising business with over 95 restaurants and $180 million in annualized sales.

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North American Commercial Real Estate Market Reacts Sharply to Economic Downturn

Canada real estatev

After a strong start to 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 on the commercial real estate industry became evident during the second quarter. The Midyear Market Sentiment Survey released by Transwestern and Devencore tallied responses from brokers across 43 North American markets on conditions in the office, medical office and industrial property sectors.                                 

“Across both countries, traditional office space is expected to lag as occupiers pause leasing decisions until the pandemic is under control,” said Elizabeth Norton, Senior Managing Director of Research Services at Transwestern. “Work-from-home strategies could offer cost-saving alternatives to select tenants, increasing the possibility of space reduction. However, medical office, while expected to soften slightly during the balance of 2020, has a more favorable long-term outlook.”

The U.S. industrial index averaged 104.4 for second half 2020, slightly above 100, which is considered flat conditions. This is only slightly below the 116.2 registered at year-end 2019, prior to the onset of the pandemic. In Canada, the industrial index dropped from the pre-pandemic 129.0 to 100.9 at midyear 2020. Industrial conditions are expected to remain steady in Canada, with 54% anticipating slightly higher leasing velocity.

The survey findings are supported by Transwestern’s second quarter 2020 national market reports.

In its latest U.S. Office Market Report, Transwestern found that in the second quarter of 2020, net absorption registered negative 14.2 million square feet, the first quarter an occupancy loss was recorded since the first three months of 2010. Office leasing slowed considerably as most tenants paused decisions due to COVID-19, pushing the national office vacancy rate up 20 basis points to 10.1%. Construction activity slowed, and groundbreakings are expected to be limited over the next 12 months due to elevated unemployment and continued uncertainty about the future use of office space. 

“In Canada, we are seeing very similar conditions to those in the U.S.,” said Jean Laurin, President and CEO of Devencore. “Across North America, demand for suburban office space could benefit in the current climate, as select tenants look for affordable space in a safely distanced environment.”

According to the most recent U.S. Industrial Market Report, the industrial sector fared significantly better since the onset of the pandemic. In the second quarter, the streak of occupancy gains continued into its 42nd quarter, despite posting the lowest level in 10 years, as industrial leasing activity recovered swiftly in May/June after dipping earlier in the year. Rent growth also continued for the 34th straight quarter, increasing 39% during that period.

E-commerce, which accelerated during the pandemic, is primarily responsible for the strength of the industrial sector, with online grocery purchases due to the economic shutdown further fueling growth. However, manufacturing is also a contributor; in June, ISM Manufacturing PMI recorded the strongest expansion in factory activity in 14 months.

“New inventory coupled with increasing sublease space pushed the industrial vacancy rate slightly higher in the second quarter, to 5.4%,” said Matt Dolly, Director of Research at Transwestern. “However, the industrial property sector will continue to flourish as much of its tenant base is essential businesses.”

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Avison Young grows Global Investment Management team

Investment leader Troy Jenkins joins as Principal to head expansion of platform in U.S.

Amy Erixon, Avison Young Principal and President of the firm’s Global Investment Management practice, today announced the appointment of Troy Jenkins as Avison Young Principal and Director of Investment Management. Jenkins is based in Los Angeles and will help expand the firm’s investment platform deeper into the U.S.

“Troy is a highly regarded professional known for his expertise in guiding investment strategies and decisions, with extensive contacts across the industry at large,” said Erixon. “We are living in unprecedented times and Troy’s deep understanding of market dynamics is completely aligned to our approach and focus on long-term strategies that deliver returns for our clients across the investment lifecycle.”

Avison Young’s Investment Management group provides strategy and oversight of multi-national portfolios on behalf of institutional investors. The team develops and proactively manages diverse portfolios comprised of various property types to create stable income and above average growth. It does so with a keen eye to providing risk adjusted returns for investors, while also addressing resiliency and sustainability in accordance with environmental, social and governance factors.

“Avison Young’s network of nearly 5,000 real estate professionals provides local market knowledge, generates unique investment opportunities and facilitates speedy decision-making, all of which are critical to the delivery of high-quality, performance-driven institutional Investment Management,” said Jenkins. “I was particularly attracted to Avison Young’s culture and by how well-positioned the firm is for growth. Their commitment to fostering a more culturally diverse commercial real estate industry is perfectly aligned with the personal and professional goals I value most.”

Jenkins brings nearly thirty years of experience in investment banking and commercial real estate, including real estate investment strategy, investor relations and portfolio management at firms like CBRE Global Investors, Profit Investments and American Realty Advisors. He is a graduate of Yale University and received his M.B.A from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. Jenkins serves on the board of the Robert Toigo Foundation and as Chairman Emeritus and Member of the Board of Governors of the City Club Los Angeles.

Avison Young is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its Principals. Founded in 1978, with legacies dating back more than 200 years, the company comprises thousands of real estate professionals in more than 100 offices around the world. The firm’s experts provide value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management and financing services to clients across the office, retail, industrial, multi-family and hospitality sectors. 

Avison Young is a 2020 winner of the Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation, having retained its Best Managed designation for nine consecutive years.

SOURCE Avison Young

www.avisonyoung.com

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Canada and Ontario invest in road infrastructure for rural communities in Northern, Central and Eastern Ontario

ontario

The governments of Canada and Ontario recognize the different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted smaller and rural communities across the province. Both governments are making strategic investments in infrastructure to meet the specific needs of rural and northern Ontario municipalities and help them strengthen their local economies.

Today, Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development; and the Honourable John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Member of Provincial Parliament for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, announced funding for eight road and bridge projects in Northern Ontario. They were joined by his Worship, Stephen Salonin, Mayor of the Municipality of Markstay-Warren.

These projects will improve various streets, roads, and a bridge. In Markstay-Warren, $4.4 million in federal and provincial funding is being invested in resurfacing, improvements to shoulders and drainage, and the replacement of driveway culverts for approximately 5.5 kilometers of streets. The project will improve road safety and reliability.

In Wasauksing First Nation – Parry Island, the reconstruction of about 16 kilometres of Wawbawzee Road will improve access to the First Nation territory for residents, visitors and emergency vehicles, year-round.

In addition, the reconstruction of the Krugerdorf Bridge will replace the current 3-span, 60 metre bridge with a shorter span, improving drainage and the roadway. The new bridge will be safer and more reliable for residents of the Township of Chamberlain.

The Government of Canada is investing over $16.7 million in these projects through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $8.3 million for these important infrastructure projects in these communities, while municipalities are contributing over $2.7 million towards the projects and the Wasauksing First Nation is contributing $330,215 towards its project.

The governments of Canada and Ontario are working in collaboration with their partners to support jobs, improve communities and build confidence as we safely and sustainably restore economic growth.


Web: Infrastructure Canada

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Ficodis announces acquisition of Ontario-based Mackenzie Milne

Quebec’s industrial supplies leader increases its sales force, efficiency and presence in the Ontario market

Ficodis Group announces its expansion into the Ontario market with the acquisition of Mackenzie Milne, a Sarnia-based supplier of industrial and safety supplies. Ficodis is a leader in the distribution of industrial supplies recognized for offering services and customized solutions to manufacturing companies and SMEs. This 16th strategic acquisition since its founding in 2010, including the acquisition of Bluepoint Tool & Supply in Long-Island, New York, and Reliable Bearing in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2019, will allow Ficodis to add complementary expertise to its product offering while consolidating its presence in the Canadian province.

“We are delighted to welcome Mackenzie Milne to the Ficodis family, said Christophe Bévillard, President of Ficodis Group. Mackenzie Milne is a company with an incredible history and rich and diverse expertise in specialized safety and environmental products. The relationships they have built over the years will be an even greater asset to our company. This acquisition reinforces our commitment and desire to grow in the Ontario market while focusing on key areas to improve our sales force, efficiency and field presence”.

“Mackenzie Milne is known in our community for doing business in a very personal way. It was important that we team up with a company that understood our values as a small, family business, said Greg Primmer, President at Mackenzie Milne. Ficodis gave me the deep impression that they mirrored the same values and saw this as an asset to their company.”

Founded in 1848 in what later became the City of Sarnia, Ontario, Mackenzie Milne serves a strong client base across the province. The company stands out for its wide selection of high-quality merchandise and products and is known for its quality service. It also offers niche product lines such as asbestos removal and abatement supplies, truck work boxes and bags, and custom work clothing. The acquisition will also allow Ficodis to strengthen its safety specialty and make it available to all of its Ontario customers.

Mackenzie Milne also operates a 12,000 square foot fully equipped showroom, allowing it to provide on-site and direct sales to its customers. Over its 170-year history, Mackenzie Milne has succeeded in developing strong relationships with many of the highest quality manufacturers in the industrial tooling industry.

As a result of this acquisition, Ficodis will now have three large warehouses in Sarnia, Mississauga and Chatham, from which it can now offer its four product families in Ontario. In addition, Mackenzie Milne will also provide the group with a more diversified offering in terms of existing inventory volumes.

A strategic acquisition in times of pandemic


Beyond the usual industrial equipment, Mackenzie Milne specializes in the sale of personal and individual equipment (sanitary products, disposable gloves, masks). Demand for these products has risen sharply in recent months. The acquisition process of Mackenzie Milne was already under negotiation before the COVID-19 pandemic, but its formalization will allow Ficodis to enhance its offer. The group has also seen an important spike in sales of this type of equipment in recent months.

About Ficodis
Ficodis is a multi-specialized industrial supply distribution group that was founded in 2010 and is headquartered in Montréal. Comprised of 14 locations throughout the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, and in Long Island, New York, the Ficodis Group is recognized for the quality of its service, its technical expertise, as well as the products and solutions they provide, tailored to the needs of manufacturing companies and SMEs. The group specializes in four areas: Tools, Safety, Cutting and Power. Ficodis also offers a complete range of top-quality tools under its private label Cromson, that includes cutting tools, hand tools, abrasives and other Maintenance, Repair and Operations products. All of the products found in–store can also be ordered online at industrial-supplies.ca. To support its growth, Ficodis counts on the support of major financial partners such as Fondaction and Bank of Montréal. For more information www.ficodis.ca

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Canada Supports Inclusive Growth Through Economic Recovery

The Government of Canada is committed to innovation and building a clean energy future. This commitment will be more important than ever as we begin to reopen the economy and plan our recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today participated in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Clean Energy Transitions Summit, the first IEA ministerial-level meeting entirely dedicated to the clean energy future. Minister O’Regan joined leaders from governments and industries around the world to discuss actions for sustainable recovery and clean energy technology innovation.

Minister O’Regan led a ministerial session on inclusive growth, which focused on placing people and communities at the heart of economic recovery and the long-term transition to a clean energy future. In recognition of the unprecedented and extensive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he highlighted the importance of taking action to support workers and create the conditions for a more inclusive workforce.

Governments and industries alike have an opportunity to create more equitable and inclusive employment growth. Mobilizing the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, youth, racialized groups and Indigenous peoples, will be vital to the post-COVID-19 recovery and long-term economic growth.

Minister O’Regan also announced that Canada is leading the development of a reporting framework under the Equal by 30 initiative that will enable signatories to track and report on the concrete actions they are taking to close the gender gap across the energy sector. Led by Natural Resources Canada, Equal by 30 is a global campaign under the international Clean Energy Education and Empowerment (C3E) Initiative, a joint effort by the Clean Energy Ministerial and the International Energy Agency to advance gender equality in the energy sector. To date, close to 150 organizations across the energy sector, including governments, companies and non-profit institutions, have taken the Equal by 30 pledge.  The government remains committed to building a clean energy future that will not only support our natural resource sectors through this tough economic time but also grow the economy and create good jobs.

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Service Canada begins the gradual and safe reopening of in-person locations across the country

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians at every stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognizes that Service Canada Centres offer one of the many important ways Canadians can access critical supports. Throughout the pandemic, the Government has taken concrete steps to ensure Canadians can continue to access the services and benefits they are entitled to in a way that respects public health guidelines and keeps Canadians safe.

As more parts of our economy begin to reopen, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced the gradual and safe reopening of up to 90 Service Canada Centres across the country. Decisions about reopening are being guided by public health advice, and with the priority that as many Canadians as possible should be able to access an open Service Canada office.

The reopening of in-person Service Canada Centres will build on the new services recently put in place to meet the needs of Canadians during the pandemic, such as the eServiceCanada portal. This portal allows Canadians requiring assistance from Service Canada to submit an online request and receive a callback from a Service Canada officer within two business days.

Canadians should continue to use online services whenever possible, including the eServiceCanada portal. Canadians who do require in-person services should check the Find a Service Canada Office webpage to see if their local office is open. If so, they are encouraged to make a request for an appointment through eServiceCanada, which also allows Canadians requiring in-person services to submit a request for an appointment.

To protect the health and safety of Canadians and Service Canada employees, extensive work has taken place to ensure these Centres open in the safest way possible. Canadians entering offices will be required to respect physical distancing and will be strongly encouraged to use face masks and hand sanitizer. Each Service Canada Centre will operate according to province and municipal health and safety guidelines. As a result, face masks will be offered at Service Canada Centres where they are required under these guidelines.

Additionally, to continue making online services more accessible, and given that Social Insurance Numbers (SIN) are essential for accessing government services and benefits, Canadians can now apply for one through the secure SIN online portal. The portal allows Canadians to submit a SIN application entirely online within a secure and protected environment.


For the latest and most up-to-date information, and to learn more about available services, visit Service Canada.

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Running a Black- and Woman-Owned Business in 2020

Ethnic Minority Businesswomen

According to Pamela Loveless, owner of PKL Homes, what is happening right now in the Black Lives Matter movement is just a piece of the larger conversation that needs to be happening in this country. “It’s a learning opportunity,” said Pamela Loveless. “When you have an open dialogue with people, it invites empathy, and it takes away all the confusion.”

Loveless is no stranger to overcoming a challenge. After years of working as a mortgage professional and traveling underwriter, Loveless was deemed permanently disabled due to double carpal tunnel syndrome. However, when a judge told her that “no one will ever hire you again because of the percentage of use of your hands that you have. You don’t meet the criteria,” Loveless reflected on her adversity turned opportunity. She had seen what was lacking in the business travel lodging market, specifically how staying in a hotel for a long period of time can get old fast. She then started her business, PKL.

“My brain works, and my mouth works. There must be something I can do,” she said.

Since starting, PKL has been increasingly growing to serve the demand in the Reno market, even with the ongoing coronavirus impact on the economy. Reno has had a long history of the same options for temporary workforce lodging: hotels and extended-stay hotels, traditionally with a packet of meal vouchers. The drawbacks can add up when staying for months in a hotel: absence of a kitchen, lack of community and risk of being located in a food desert. That’s where PKL comes in.

The short-term housing options PKL offers provide better price points for corporations as well as a better experience for the workers. “PKL’s dedication to providing the highest-quality workforce housing in Reno has saved me countless hours of coordination, improved the morale of employees and has provided exceptional value to my organization,” said Seth Alexander, project manager of Ames Construction.

Through both their direct booking and Super Host status on Airbnb (with a 4.8-star average and more than 300 stays), they have grown more than 300 percent in gross sales over the past 12 months with eight locations throughout Reno, Sparks, south Reno and Carson City. Their newest location is “Workforce Rental Row” on Dickerson Road.

PKL has worked hard to not only fulfill a need in Reno but provide its signature “wow factor” as well. It’s about providing people that home-away-from-home experience. In fact, PKL does not hire outside designers. Every space is personalized by Loveless because it’s proven to be a creative outlet that brings her joy. “However, we do hire locals through Chartwell Staffing Solutions for all our moving, cleaning and repair work,” she said.

More than anything, Loveless sees herself as a long-time member of the Reno community and has been paying attention to what’s been happening with the Black Lives Matter movement locally and beyond.

She has experienced first-hand the false assumptions people make about the nature of her business because of the color of her skin. “You can’t pigeon-hole someone because of what they look like,” Loveless said. “That’s why this national conversation is so important to have, including in Reno. It’s really important that we don’t pull back into our little corners and say, ‘Well, this is my experience, and this is your experience, and they can’t work together,'” Loveless said. “It’s only by having those conversations that things will improve.”

About PKL Homes

PKL Homes is a short-term workforce rental operator based in Reno, NV. Founded in 2017, PKL has served clients such as Reno Aces, Reno1868 FC, H&T Nevada, Ames Construction, RC Strong Construction, and ALE Solutions. PKL is Local Emerging Small Business Certified by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, with the triple designation of being a disadvantaged-, minority- and woman-owned business. PKL also is a Gold Investor with EDAWN. In addition, PKL supports St. Michael’s Food Pantry in Stead, St. Vincent’s Thrift Store in Reno, Red Chair in Reno, and Stellar Consignment in South Reno.

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