Hamilton Highlights Newsletter – January 2015
In the January 2015 edition of Hamilton Highlights…
- Hire Learning Survey Now Open
- PanAm 2015
- Tim Hortons Grand Re-Opening
- Innovation Factory Client The Greenlid on CBC’s Dragon’s Den
- Hamilton Hive
- Downtown Hamilton Featured in the Globe and Mail
- Success in the City 2015
Empire Times lands its last tenant
On Wednesday, FirstOntario Credit Union revealed it will open a business centre by the end of February in the renovated King William Street building, erected in the 1890s.
Dave Schurman, chief operating officer and executive vice-president for FirstOntario, says the centre will be a place for small businesses and entrepreneurs to meet, network and conduct business. A staff of 12, including eight new hires, will work from the office.
It’s the credit union’s second downtown location. In 2011, they opened their doors at 1 James St. S., which had been vacated by Laurentian Bank.
Hamilton is a shining example of what’s really happening in Canada. Small business is really creating most of the jobs …
FirstOntario chief operation officer
“We made a statement then that we believed in downtown Hamilton and we put our money where our mouths were,” says Schurman.
“Hamilton is a shining example of what’s really happening in Canada. Small business is really creating most of the jobs … in Canada.”
Schurman says FirstOntario has known for a while now that they wanted an additional downtown presence.
It was just a matter of finding the perfect location.
And they won’t be alone. The entire building – both retail and office space – is full.
He says the look of Empire Times was part of its appeal — the retro, historic feel of the space makes it less intimidating for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“It’s not a stiff-shirt-and-collar kind walking into an ivory tower thing,” Schurman says.
Developer Steve Kulakowsky, whose company Core Urban Inc. renovated the four-storey building, says he thinks the decision is a great indicator of downtown momentum.
“It’s a unique space that traditionally wouldn’t be for a bank but like their messaging says, they’re not a regular bank,” Kulakowsky says.
He thinks it sends a great message about the number of people who want to live, work, shop and dine in the core.
FirstOntario will join other Empire Times tenants, including the Factor[e] design initiative and The Studio at 41 collaborative professional workspaces.
Chuck’s Burger Bar, with a location on Locke Street in Hamilton, is also expected to open a second location in the Empire Times by the end of February.
Article courtesy of Amy Kenny, The Hamilton Spectator
Heavy cargo numbers
Hamilton is becoming the gateway to North America for international shippers.
The latest cargo tonnage figures from the Hamilton Port Authority (HPA) show the volume of foreign cargo flowing through the harbour rose 39 per cent last year over 2013, its highest annual overseas tonnage in a decade.
“All commodities are up right across the board,” said HPA president Bruce Wood. “We’ve even hit an all-time revenue number of $22 million for the year.”
The report for the 2014 shipping season shows the port handled more than 10.5 million tonnes of cargo overall, five per cent more than in 2013.
Over the season 619 vessels passed under the Burlington Canal Lift Bridge, 157 from foreign lands while the rest were lakers.
By cargo type, steel and its related products remain the largest part of the port’s volume, accounting for 72 per cent of the total. Materials related to the production of steels — coke, coal, iron ore and others — made up just under 7.1 million tones, or 67.3 per cent of total volume. Finished steel imported from other countries accounted for another 502,000 tonnes, or 4.7 per cent of the total.
The cargo report notes that finished steel products, totalling more than half a million tonnes, exceeded the port’s five-year average volume for such material by 68 per cent.
Steel products were brought in from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. The growth in volume was credited partly to lower world prices for the material, a drop that encourages exports.
Increased demand in regional manufacturing and construction markets was also cited.
“We had a bit of a boom in imported steel last year,” Wood said. “It really helped us with our total volume.”
As steel volumes dip, the report also notes a sharp increase in the volume of agricultural commodities and products passing over Hamilton’s piers.
From 12 per cent of the port’s volume in 2010, farm supplies and product now account for more than 19 per cent of the total volume. That tonnage includes grain from all parts of southern Ontario bound for foreign markets.
Hamilton has also become a primary gateway for fertilizer being imported into the country. Wood said the increased volume in this sector is a direct payoff for investments that drew grain handling firms such as Parrish and Heimbecker and Richardson International to the port.
“This comes directly from our investments in the grain guys,” he said. “We’ve put about $300 million into the ground in gates and rails and everything else to take product right to their front door.”
Another major portion of the port’s volume is general cargo — including containers, salt, scrap metal and everything from windmill blades and turbines to power plant components, construction machinery, vehicles, steel cables and pipes, and even a recreational yacht.
The general cargo volume in 2014 was 267,778 tonnes, or 2.5 per cent of the total.
Article courtesy of Steve Arnold, The Hamilton Spectator
Vote of confidence for Concession Street
“I think it has a lot of untapped potential,” said Jules Gauthier, owner of Candi Werx, a candy, chocolate and novelty store that opened on Concession Street Dec. 1.
Gauthier moved to the Mountain after many years in the hospitality industry including nearly 10 years running her chocolate business at the downtown farmers’ market.
She said a lot of her clients have followed her to Concession Street.
Mike Lan said the large amount of pedestrian traffic in the area convinced him to open Concession Pizza back in September.
“We took a look and we saw the hospital and church and said we’ll give it a try,” said Lan, who had been considering opening a restaurant in the downtown area.
While she’s not new to the street, Serena Paproski expanded her Studio 440 salon and spa business on Dec. 1 by moving from a house on Concession west of Upper Wentworth to a storefront location just east of that street.
“It’s a bigger location,” said Paproski who has gone from less than 500 square feet and four chairs to nearly 1,000 square feet and six chairs.
Paproski said the availability of more nearby parking was a key decision in the move.
Another new business, Halal Fried Chicken, recently opened.
Leo Santos, chair of the Concession Street Business Improvement Area, said the new businesses will bring more customers to the area, adding they area a clear vote of confidence for the street.
“I think what we’re seeing is the interest in the area, in the community for business development and for entrepreneurs to start something,” he said.
Article courtesy of Mark Newman, Hamilton Community News