TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games can be a huge win for local business with some advance planning: CIBC

An estimated 350,000 tourists and nearly 11,000 athletes, coaches and officials expected to boost local economy

TORONTO, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ -  With the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in Canada coming to Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe this summer, CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM), the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, is urging local business owners and operators to start preparing now for the anticipated huge influx of tourists and athletes.

For three weeks this summer, the City of Toronto and 15 other surrounding municipalities will host nearly 11,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 41 countries across the Americas and the Caribbean. These Games are expected to attract up to 350,000 visitors. In comparison, the biggest convention in Toronto last year ran  over just five days when 17,000 delegates came for the Lions Club International Convention and the biggest one in the past decade took place over six days in 2006 when 25,000 delegates attended the XVI International AIDS Conference.

"This will be a huge event and the host cities will be abuzz with activity," says Shelley Swanlund, Vice-President, Business Banking and Head of Small Business, CIBC. "With so many visitors coming to the host cities, we will see high foot traffic that local businesses from retailers to restaurants can capitalize on. But it requires advance planning to ensure everything runs smoothly, from keeping your supply chain moving to handling increased cash and currency exchange volumes."

Tourism - both from spending and hotel occupancy - from the Games are expected to boost the provincial economy by $260 million.

"It's a windfall for the local economy, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local businesses," says Ms. Swanlund. "That's why it is extremely important to turn your mind to the business impact and opportunity of the Games."

Checklist for Games Readiness:

  • More tourists mean more cash and currency will change hands:
    • Anticipate increases in currency volumes and the need to have sufficient change on hand
    • Assess need for additional coin and currency orders
    • Make provisions to accept USD cash and take into consideration the rate of exchange
    • Evaluate your debit/credit card payment acceptance needs and consider:
      • Using terminals that have "Tap" technology to speed up transactions and reduce line-ups
    • Ensure you have sufficient access to funds to take advantage of sales or stock up on inventory prior to the Games
      • Consider getting a line of credit to give you the flexibility to take advantage of sales or other opportunities as you prepare for the Games
    • Consider the need to deposit at alternate location(s) or more frequently
    • Consider using CIBC eDeposit™ for cheques to make depositing cheques easier and avoid trips to the bank
  • Seize the opportunity to attract tourists and ensure your business runs smoothly during the Games by:
    • Changing delivery times with suppliers to take place from midnight to noon, and before 6 a.m. if possible to mitigate against road closures/traffic
    • Ordering as many supplies in advance to minimize deliveries during the Games
    • Having a transportation plan for employees getting to and from work
    • Identifying staff who can speak a second language - such as French or Spanish
    • Developing a plan to decorate your storefront to celebrate the Games without infringing on brand guidelines
    • Using social media to expand your reach and market your product or service

Ms. Swanlund recommends talking to your CIBC advisor to help your business take advantage of the opportunities that the Games offer. Click here for the complete checklists.

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading Canadian-based global financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. Through our three major business units - Retail and Business Banking, Wealth Management and Wholesale Banking - CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada with offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC on our corporate website at www.cibc.com/ca/media-centre/.

About CIBC's Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Sponsorship

As the Lead Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games CIBC is committed to enriching Canadian communities through the power of sport. Through our investments we will create a lasting legacy by funding next-generation athletes, encouraging the volunteer spirit of our employees, helping finance landmark venues and engaging our diverse communities while fusing sport with arts and culture. To learn more visit www.cibc.com/ca/features/panamgames.html.

SOURCE Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

For further information:

Caroline Van Hasselt, Director, External Communications and Media Relations, 416-784-6699, caroline.vanhasselt@cibc.com


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