London Inc. Weekly 04 • 20 • 2018

Libro Credit Union attains Certified B Corporation accreditation 

Libro Credit Union president and CEO, Stephen Bolton

EARLIER THIS WEEK, Libro Credit Union announced it has attained accreditation as part of the Certified B Corporation movement.

“We’ve joined a global movement that pledges to use business as a force for good, reinforcing what we have always done,” says Stephen Bolton, Libro’s president and CEO. “By becoming a Certified B Corporation, we’re not just telling southwestern Ontario, we’re telling the world that we care about how we do business. We’re now able to benchmark and further guide how we put our ‘Be Libro’ statement to work.”

According to Libro, the announcement is a continuation of a process that began in 2014 with a new statement of purpose – to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking. Becoming a B Corp adds measurable, accountable standards of social and environmental responsibility and accountability.

“By using this certification, Libro Credit Union will be able to tangibly show how our performance standards and impact on social and environmental factors for our staff, our owners and communities measure up,” adds Liz Arkinstall, Libro’s corporate social responsibility manager. “We feel good about where we are, and are excited to use this certification to help guide us in the future.”


Equals Brewing Company gets set to begin production 

The new Equals Brewing Company facility on Sovereign Road will begin production in late May

EQUALS BREWING COMPANY, a new brewery aimed specifically at the contract brewing market, is set to begin production in late May.

The new $10-million, 3,620-square-metre facility at 695 Sovereign Road and will begin operations with about 14 full-time staff and another 20 part-time seasonal staff.

The company was founded by Southwest Sun Group, a private investment partnership with nearly three decades of experience in various ventures, all of which have been divested in order to concentrate on this new project.

The facility will be able to produce about five million litres of beer annually, enough to accommodate dozens of small craft breweries. Equals is launching with contracts to brew 10 beers, including three brands from a Toronto company. The remaining brands include some local companies such as Toboggan Brewing Co.

In an interview this week with The London Free Press, Equals Brewing partner Brian Semkowski said, “The craft brewers see their brands growing but they don’t have the capacity. We can offer them the equipment and the professionalism to allow them to meet demand.”

Along with multiple fermentation tanks, the new facility will include a canning line that can handle 250 cans per minute, keg- and growler-filling lines, cold storage and warehousing space. The facility will also be able to handle packaging of other mixed alcoholic beverages such as shandy or coolers.

Brewing will be overseen by Justin McKellar, a former Labatt Breweries employee, with client breweries welcome to have their own brewers on hand to be involved in production.


CarProof to become Carfax, aligning with U.S. arm

CarProof Corporation will change its name to Carfax in October

CARPROOF CORPORATION HAS announced that its name will change to Carfax Canada in October.

The change further aligns CarProof, Canada’s best source of automotive data, and Carfax, the U.S.-based industry leader, to better serve its consumer and dealer customers by leveraging the globally known Carfax brand.

Both companies are owned by IHS Markit.

“We want our customers to know that this is a change in name only,” says Shawn Vording, vice-president of automotive sales at CarProof. “Our partners will still receive the comprehensive history and valuation information they have come to expect from CarProof. This decision was driven by our commitment to continuous growth and will allow us to provide better products and services to a greater audience.”

From its offices at 130 Dufferin Avenue, CarProof provides Canadian data to both consumers and dealers, including critical accident data and lien info, import/export data and full U.S. history. CarProof is also an exclusive provider of vehicle history reports to many organizations such as CAA, Kijiji, autoTrader, Auto123, Manheim and ADESA auctions, all auto manufacturers and most dealer associations across the country.

Launched in 2000, CarProof was sold for $650 million to a Colorado-based IHS Markit in 2015.


Moody’s downgrades Ontario’s financial outlook

Moody’s has changed the Ontario government financial outlook from stable to negative

A KEY RATING agency has downgraded its outlook on Ontario’s finances to “negative” from “stable” in light of the Liberal government’s plan to run six consecutive multibillion-dollar deficits.

Moody’s Investor Service says spending pressure will challenge the province’s ability to “sustain balanced fiscal results” over a number of years.

Moody’s also says financing requirements on the province’s debt—projected to be $325 billion in 2018-2019—will be larger than previously believed, leading to a faster increase in interest expenses.

Premier Kathleen Wynne defended the government’s pre-election budget, which will run a $6.7-billion deficit in 2018-2019, saying Moody’s change wasn’t a credit downgrade, which would impact borrowing costs for the province.

The opposition Progressive Conservatives criticized the government, saying interest on the province’s debt, projected at $12.5 billion this year, is already crowding out services like healthcare, education and infrastructure upgrades.

Moody’s maintained Ontario’s Aa2 issuer and Aa2 senior unsecured long-term debt ratings despite the change in outlook. Ontario heads to the polls on June 7. 


The Rec Room opening set for April 30

The Rec Room at CF Masonville Place will open its doors on April 30

THE REC ROOM, a new 36,000-square-foot adult play space at CF Masonville Place, will open its doors to the public on April 30.

The facility will combine a variety of dining experiences, a venue for live entertainment and a plethora of arcade and physical gaming options. Rec Rooms are a new venture for Cineplex, Canada’s dominant movie theatre chain, which has been pursuing a diversification strategy that has seen it branch out beyond its core business.

The London Rec Room will be the fifth one in Canada and the first in Southwestern Ontario. Cineplex plans to open approximately 10 to 15 locations of The Rec Room over the coming years across the country, each ranging in size from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet and customized to the individual community.

The opening of the London Rec Room will complete the $28.5-million refit of the former Target store at CF Masonville Place. The lower floor is occupied by fashion retailer Marshalls and the HomeSense home décor outlet. In 2016, Masonville completed a $77-million renovation of the former Sears Canada space and other parts of the mall. CF Masonville is one of Canada’s most productive shopping centres, with annual sales per square foot approaching $1,000.

The Rec Room will employ about 125 people, about one-quarter of them full time.


Business Events Calendar

Featured Event:

Deloitte’s TMT Predictions 2018

Deloitte’s Duncan Stewart walks through the technology, media and telecommunications disruptions that will be game-changers within the next 12 months.

 

Upcoming Events:

Finance for Non-Finance Professionals: April 20-22

Don Smith Commercial Building Awards: April 23, 2018

LSTAR ESMART Economic and Smart Technology Summit: April 23, 2018

London Chamber Summit 2018: April 24, 2018

Financial Empowerment Conference: April 25, 2018

LinkedIn Local London: April 26, 2018

Beyond Empowerment Workshop: April 30, 2018

Discovery 2018: April 30-May 1, 2018

Driving Business Growth Through Data: May 1, 2018

Employee Share Ownership Plans & Ownership Thinking – London: May 2, 2018

The Arts Project Brand Launch Party: May 3, 2018

Socialpreneur Chats: May 4, 2018