Newsletter – March 2020

March 13, 2020

Hello Chamber Members,

We have now seen how COVID-19 has impacted the world, our country and our communities as numerous governments, businesses and organizations take actions to slow and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. COVID-19, the new coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
Coronaviruses are common and can look like a common cold and can cause a fever, cough and difficulty breathing. There is no vaccine or treatment at this time. A coronavirus can spread through moisture droplets. You can help protect yourself by cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
We have included and attached some information sheets provided by Southwestern Public Health. Please visit the Southwestern Public Health website for the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 and ways to protect yourself and your family.
Correct Handwashing Procedures

We encourage you to take steps to protect your family, business and customers and as we work together to slow the spread of this illness. The Ingersoll District Chamber of Commerce will be watching this illness closely and will advise you of any changes to our upcoming meetings, seminars or events.

Please review the above link and take steps to protect yourself, your family and your business.
For more information on pandemic preparedness for your business, please review this link: http://chamber.ca/resources/pandemic-preparedness/ 
Sincerely,
Allan Simm, President
Information contained and referenced in this letter has been sourced from the Southwestern Public Health website. Please visit the Southwestern Public Health website as it is updated regularly.
(Toronto – February 26, 2020) – Released today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) fourth annual Ontario Economic Report (OER) reveals opportunities where both business and government can focus to create an environment more conducive to small business success.

 

The inaugural Small Business Friendliness Indicator (SBFI) measures Ontario’s competitiveness from the perspective of small businesses. For 2020, the SBFI score is -9, (on a scale of 100 to -100) indicating that the business environment poses some challenges for firms with fewer than 99 employees. However, through measures such as investment in online services and support for regulatory compliance, industry and government could improve that score.

 

“The results indicate that the Government of Ontario is on the right track by focusing on efforts to digitize government services, expand access to broadband, and cut red tape. However, more work remains to be done,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, OCC. “Small businesses are powerful drivers of economic growth across Ontario: they constitute 98 percent of all businesses and 30 percent of the provincial GDP. Together, small businesses employ nearly three million Ontarians and represent over two-thirds of private sector workers. Given the share of the economy this sector represents, ignoring their competitiveness is like ignoring business competitiveness overall.”

 

The SBFI is intended to provide an assessment of the ease of business in Ontario across seven different metrics; this year the scores for three metrics were positive: the helpfulness of the Province in starting a business, the ease of licensing, and the delivery of useful training and networking programs from a variety of sources.

 

“Restoring Ontario’s competitive advantage has been a top priority for our government-including easing regulatory burdens on business and lowering the small business tax rate. It’s also why we announced our plan to develop a Small Business Success Strategy-in partnership with business-this year,” said the Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.

 

The SBFI also revealed that small business owners are eager to embrace more online services from government, especially with respect to regulatory compliance.
The report’s author, Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy at the OCC, added: “The Ontario Economic Report, including the Small Business Friendliness Indicator, is a useful tool to inform government on where to reduce barriers and increase investment to support business competitiveness across the province.”

 

Other highlights from the Ontario Economic Report include:
  • The confidence gap, which measures the difference between business’ confidence in themselves and in Ontario’s economic outlook, widened in 2020 to near historical levels. Although organizational confidence remains high, business confidence in the broader economy dropped seven percentage points in 2020, explained in part by lowered growth expectations nationally and globally. Beyond this, challenges related to the costs of doing business, the high cost of living, and the province’s debt continue to be top of mind for OCC members
  • Infrastructure investment, such as transportation and broadband internet, topped the list of business priorities for government, followed by reducing regulatory burdens, lowering the cost of living, and reforming business taxes.
  • Challenges related to accessing financial capital, attracting and retaining talent and burdensome regulations continue to compromise the ability of many of Ontario’s community to compete effectively with other jurisdictions.
  • Despite these challenges, Ontario’s principal economic indicators remain sound, albeit subdued, heading into 2020, but economic growth is expected to vary greatly across the province. The forecasts show employment and population growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe and Ottawa surpassing other parts of Ontario, reinforcing a decade-long trend of imbalanced economic growth across the province.
The Ontario Economic Report was made possible by support from Hydro One.
“Safe and reliable power is essential to unlocking economic development and meeting the unique needs in each region across the province. Hydro One is committed to investing in infrastructure that boosts Ontario’s economy for businesses large and small,” said Mark Poweska, President and CEO of Hydro One. “Hydro One energizes life and the economy by working with customers, municipalities and other stakeholders.”

 

(OTTAWA) – March 5, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s recent economic summit covered a lot of topics, but one common unifying thread emerged: Canada needs a clear, sober-minded and forward-looking economic strategy that provides for sustainable growth for all Canadians.

“Canadian business leaders were candid about the issues they are facing on the ground, and they were clear that Canada urgently needs a comprehensive national economic strategy. Our governments must find the vision, the principle and the strength of purpose to achieve our economic potential, and Canada’s business leaders have given them lots to think about in the Canada 360 report.” said Trevin Stratton, Chief Economist and Vice-President of Policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

The Canada 360 Economic Summit, held in Toronto on January 30, asked business leaders how the economy is changing underneath our feet and how we can best position Canada. These discussions focused on three main panel topics: Canada’s declining levels of competitiveness, Canada’s place in the world amidst a changing global economy, and Canada’s role as a nation of innovators in an increasingly disruptive economy.

Based on the panellist’s exchanges, the business community identified eight priorities to attract investment to Canada, help create jobs and grow and strengthen our communities:
· A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business
· Infrastructure and innovation to make Canada the most connected country in the world
· A workforce with the skills, education and training to prosper
· Access to new markets around the world and the elimination of trade barriers at home
· A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern
· Resources to help small and medium companies grow and succeed
· Addressing climate change by lowering emissions and increasing energy supply
· A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians

“Governments cannot address the issues we are facing alone and, in many cases, significant business investment will be required. Without a strong economy, our country will not be able to adapt to climate change and an aging population. Without a focus on growth, we will not be able to foster the innovation and sustain the vital public services needed to address the challenges of a sustainable economy. Ideally, such a strategy would be convened by our political leaders, but if they are incapable of doing so, then business will need to lead the way. Canada’s business leaders cannot wait for a dithering parliament as the global economy moves on without us,” concluded Stratton.