Upcoming Budget Should Support Hardest Hit

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The Sault Ste. Marie and Ontario Chambers of Commerce urge government to address pain points and lay the groundwork for a strong rebound as the province grapples with the economic fallout of COVID-19

On Friday, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce (SSMCOC) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released its 2021 Ontario pre-Budget submission, focused on recovery, growth, and modernization. The submission calls for policies that minimize the impacts of business closures, uplift the sectors and demographics hit hardest by the pandemic, invest in the infrastructure and workforce of the future, and modernize government services to improve outcomes for businesses and residents.

“With Ontario’s economy expected to enter a period of recovery this year as vaccines are distributed and businesses begin to reopen, resources need to be focused on where they will have the greatest impact,” said SSMCOC CEO, Rory Ring. “In the upcoming budget, we would like to see a focus on re-skilling, broadband, and access to capital, which will be necessary for the revival of small business and entrepreneurship as well as an inclusive economic recovery.”

In 2021, Ontario will continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. The pre-budget submission by the OCC and Ontario’s Chamber network notes the crisis has created new problems and exacerbated pre-existing ones. The impact on people and business has been catastrophic overall, and disproportionate for certain regions, sectors, and demographics.

“Resources should be targeted towards the sectors and communities that have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including industries requiring face-to-face contact, small businesses, municipal governments, as well as women, lower-income, racialized, elderly, new immigrant, and younger Ontarians,” added Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

The recommendations outlined in the submission were developed together with businesses, post-secondary institutions, chambers of commerce, and boards of trade. The submission focuses on mitigating the immediate impacts of the crisis, while laying the groundwork for a robust and sustainable economic recovery.

Read our provincial pre-budget submission here.