London Inc. Weekly 07 • 27 • 2018

Airport receives upgrade investment from federal government

ON WEDNESDAY, THE federal government pledged an investment of $3.3 million to assist with an update of London International Airport’s (LIA) “Taxiway Golf”, the main taxiway at the airport.

“From commercial passenger aircraft, to our freight operations, through to our business and aviation programs with both Western University and Fanshawe College, this taxiway will be used extensively in the coming years; it will allow us to meet the aviation demands in our market,” said LIA CEO and president, Mike Seabrook.

The project will consist of resurfacing the entire length of the asphalt taxiway, ensuring it can withstand the current and projected increase in passenger traffic.

“London International Airport is positioned to take on a much greater role in Southern Ontario,” continued Seabrook, “Today, we are seeing close to 10 per cent annualized growth in our passenger traffic, and as Toronto Pearson Airport gets busier and more congested, our airport in London is centered in a population of 2.5 million residents, with an uncongested road system that has direct access to our airport. So we see a much bigger role for London.


Ikea puts plans for London store on hold

LESS THAN A year after announced it would build a full-sized store in London, Ikea has shelved the plans indefinitely.

The iconic Swedish big-box retailer confirmed yesterday that plans to build the store at a new retail and commercial complex at the intersection of Highway 401 and Wellington Road are on hold.

The retail giant attributes the delay to the “rapidly changing retail environment” and says it is evolving its business model for the future. In recent weeks, Ikea has put a hold on three planned new stores south of the border as well.

“Ikea has made the decision to delay the London store project while we evaluate a new solution for the site,” said Ikea Canada public relations manager, Kristin Newbigging, in a released statement. “While this is happening, we will also continue to enhance our digital tools and improve our service offer and pricing to meet many more of our customers in the London area.”

Construction of the store was set to begin later this summer with the store opening in fall 2019. According to Newbigging, the purchase of the land on the PenEquity site will still move ahead.

“We still see potential in the London market, and will move forward with the purchase of the land for this development site as we begin exploring new solutions to better serve our London customers,” she said.

There’s no word on what impact, if any, the Ikea decision will have on Costco’s planned move to the same retail site. Soon after Ikea’s announcement last fall, Costco said it planned to move its south London store to a piece of land right beside Ikea.


Chamber business card program encourages member-to-member commerce

THE LONDON CHAMBER of Commerce was looking for a simple way to help Chamber members express their appreciation for other Chamber members.

Enter the “I’m Here” card.

According to the Chamber website, I’m Here is a business card that Chamber members can use to let other Chamber members know they have patronized their business. It’s also a tool they can use to help generate social media exposure for other Chamber members.

The Chamber is encouraging members to leave behind the cards at another member’s place of business, or snap a picture of the card at the business and post it to a social media platform.

Cards are available to member businesses at the Chamber’s Pall Mall Street office or at monthly Business After Five gatherings.


Indiva Limited gets Health Canada approval to import Swiss cannabis strains

INDIVA LIMITED HAS announced it has been granted a permit by Health Canada to import high CBD, low THC cannabis strains from Switzerland.

Under the agreement, Indiva will be given exclusive rights to import, cultivate and, subject to applicable regulatory approvals, sell three high CBD, low THC cannabis strains from Swiss firms Medropharm GmbH and Greenfields Health Care S.A.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. Unlike THC, it has potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety benefits. Indiva will receive guidance from the suppliers on best practices, chemical compounds and preferred treatment of the specific strains.

“We are pleased to receive this import permit from Health Canada for these specialized strains,” said Niel Marotta, Indiva CEO. “We know that high CBD, low THC cannabis strains are frequently sought after by medical cannabis clients and it’s our mission to grow the highest-quality of cannabis products. By being the exclusive licensed producer of these carefully selected, high-quality strains, we’re able to give our future medical clients the products they are looking for.”


Richmond Row to get a Community Improvement Plan

CHALLENGED BY A shifting business mix and loss of some higher-end retail shops, Richmond Row will get a Community Improvement Plan from city hall, similar to that of Hamilton Road and Old East Village commerce areas.

As part of the downtown business-improvement area and qualifying for the downtown BIA’s community-improvement plan, Richmond Row is poised to be included in four main programs: façade-improvement loans; building-code upgrade loans; rehabilitation and redevelopment tax grants; and combined residential development charges grants.

With an increasing number of bars and restaurants but fewer upscale retailers, existing shop owners are welcoming the assistance. In an interview with the London Free Press, veteran Richmond Row retailer and Hangar9 founder Jo-Anne Fisher said, “Any improvement is good, as long as our members make decisions [about where the money is spent] and not council. We need help. It’s not easy being in business today.”

A city hall report on the program states that eligible work to be financed through the program includes improvements that are demonstrated to enhance the appearance of building exteriors. The report details where some of the money can be used, including awnings, windows, doors or sidewalk, signs, decorative lighting, rain gutters, soffits and fascia.


Business Events Calendar

Featured Event:

Dundas Place Arts Festival

Dundas Street businesses are throwing a party celebrating their street, the arts, and unique downtown experiences. The street will be programmed by participating businesses, buskers, artists, and entertainment.

Upcoming Events:

Be Inclusive Summer Series-De-mystifying AODA: July 31, 2018

July Startup Drinks London: July 31, 2018

Social Media & Engagement Workshop: August 1, 2018

SBC Legal Advice: August 2, 2018

SBC Open for Business: August 2, 2018

Ontario Summer Games: August 2-5, 2018

SBC Accounting Advice: August 7, 2018

SBC Open for Business: August 9, 2018

Dundas Place Arts Festival: August 11, 2018

Dropship Ecommerce with Shopify Meetup: August 11, 2018