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Grim View on Economy, But Businesses Cautiously Optimisitc About Their Outlook, Survey Reveals

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(Toronto – October 8, 2020) – Today,  the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) released initial insights from data it has collected to inform its fifth annual Ontario Economic Report (OER). The report, set to be released in early 2021, will be rooted in the OCC’s annual survey of its members, and will reflect the unprecedented year that was 2020 and the unpredictability of the year to come.

“The pandemic has had catastrophic impacts on people, business and the economy,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Unsurprisingly early data shows almost half of business respondents are not confident about the province’s economic outlook. However, in contrast, it is promising to see almost half of those correspondents feeling cautiously optimistic in their own organization’s economic future.”

The first of three rounds of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Business Confidence Survey reveals only 10 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Ontario’s overall economic outlook, with the majority of respondents (48 percent) remaining neutral and 43 percent lacking confidence in the province’s outlook. The second round of data is set to be released in November. Regional insights can be further explored on the Ontario Chamber of Commerce website.

“The pandemic’s impact on human resources decisions has disproportionately affected certain sectors, which cannot be ignored by policymakers,” said Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The survey reveals 48 percent of all businesses have had to let employees go either permanently or temporarily, with more than 60 percent having done so in the following sectors: accommodation and food services; transportation and warehousing; arts, entertainment and recreation; and retail.”

The Ontario Economic Report (OER) is the landmark research platform of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), presenting the collective voice of our 60,000 members in 135 communities across the province. This research highlights the year ahead and year that was, offering a unique lens on the provincial economy.

This survey was fielded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and included email invitations from the OCC as well as 134 local Ontario chambers and boards of trade. Fieldwork was completed from September 3rd to September 23rd, 2020.

Thank you to the 2021 Ontario Economic Report Landmark Partner, Hydro One, and Research Partner, Golfdale Consulting.

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.

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