These initiatives do represent a positive change and we are very encouraged by today’s (Friday, May 19, 2017) announcement on burden reduction. Cutting red tape for business has been a key component of our advocacy work and we are pleased to see government make meaningful change to reduce the regulatory burden on small business.
The one-window service concept will help save businesses time and money. The small business procurement policy is also very encouraging, and we ask the government to consider how they can expand this opportunity for small businesses across the province.
We are also pleased to see Ontario adopt the $1 in $1.25 out provision, which will apply to new administrative costs. This is a best practice internationally and will keep the regulatory burden on business in check. We would certainly encourage this government to consider how they can bring costs down for business more broadly, outside of administrative fees.
But to keep Ontario competitive, we need to ensure that any impending changes to the Labour Relations Act and Employment Standards Act are evidence based and fully costed.
More information on the proposed changes around labour laws and employment standards is expected next week.
Proposed measures for small business include:
- Reducing regulatory costs: Requiring all ministries to offset every dollar of new administrative costs to business, by removing $1.25 of old and unnecessary costs.
- Streamlining compliance for small business: Ensuring that undue burdens aren't placed on small businesses when new or amended regulations are introduced, while maintaining robust environmental, health and safety requirements and other public interest protections.
- International or national standards alignment: Increasing harmonization with other jurisdictions and adopting international or national standards, where appropriate, when developing or reviewing regulations.
- Rewarding good actors: Recognizing businesses that have a good compliance record and lowering their costs by reducing the requirements, such as the number of inspections, without compromising the environment health and safety, and other protections.
- Electronic transmission guarantee: Providing businesses the option to electronically submit any required documentation to the Government of Ontario instead of more costly paper submissions.
- Government procurement: Introducing a preferred procurement policy for small businesses that would help provide better access to government contracts.
- One-window service: Developing a new program that would help small businesses access support, information and resources by phone, online and in person.
- Reducing fees and other costs: Reviewing licence and registration fees paid with a goal of providing relief to small- and medium-sized businesses.
“Small businesses are critical for vibrant main streets across Ontario. These business owners contribute by creating jobs and strengthening local economies. Supporting these business owners by streamlining their dealings with the province and providing new opportunities for growth will help Ontario prosper.” - Peterborough MPP and Minister Responsible for Small Business Jeff Leal
Read the Ontario Government's press release