New Report Kicks-Off 2016 Small Business Week
The report’s recommendations are the result of detailed consultations over the course of six months held by 25 chambers of commerce and boards of trade with hundreds of small business owners throughout the province as part of the OCC’s Small Business Too Big To Ignore campaign. The campaign revealed that the three major barriers that small businesses face are Business Education Tax (BET) rate reductions, a lack of access to the workers employers need and government funding alignment on infrastructure projects.
“In the Peterborough area, local businesses are working hard to maintain and expand their operations, however they are facing some big obstacles including infrastructure deficits and the rising cost of doing business in Ontario,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.
“It is critical that regional governments work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure that investments and programs are targeted to reduce operational costs and to support business growth in our region,” added Kris Keller, President of the Board, Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.
The report also highlights that businesses with fewer than 100 employees make up 98 percent of total Ontario businesses and two-thirds of private sector employment in Ontario. They contribute approximately 28 percent to the provincial GDP and created 87.7 percent of the new jobs nationally from 2005 to 2012.
The Peterborough and Kawartha Chambers of Commerce are concerned about the price and reliability of electricity and the impact on our local business communities. Many businesses at roundtable events in June expressed hydro has a challenging factor in their day-to-day operations. Local businesses also expressed frustration with the increasing cost of complying with an increasing number of government regulations.
Given the significance of small businesses to the provincial economy, the OCC urges the government to take immediate action to implement the following three recommendations in the near term:
- Continue the scheduled Business Education Tax (BET) rate reductions
- Develop a single access point for all government-funded workforce, training, and employment services.
- Have all three levels of government commit coordinated infrastructure dollars to connect all Ontario businesses to the 21st century global economy.
The OCC encourages the provincial government to work closely with the employer community to implement the recommendations in the report. These recommendations will feature prominently in the OCC’s work leading up to the 2018 provincial election. At that time, the advocacy organization will evaluate the political platforms of each party with a particular consideration as to how their campaign commitments align with the interests of small business owners in Ontario.
Read Obstacles and Opportunities for Small Business in Ontario
Read the Roundtable Report from the Peterborough and Kawartha Chambers of Commerce session with local businesses.
Policy Analyst/Communications Specialist
Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce