Taking Care of Business – June 2018


Welcome to Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership’s Newsletter

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Taking Care of Business
News for the Sarnia-Lambton Area Business Community
June 2018



Outreach Sarnia-Lambton Area Businesses

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has embarked on a multi-year business outreach initiative focusing on existing businesses across all municipalities in the Sarnia-Lambton. area

The Economic Partnership is working closely with municipal staff to select businesses to reach out to in 2018. The goal of this initiative is to develop stronger relationships with existing businesses in our community.

This initiative is an internationally-recognized economic development approach by which existing local businesses are visited and interviewed to identify some of the issues limiting retention and expansion.

Businesses of all sizes and sectors work one-on-one with staff to discuss business operations and uncover issues and opportunities that may impact future plans and overall growth and success.

Through this business outreach process, a business can receive:

• One-on-one, on-site consultation sessions with the staff regarding marketing and sales, operations, finance and accounting, human resources and management and future plans

 • Follow up care and referrals, as required, by SLEP staff and the opportunity for the business to share ideas or feedback

Want to increase the likelihood of your own business success and expansion?

If so, contact chantelle@sarnialambton.on.ca or call (519) 332-1820 to initiate a meeting with a member of our team. The Economic Partnership will arrange a time to visit your business and identify barriers affecting your business and propose local solutions.



Warwick Circular Economy Project

With interest in the province of Ontario of shifting toward a “zero waste” economy, there has been a shift in policy and regulatory initiatives. The collaboration of the Township of Warwick and the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) have identified an opportunity to develop a “circular economy” cluster at the 40-acre Warwick Industrial Park site.

A Strategic Plan document, developed by the Delphi Group and Reclay StewardEdge, provides an overview of the highest-priority investment opportunity areas identified as part of a three-month research study, and an outline of an action plan for realizing these opportunities.

The Delphi Group and Reclay StewardEdge propose three strategic goals focused on developing a circular economy cluster for the Warwick Industrial Park. These three key goals are in line with the market and policy-focused research for this study, as well as shaped from the input of various industry stakeholders consulted as part of this project. The goals that guide this Strategic Plan are outlined below:

 • Goal 1: Establish the Warwick Industrial Park as a leading hub in Canada for circular economy activities by 2023 

• Goal 2: Establish new markets over the next 12-24 months for local industry waste and resource streams 

• Goal 3: Over the next 5 years, align with incoming regulations and incentives to capitalize on longer-term provincial waste-to-resource streams



Innovation Bridge & BitCity

Innovation Bridge is a one-stop resource for prospective organizations researching and evaluating Sarnia-Lambton area as a beneficial location to locate to, as well as support current organizations in the community.

Innovation Bridge is a partnership comprised of the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, Lambton College, Western Sarnia-Lambton Research Park, Arlanxeo’s Bioindustrial Park, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, TransAlta’s Bluewater Energy Park and Bluewater Regional Networks. Each partner brings unique assets to the attraction of new investment in the local economy. In the past, organizations would approach these organizations individually, but now they have access to all the best resources under one name. The hope of Innovation Bridge is that people “cross the bridge” and connect with the Sarnia-Lambton business community.


Innovation Bridge was able to announce its first successful acquisition as a newly founded alliance during their official launch. BitCity Group, a Blockchain cryptocurrency organization based in Toronto, announced they will be launching a data processing facility in TransAlta’s Bluewater Energy Park this year. It looks to employ 20 people and is a testament to the power of the newly formed Innovation Bridge. TransAlta Commercial Specialist, Jim Felton stated,

“By forming the Innovation Bridge, we ensure that everybody knows about each and every benefit that Sarnia-Lambton has to attract businesses and people to this region. Before, we relied strictly on networking and hope that as we suggested to organizations to meet, that they would act on the recommendation. With Innovation Bridge, we’re not leaving it to chance. We’re bringing them all into a room and letting them know here’s what the region has to offer you.”




Sarnia-Lambton has the infrastructure, service and contractors to make a strong case for being the host of the first commercial Benefuel refinery.

Although no official word has been announced of Benefuel locating a 40-job commercial scale bio-diesel plant in the Sarnia-Lambton area, Sarnia based bio-business incubator Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) has given many reasons for why they should.  Recently, the BIC made another financial contribution to fund Benefuel’s research in determining a cost analysis of building in the Sarnia-Lambton area which can be added to a “well over $500,000” contribution thus far from BIC. Rob Tripp, CEO of Benefuel, credited BIC by stating, “It has been really great and goes beyond just the financial assistance. They’ve done a good job making it easier for companies like Benefuel to pick (Sarnia) as a location.”

Benefuel is an alternative energy company focused on producing fuels, lubricants and chemicals derived from non-food related fats and oils and committed to the principles and practices of sustainability. Benefuel’s patented ENSEL® catalyst technology produces a low carbon intensity biodiesel.

Benefuel has looked at a few potential locations in the Sarnia-Lambton area including the Arlanxeo site, where Bio-Amber is located. Being close to a Suncor location in Sarnia-Lambton would provide benefit perhaps to Benefuel in having a potential feedstock provider being close in proximity. Suncor is an official partner with Benefuel.

Plans outline construction of a plant with an annual capacity of 75-million litres with room to double in size, that could start operation as early as 2020.



Summer Student Company

The Summer Student Company program celebrates its 17th year of assisting young entrepreneurs learn what it takes to run a business.

The Government of Ontario and the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership have teamed up once again to allow students aged 15 through 29 to receive mentorship and hands-on training to run their own business. Students in the program can receive startup funding up to $3,000 to operate a small business. This year’s student businesses include:

Radiant 3D-Priniting
Jared Waller

Jared is offering a service for companies to print 3D functional prototypes as a cheaper alternative to the traditional prototype process. He is looking to attract local businesses that are looking to save on shipping and prototype development costs.

Bee Haven
Aidan Meilleur

Aidan will be producing garden beehives, or as he likes to call them “Bee Havens”, that will increase pollination in your backyard area. They are designed to provide a dry and safe place for solitary bees to lay their single egg. Solitary bees do not swarm and are not aggressive.


Green Ridge Corn
Collin Boyd

Collin is producing his own sweet corn and looking to bring his product to local campgrounds and chefs as well as the masses. In addition to a BBQ event he plans on organizing, Collin strives to provide a service of educating people of all the possibilities of preparing corn, including “Workshop Wednesdays” seminars. 519-331-3737


Hayter Family Produce
Matthew Hayter

Matt will be operating a produce stand featuring corn, peaches, cantaloupe and tomatoes located at 3277 Nauvoo Road in Alvinston.

Cole’s Canteen
Cole Douglas

Cole will be operating a concession stand at the baseball park in Alvinston, selling things such as burgers, fries, hotdogs and candy.



Business Enterprise Centre Seminars

The Business Enterprise Centre of Sarnia-Lambton is planning the 2018/2019 seminar calendar and would value your feedback in determining what seminars we should provide to assist you.

The following is a proposed list of topics:

·         Record Keeping Made Easy

·         Reading Financial Statements

·         Introduction to Marketing

·         WSIB Bill 148 Training

·         CRA – New Businesses & Start Ups

·         Sales Tools for the new Business and Networking Magic

·         MOL – Health & Safety Training

·         Creating & Maintaining Personnel Records

·         MOT – Updates on HTA, Regs (Lunch & Learn)

·         Understanding and Using Social Media

·         Building a Social Enterprise

We welcome any other suggestions, as well as feedback on this current list. Feedback can be sent by email to Jeanny Leung at reception@sarnialambton.on.ca or by phone at 519-332-1820 ext. 230.



University Alumni Networks Project

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has secured funding to research and develop University Alumni Networks in the community over the course of eight months. A team of three Project Leaders will work together to conduct research, connect with university alumni and organize events based on the needs of alumni living and working in the Sarnia-Lambton area. The project is designed as a proactive approach to resident attraction and retention. The project aims to develop networks and provide professional development as well as fill local positions, integrate newcomers, reduce out-migration of youth and develop mentors.

This initiative begins on June 18th! If you would like to provide input and participate in the project, please contact OJCP1@sarnialambton.on.ca



Strategic Plan Update

SLEP has completed the Strategic Planning process that began in 2017. The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Strategic Plan will guide the economic development efforts for the region for the next three to five years.

The strategic plan will build upon the region’s strengths and opportunities while reflecting the needs and aspirations of the eleven municipalities and three First Nations in Lambton County. The plan’s primary objective is to create economic growth, improving the quality of life, income and living standards for all.

The strategic planning process included economic and statistical analysis, broad stakeholder consultation, analysis of the region’s strengths, opportunities, aspirations and results and establishing strategic priorities. It established Sarnia-Lambton’s economic development goals, objectives, actions and performance measures. The completed strategic plan can be found on the Economic Partnership website.

Our Strategic Plan will be discussed at our Annual General Meeting 


Opportunity to Showcase Your Organization

A table top book is being created to highlight the community of Sarnia Lambton and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce is inviting you to be a part of the project. Chris Hadfield and the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce have teamed up with Richard Bain to produce a book that looks at what Sarnia-Lambton is all about. The book is set for a November release and if you have any contributions you would like to suggest or if you are a local business and want to be involved with the book, we encourage you to reach out to Shirley at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce. You can connect with Shirley at sdesilva@slchamber.ca or at 519-336-2400

“All of the books we’ve produced have been about what makes the community ticks, including the businesses, the institutions of higher learning, those in the health care profession and everything that makes a place like Lambton County so vibrant and appealing,” said Richard Bain, the photographer and producer of the upcoming Sarnia-Lambton book.

Richard has connected with Chris Hadfield to provide the foreword for the book, making it a true reflection of Sarnia-Lambton.

Richard Bain has done multiple coffee table books featuring a variety of locations including London (as seen below).


BioProducts AgSci Cluster Conference

March 14
The BIC BioProducts AgSci Cluster Conference was held on Wednesday March 14, 2018 in Toronto. The conference featured overviews of Cluster activities, followed by presentations from AAFC representatives and discussion regarding the role of agriculture in clean tech and low carbon economies. A networking session followed the conference events. Matthew Slotwinski, Business Development Consultant, attended the conference. 


April 6
SLEP hosted the Sarnia-Lambton Biohybrid Chemistry Cluster Tour.

The tour included stops at the Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia, Bluewater Energy Park, and VIP Corunna site.

Attendees included:

Marilyn Gladu – MP

Bev Shipley – MP & staff member

Bob Bailey – MPP & staff member

Stephen Thompson – CEO, Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership

Matthew Slotwinski – Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership

Tim Knapp – ARLANXEO / Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia

Jim Felton – TransAlta / Bluewater Energy Park

Dave Anderson– Alpenglow / VIP Corunna & Sarnia

Darcy Brede – COO, Alpenglow Rail/VIP

Ontario Petroleum Institution Annual Conference

May 14-15
The Conference was hosted in London, Ontario and had SLEP Project Leader, David Moody in attendance.

The Ontario Petroleum Institute Inc. is a non-profit industry association which represents explorationists, producers, contractors, geologists, petroleum engineers and other professionals, individuals or companies directly related to the oil and gas, hydrocarbon storage and solution-mining industries of Ontario.

The fundamental objectives of the Institute are:

·         To encourage responsible exploration of the oil, gas, hydrocarbon storage and solution-mining industries of Ontario

·         To maintain close liaison with government agencies which regulate the industry

·         To disseminate information relevant to member needs

·         To promote the legislative goals of the membership

·         To inform and educate the general public on the significance of the industry to the province of Ontario


Intelligent Community Forum Global Summit

June 4-6
The Intelligent Community Forum Global Summit was hosted in London, UK and featured our CEO, Stephen Thompson.

Our CEO, Stephen Thompson, has travelled to the UK along with the CAO of Lambton County to represent Sarnia-Lambton at the global Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) event. Stephen will be attending all 3 UK modules which include: the ICF Global Summit (June 4-6) and Lead-generated meetings and site visits (June 7-10) in London and finally, the World Forum on FDI (June 11-13) in Liverpool.

The ICF event features mayors, civic leaders, CIOs, and industry representatives from around the world coming together to collaborate on ideas. The theme of the event this year is “Humanizing Data” and promises to provide value to attendees that can utilize it to benefit all the people they serve. ICF attendees will participate in networking seminars that will help them develop economic leads, meet other cities that face similar challenges and brainstorm solutions, boost international relations and inspire action.

Sarnia-Lambton has been recognized as an intelligent community by ICF in their SMART21 rankings for the past 3 years (2016, 2017, 2018).

Connect: https://twitter.com/SarniaLambton/status/1003990690764910597

Global Petroleum Show

June 12-14
The Global Petroleum Show (GPS) is North America’s Leading Exhibition & Conference, where oil and gas professionals convene to engage in dialogue, create partnerships, do business and identify the solutions and strategies that will shape the industry for the years ahead.

GPS has grown exponentially to become the global meeting point for oil and gas professionals. Today, over $6 billion of business is concluded during the exhibition, placing GPS at the very heart of international business of the global energy sector. Over 50,000 trade professionals attend GPS, while 100+ industry leading experts share their knowledge and understanding across the event’s expansive line-up of strategic and technical conference sessions. Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and Sarnia Lambton Industrial Alliance will be represented at the GPS! We look forward to connecting at the show.



SLEP Annual General Meeting

June 26
The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership invites you to join us for a continental breakfast and networking event from 7:30-9:30 am where current projects and our new Strategic Plan will be presented. The event will take place at 1086 Modeland Road (Building 1040) and you can register for the event here

BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology

July 16-19
The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology provides a unique forum for business executives, government officials, academic researchers and industry leaders to share the latest advances in renewable chemicals, synthetic biology, enzymes, food ingredients, biofuels, algae and more.

The event this year will take place July 16-19th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will have the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP) in attendance. SLEP will be sharing an exhibit booth with Bioindustrial Innovation Canada. We welcome companies and delegates to pursue face-to-face meetings with us by scheduling meetings through the One-on-One Partnering Portal on the event website

Chemistry Canada Conference

September 24-26
To better represent the entire Chemical Industry, PetroChem Canada is now the Chemistry Canada Summit & Exhibition.

The chemical industry is a diverse group of manufacturing companies that operate in all regions of North America. Chemistry Canada brings together the primary industry players representing chemicals, chemical products, specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, and biochemicals. The goal of the Chemistry Canada Summit & Exhibition is to bring industry operators together with governments, academia and service & supply to meet, share knowledge and forge long term relationships.

Chemistry Canada 2018 will provide insights into how Canada can position itself to be a competitive player on the global chemical stage; as well as offer an expanded technical program and exhibition.

Mark your calendar for September 24-26, 2018 in Edmonton, Alberta

In 2018, delegates can expect an expanded program offering a business program, workshops, tours, and technical exhibition. The business conference focuses on understanding the global industry, how to maximize Canada’s role, as well as regional opportunities and challenges.

SLEP CEO, Stephen Thompson, will be speaking at this event, as well as SLEP Business Development Consultant, Matthew Slotwinski. Interested in Exhibiting or Speaking?

Please contact Wes Scott:

Phone: 403.971.3227

Email: wesscott@eventworxcorporation.com 

For more information and registration click here

Lambton College Symposiums

The Energy Symposium that had been originally scheduled for May 15, is targeting a re-scheduled date in October or November 2018.




Locally owned furniture store, Tepperman’s, moved to a new 40,000 square foot location equipped with a large warehouse, a drive through customer pickup area, café and kid’s area. President Andrew Tepperman said that with all the ups and downs of the market, it is nice that the future of Sarnia is bright and that, “There’s so much positive news going on right now, in all aspects of the community.”


The original restaurant opened in 1948 and featured a glass-enclosed pit where customers could watch their steaks being flame grilled. The new owners hope to keep the signatory pit while giving the rest of the restaurant a facelift and new name: Lake Point Grillhouse & Lounge. The 250-seat establishment looks to employ 28 to 32 people.

Comet Biorefining Funding

The Province of Ontario will invest up to $8 million into Comet’s $70.8 million plant that plans to locate in the TransAlta Bluewater Energy Park. Production hopes to start in 2019 and bring with it 82 new jobs with an additional 158 indirect positions. Comet looks to partner with local famers to make 27-million kilograms of dextrose sugar annually.

Tilray Enniskillen

Enniskillen is the new home to a 100-acre, $30 million Tilray medical marijuana facility. The property features 13 acres of greenhouse space, eight-foot fences and hundreds of cameras. The first harvest is expected in June and Enniskillen Mayor, Kevin Marriot, expects it to be the area’s largest employer Energy Symposium that had been originally scheduled for May 15, is targeting a re-scheduled date in October or November 2018.



To keep up with current news in Sarnia-Lambton and with the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership (SLEP), please visit our website or follow us on social media.



Copyright © 2017 Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership, All rights reserved.

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership
T: 519-332-1820
Toll Free: 800-972-7642
Western University Research Park, Sarnia-Lambton Campus
1086 Modeland Rd., Building 1050, Suite 100
Sarnia, ON
N7S 6L2

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