On Monday (November 30), the Government of Canada announced its 2020 Fall Economic Statement, offering the clearest picture of federal finances and economic assumptions in over a year. The Statement reaffirms the economic road ahead remains long and challenging even after a vaccine for COVID-19 is approved and deployed in Canada.
The numbers can be startling:
Here is a summary of some of the key new features:
Targeted Stimulus to Jumpstart Recovery
For full details on the Fall Economic Statement, visit our website peterboroughchamber.ca
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to all locally elected leaders, including City and County Councils, First Nations, our MPP and MP, and senior staff. The letter was endorsed by Peterborough & The Kawarthas Home Builders Association, Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors, Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, Kawartha Manufacturers Association and the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism.
The perspectives and suggestions captured in the letter had been discussed on various levels previous to the pandemic, but especially since.
The letter suggests a Regional Plan for Recovery, and features nine recommendations that these business organizations feel would guide Peterborough through recovery and beyond.
Letter RE: Regional Plan for Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced change upon us, and a regional strategic plan for recovery is needed.
Many discussions have been held over the last six months, including the Mayor and Warden’s Economic Taskforce, weekly calls with Minister Monsef, and MPP Smith, the Chamber of Commerce Policy Committee, the Housing Action Task Force Working Group, the Homebuilders Association, meetings with other business organizations, and individual meetings with business owners.
Several common themes have emerged. While some may appear to be specific to either the City or County, we have copied all elected leaders, City, County, MPP and MP, First Nations and senior staff.
Pandemic recovery will take many forms, but one of the ways to emerge from an economic slowdown is to build. Growth not only provides our municipalities with development charge revenue and an increased tax base, but development also creates local jobs and economic spinoffs for local business.
Recognizing that there are serious financial constraints facing the City and County of Peterborough we, the undersigned, put forward the following recommendations around building back better from COVID.
Zoning & Planning
- Cancel the hiring freeze for departments, such as planning, building and engineering, that will be integral to COVID-19 economic recovery.
- Further streamline the development, zoning, and planning approvals process to reach a goal of a six month turnaround time (including public engagement). Flag for specific review, any project approval that goes beyond six months. While the City is to be commended for adding staff and creating a
pre-consultation process, further refinement and
investments in staff and
technology will more than pay for themselves with increased development.
- Consider innovative and adaptive zoning practices that allow for the emergence of new business models
being presented by the business community. (e.g., in Peterborough County, new on-farm uses and in City of Peterborough, mixing traditionally commercial and industrial uses).
- Complete the final year of the tax ratio reduction program for the industrial class.
Strategic Land Use
- Develop integrated strategies to build out and maximize economic growth areas such as the Peterborough Airport and Cleantech Commons.
- Map, build a strategy, and identify required investments (e.g. rezoning, environmental, servicing needs) for available commercial and industrial lands.
- Pilot a project that identifies a section of the city e.g. south end of downtown where development approval is given based on broader zoning principles.
- Identify lands for regional collaboration and then create and apply a regional development approach for each (e.g. cost-sharing, zoning and planning agreements) for these lands.
- Commit to quarterly meetings with developers and associated stakeholders (architects, PKED, Business organizations such as Chamber, PKHBA, PDCA) to review the process and any changes as a result of provincial requirements. This meeting could also be used to discuss builds that require partnerships to access federal and provincial dollars.
These principles were appropriate guiding goals before the pandemic and now they are even more relevant as municipalities, businesses and organizations steer Peterborough through COVID-19 recovery.
While we recognize and respect the various limitations and restrictions faced by municipalities, we also know that building these nine recommendations into a proactive approach would create a culture of yes and provide significant opportunities for Peterborough City and County.
If there was ever a time to spend your dollars in Peterborough, it's now. #LoveLocalPtbo has always been our mantra, but now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it means even more.
Our current situation in the city and county of Peterborough is one of tenuous stability. We’ve worked hard, our local businesses have worked hard. But we know in watching other parts of the province and country that it could change on a dime.
Over the past eight months, Statistics Canada has been conducting the Canadian Survey on Business
Conditions. This partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is designed to understand the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as the economy moves through the various stages of recovery.
Most recently, information was released on how businesses are faring entering the fall.
Dr. Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist and Vice-President of Policy at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce states, “Today we learned 30% of businesses still operating in October no longer know how they can continue to operate under the existing conditions, and a further 11% indicate they can only operate for three more months.
The news is quite grim for 40% of Canada’s businesses looking forward, particularly for those businesses operating in sectors at the bottom of a K-shaped recovery.
We know that our economy will not recover until at least 2022, the most optimistic scenario assuming widespread vaccine deployment by then. The reality is we are in this for the long haul, and we need to start thinking long-term.
With finite public resources available, we need to look carefully at the return on investment of government spending. Some programs are more beneficial than others. Some policies will contribute more to economic growth. Let’s make sure federal spending is focused on quality over quantity.
Policy makers must be laser-focused on the nature of fiscal spending, and those programs must focus on addressing issues in specific sectors. The one-size-fits-all approach to support programs is not sustainable through 2022, and it may not be particularly useful at this stage of the pandemic.
Consider the following data points:
• Close to three-fifths (57.0%) of businesses in the accommodation and food services sector reported that they were unable to take on more debt
• Approximately one-third of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation (29.4%) and accommodation and food services (29.2%) sectors reported that they could continue to operate at their current level of revenue and expenditures for less than six months before considering further staffing
actions, closure or bankruptcy
• Over half of the businesses in the accommodation and food services (55.6%) and arts, entertainment and recreation (54.9%) sectors did not expect their revenues to be higher over the next three months than over the previous three months
• Over one-quarter of businesses in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector (28.9%) and almost one-quarter of businesses in the accommodation and food services sector (22.5%) expected to reduce their number of employees over the next three months, the highest proportions among all sectors With the second wave of the virus now in full force, keeping our fiscal powder dry for the longer run and tailoring supports for the most severely affected individuals and businesses should characterize the second wave of support programs.”
From what we are hearing from our Peterborough Chamber members we know that programs need to provide the stability that doesn’t exist right now. We know that costs such as increased insurance and the potential for increased taxes are weighing heavily along with the concern of having to take on more debt.
More results from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions indicate the majority of employers are expecting to retain the same number of employees over the next three months. However, that statement doesn’t apply to industries hardest hit by the pandemic such as arts, entertainment and recreation.
So where there is a bit of light, there is also great concern. The amazing part is that you can help. You can help by supporting our local businesses, by safely visiting the wonderful gems in our city and county, and by following the safety protocols in place.
Together, let’s #LoveLocalPtbo
On November 5, 2020, the Government of Ontario released its 2020 Budget, “Ontario’s Action Plan:
Protect, Support, Recover.”
Budget 2020 contains both measures to protect against the immediate impacts of COVID-19 (including new funds for testing and reducing the surgical backlog) and measures intended to lay the groundwork for economic recovery (such as electricity and tax reforms).
“Ontario’s business community welcomes the budget. It is an impactful response to the current crisis, and demonstrates the beginning of a long-term plan for economic growth,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “This budget addresses many of the actions we, on behalf of Ontario’s business community, have been asking for. We believe that when business prospers,
Key highlights include:
Reducing Costs of Doing Business
Laying the groundwork for long-term economic growth by advancing critical broadband infrastructure, smart taxes to enhance business competitiveness, efficient regulation, workforce training, and opportunities for public-private partnerships.
Reducing commercial and industrial electricity rates will make Ontario businesses more competitive and enable them to invest in recovery and growth. For years, Ontario businesses have paid more for electricity than most other jurisdictions in North America, and the pandemic has only increased electricity system costs.
Starting January 1, 2021, a portion estimated at approximately 85 per cent of high-cost wind, solar and bioenergy contracts will be funded by the Province, not ratepayers. This is expected to create an average reduction of 16% for Class A customers and 14% for Class B customers.
Business Education Tax Rate (BET) Reduction and Regional Equality
BET rates vary throughout Ontario; as a result, businesses in London, Waterloo, Hamilton, Toronto,
Windsor/Middlesex, and Kingston are paying higher taxes than those in other regions. The government has announced it will both reduce the BET rate and address regional variance within that rate, both of which the OCC has advocated for in the past. The City of Peterborough is at the same rate as London while the County of Peterborough rate is slightly less for commercial businesses over industrial tax class businesses.
Employer Health Tax (EHT)
The province has committed to making the threshold of $1 million permanent, meaning some businesses will no longer have to pay this tax. The decision to make the higher EHT threshold permanent is a welcome one that will free thousands of businesses from having to pay this tax.
The EHT exemption will provide an estimated $360 million in relief in 2021-22.
Reskilling is essential to the rapid re-employment of workers that were displaced during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly given the permanent restructuring expected in hard-hit sectors such as retail, hospitality, and tourism. Creating a common understanding and validation of micro-credentials for employers through the
development of a micro-credential framework will be critical to get people reskilled and back to work.
Small Business Tax Relief
The move to allow municipalities to target property tax relief specifically to small business is a creative and important tool to grant communities, given that small business has been hardest hit by the pandemic.
Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience. We are very pleased to see the government take this seriously with an additional investment of $680 million (for a total of nearly $1 billion) over six years.
“The Peterborough Chamber was happy to hear about a focus on broadband, electricity price improvements for businesses and making the higher tax threshold for the Employer Health Tax permanent,” says Stuart
Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “All of these changes will increase competitiveness for our local businesses.”
The Chamber Network is a shining example of how to express the needs of the business community to government. This includes consistent messaging and solutions-based suggestions. To that end recently, about 300 chambers and boards of trades gathered virtually to debate this year’s slate of resolutions to present to the federal government.
Your Peterborough Chamber of Commerce had two policy resolutions directly related to small business. These resolutions have become even more relevant because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Driving Innovation in Canada received 100% support of voting delegates. This resolution calls for the following to be implemented:
Thank you to our Chamber members for your help informing us of the need for these changes.
The past week has also seen a number of updates to government programs:
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
Providing direct and easy-to-access rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. The government is proposing to allow claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ended October 24, 2020.
which would provide an additional 25 per cent through the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy for qualifying organizations that are subject to a lockdown and must shut their doors or significantly limit their
activities under a public health order issued under the laws of Canada, a province or territory (including orders made by a municipality or regional health authority under one of those laws). Combined, this would mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Extension
Extended until June 2021, to help employers keep employees on the payroll and re-hire their workers. The wage subsidy would remain at the current rate of up to 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020.
Selwyn Business Re-Opening Program Phase 2
This program provides grants of up to $2,500 to eligible businesses located within Selwyn Township to go towards #COVID19 urgent / additional expenses, such as PPE, shields, hand sanitizer stations, etc. Applications can be submitted to Community Futures Peterborough until March 31, 2021.
Digital Main Street
Assists main street businesses with their adoption of technology. Offered locally by Peterborough DBIA & Kawartha Chamber of Commerce.
Student Work Placement Program
Through this program employers hiring students can receive up to $7,500 in wage subsidies. Connect with Si at the Peterborough Chamber to learn more 705-748-9771 x206.
RAP – Program
This program is about providing you with a digital blueprint for your business. Receive immersive training, mentoring and support to assist with digital modernization – at no cost to you.
Small businesses are at the heart of Canadian communities. They are critical in helping Canada turn the corner on COVID-19 and their success is essential to Canada’s economic strength. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the
country. Recently, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
“By teaming up with the Canada United campaign, our government is able to give yet another lifeline for small businesses during Small Business Week,” said Minister Ng. “On the road to economic recovery, we will continue to do whatever it takes to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in every corner of the country.”
The pandemic has created substantial uncertainty for small businesses. They are facing mounting losses, increased costs to reopen and shaky consumer confidence.
As part of the Canada United movement, RBC brought together more than 70 of Canada’s leading brands, the national Chamber of Commerce network and business associations to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local.
Meanwhile, more than 40 municipalities across Canada including Peterborough City and County, made official proclamations in honour of the Canada United Weekend, which took place between August 28 – 30.
“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities--
creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support now more than ever. A sincere thanks to Minister Ng and the federal government for providing critical support to small businesses when they need it most,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The actions of Canadians during the campaign helped establish the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.
“While the pandemic has undoubtedly challenged us in many ways, it’s also highlighted Canadians’ unwavering commitment to supporting one another during difficult times,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC. “We are incredibly grateful for the ways Canadians have
supported their local businesses when they really needed it, and for the commitment of our partners who helped bring Canada United to life.
"Through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, grants up to $5,000 are available to small businesses so they can cover the costs of physical modifications to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements.
The grant can also be used to help firms with the cost of PPE and enhance their e-commerce capabilities so they can do more business online.
“The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is helping our small businesses offset the cost required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online at a time when they need it most. Chambers of commerce and boards of trade from coast, to coast, to coast have come together to start the Canada United movement, to show local businesses all the support they deserve,” added Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
The new application window for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is now open.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2020
SMALL BUSINESS: TOO BIG TO IGNORE
Chamber Network Kicks Off Small Business Week Conversation About Digital and Skills Access
(PETERBOROUGH, ON – October 20, 2020) – The pandemic has highlighted challenges for small businesses: their access to digital technologies and skills. With Small Business Week 2020 underway, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and partners are kicking off a vital conversation today about these gaps with the launch of their report, Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills. The report is a Skills Next project and a collaboration between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, Public Policy Forum, and the Future Skills Centre.
“We are deeply concerned about the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities, and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “They are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of jobs in the private sector. Yet they face critical labour shortages, skill mismatches, and challenges related to broadband internet access that threaten their competitiveness.”
“Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience,” added Ashley Challinor, Vice President, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “For businesses and workers, particularly those practicing physical distancing, connectivity is necessary to ensure they can remain productive by using digital tools such as video conferencing. Without adequate access, those in rural and remote regions will be vulnerable to additional layoffs and business closures.”
Canadian Small Business Week takes place during the third week of October every year. This year, the celebration will occur October 18-24, 2020. Over the course of Small Business Week, the OCC and the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce will be participating in the “Small Business: Too Big To Ignore” campaign across the province, actively engaging small businesses in discussions about the top obstacles impeding their growth and the ways in which these challenges can be overcome.
Small Business Week Activities:
All week: Like & share our Small Business Graphics on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn
Add the Peterborough Chamber #LoveLocalPtbo Facebook Frame to your profile photo
Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Peterborough Business Excellence Awards 7pm – YouTube & Facebook
Thursday, October 22, 2020: Ontario’s Economic Health Survey
Learn more about Small Business Week and read the Skills Gap & Future Skills Report
About the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce is a member-based organization. Our main focus is to channel the collective strength of the business community to improve the economy. This includes providing representation on numerous committees, conducting surveys, issuing discussion papers and developing policy positions on issues of significance to our members.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
For more information, please contact:
Sandra Dueck, Vice-President, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: (705) 748-9771 ext.215
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is in the midst of a series of three micro-surveys on Ontario’s economic health. The surveys are designed to be quick and easy for businesses to answer, but also designed to assess the health and confidence of Ontario’s business
community. This is an annual project led by the OCC and guided by the answers of businesses in communities across the province, such as Peterborough.
We understand that there is a lot going on and businesses and employees are being pulled in multiple directions. However, we do hope you can take a few minutes to fill out this survey and help us elevate the voice of business to our local MPPs and Queen’s Park.
The first survey (with the data from the Muskoka-Kawartha Economic Region to the right) focussed on business confidence. Do business owners believe their business can thrive in their community? For Muskoka-Kawarthas, 48% of businesses felt they did have the opportunity to thrive, while 39% did not.
Comparatively, the provincial numbers showed a more optimistic view with 62% of participating businesses in Ontario feeling there was opportunity to thrive in their community.
As expected, business growth suffered under the COVID-19 pandemic with businesses expressing a decline in growth over the past six months and an anticipated decline in the next six months. However, there are still some businesses that did grow and are anticipating growth in the next half year.
As Stuart Harrison, President & CEO of the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce wrote last week, “The pandemic has put large chunks of the economy at risk. What can you do about it? Commit to supporting the businesses that support you.” Inject confidence in your community by buying local and supporting the businesses in our city and county.
Not surprisingly, business tends to be more confident in their ability to weather the storm than with the provincial economy as a whole. This is often a reflection of policies put in place by government. Granted, in these times decisions have not been made with ease, but in the arena of government regulation certainty is critical. And while governments have moved at a pace that is extremely unfamiliar, they too have hopefully seen how businesses operate in two worlds and are constantly working to ensure balance.
One of the more positive points to come out of this first survey for Muskoka-Kawartha is on the
pandemic's impact on hiring. 50% of businesses indicated the pandemic had no impact on hiring or that they were planning to hire. About 25% of businesses said they had permanently dismissed staff while the remaining 25% issued temporary dismissals. These numbers were very much in line with the provincial numbers.
That said, the project lead, Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, says "businesses in accommodation and food services; transportation and warehousing; arts, entertainment and recreation; and retail have been significantly impacted by COVID-19.”
Many of these businesses are an important part of the Peterborough economy and have while some have been able to pivot and add e-commerce, others have limited abilities under COVID restrictions. We look forward to learning more about the supports mentioned in the federal Speech from the Throne.
The second OCC survey, which is now live and can be found on our website
under the COVID-19 Business Resource Portal, will take a deeper look at business confidence, pandemic recovery, mental health, and climate change.
Please take a moment to fill it out: https://bit.ly/2020OCCSurvey2Ptbo
As the second wave rears its ugly head, your business community grows ever-more anxious about what is to come. Many of them have already endured months of being shut down, or been seriously compromised. Some of them still are. And some of them haven’t made it.
The pandemic has demonstrated a number of things, but one of the most important is the simple value of a job, and what it takes to create one. I could throw multiple layers of statistics at you to explain just how important things like industrial and commercial taxes are to the basic functioning of a Township, County, a City, Province or Country, but to keep it simple, think in terms of jobs, taxes, license and permit fees. Business taxes alone contribute 23% of the City of Peterborough's $286 million budget. Of the County's total levy of $46.7 million, roughly 6% comes from business taxation. And while the residential tax component is always a bigger piece of the pie, consider that vast numbers of those residents are employed by those same local businesses…
Now add in what small local business contributes to the Provincial and Federal coffers. The pandemic has put large chunks of this at risk…
What can you do about it? Commit to supporting the businesses that support you.
I’m sure you’ve heard all of the arguments before, but my sense of where we stand right now, and in the coming months, is that it is critical that we go out of our way to try and ensure that our local businesses survive.
A major report by RBC outlining anticipated changes post-pandemic includes a shift in how we shop. The report predicts broad acceptance of online shopping, and yet much broader support for all things local, including a willingness to order online and pick up in store. 42% of online purchases in June were “Buy Online, Pick Up in Store”. This could bode well for the local retailer, as they work hard at establishing
some form of online purchase option for their customers.
And while it might on the surface appear to require a bit more effort, nearly 80% of Canadians say they’re more likely to choose Canadian brands/products, which I find really encouraging.
You can count on major multi-national corporations to take advantage of the pandemic and its aftermath, by offering increasingly slick and attractive purchasing. Just a couple of taps on your phone and your product magically appears on your front porch before sundown. I can only hope that more and more consumers will start to question where a product comes from, who made it, and what it took to get it to their front porch by sundown…
The next couple of months will see many of the usual shopping “events”, including “Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday”, “Amazon Prime Day”, not to mention Christmas and Boxing Day! There will be lots of deals out there, and I know you’ll take advantage of them. I just hope you’ll do your research and choose local whenever you can. PtboPrime anyone?
Local retailers are stepping up. They are increasingly able to compete on price, delivery, and a sophisticated and convenient online experience. Many who can are already online and can be easily found.
The Chamber of Commerce is putting the finishing touches on a new online LoveLocalPtbo Marketplace, launching in the next few weeks. The site will provide convenient access to all of our members, including our important Not for Profit/Charitable sector, who have suffered badly these last few months.
Your Super Power is to think local, support local, buy local, love local. To quote a good old-fashioned Chamber of Commerce slogan, “Keep Your Town in Business, by Keeping Your Business in Town”.
On Tuesday, September 29th, delegates from chambers across the province met virtually to debate 39 policy resolutions.
The Peterborough Chamber of Commerce submitted two policy papers that had been drafted through the
Chamber’s Policy Committee and approved by the Board of Directors earlier in the year.
The papers were:
Accounting for Economic Outcomes in Regional Collaboration Projects
Both recommendations were accepted with majority support of delegates at the virtual debate.
Last week, with the throne speech the federal government revealed the path it wishes to follow to lead the country through COVID-19 economic recovery.
“There are sectors of the economy that have been hard hit such as hospitality and the performing arts, so we were glad to hear supports coming to those industries,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “We also think of broadband as critical infrastructure to people doing business so it was positive to see the acceleration of the Universal Broadband Fund.”
Here are a few more details:
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) also echoed many of our initial sentiments including the desire to learn more details about the various programs for business and workforce.
OCC President & CEO Rocco Rossi released the following statement in reaction to the federal government’s Speech from the Throne.
"Businesses across the province have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the middle of a once-in-a-century pandemic, it is difficult for Canadians to look beyond confronting the immediate effects of COVID-19. However, even as we continue supporting each other today, we must also start planning how our communities and economy can emerge stronger.
We are not out of the woods yet, and must be careful when planning for new, permanent programs when we still have considerable uncertainty to navigate.
The OCC is also concerned that commercial rent assistance was noticeably absent from the speech, especially considering the established need for improvements to the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program.
The speech indicates unprecedented spending from the federal government. We will need strong
economic growth to generate revenues to pay for these investments, as austerity measures and tax increases are not the paths to recovery. Instead, there should be a focus on funding the key determinants
of growth: education and training, R&D and innovation, and infrastructure (particularly broadband internet).”
And here is a portion of the release from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Hon. Perrin Beatty, who also offered areas for improvement:
“What we need is more than a patchwork of disconnected initiatives. We must have a national strategy to manage and defeat the virus.
The government also has other opportunities to help businesses grow and hire. We had hoped for a pledge to:
Finally, the Canadian Chamber has significant concerns about the debt levels that Canadians will be burdened with for decades to come, without a plan as yet for how to pay for it. Making sure Canadians were supported during the pandemic was necessary and right, but we must move from an economy that is based on subsidies to one where families and businesses can be self-sufficient again and where we don’t burden future generations with a crushing debt load.
[The] speech was a beginning, but much more needs to be done to help the more than one million Canadians who lost their jobs get safely back to work. The most direct and efficient route to do so is to enable the only group that can create jobs: Canadian businesses.”