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Support for Small Business Means Support for Economic Recovery


(Toronto – October 7, 2020) – Today, Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in response to the Ontario government’s Small Business Strategy as part of their Small Main Street Plan.

“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. We welcome additional measures to support SMEs during this difficult time. They are the lifeblood of our communities and will be integral to economic recovery efforts in communities across the province.

“The tailored services offered through the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Network and Digital Main Street Squads will provide support for small business owners with critical operational planning and e-commerce opportunities.

“We are encouraged to see the government will make permanent some temporary regulatory improvements that were introduced during the pandemic, to support economic growth. Permanently allowing 24/7 delivery of goods can reduce rush hour traffic, and lower fuel costs and emissions.

“The OCC is also deeply concerned about the province’s restaurant industry. We are pleased to see the government’s willingness to explore how to allow restaurants to permanently include liquor delivery as part of their take-out. We hope to see similar measures for e-commerce options for legal cannabis retailers, and the extension of commercial patio spaces.”

“Further, government grants to help SMEs purchase personal protective equipment are much-needed, as many are struggling with cash flow challenges and managing debt incurred during this crisis. However, we recommend that the employee threshold for eligible businesses is extended beyond a maximum of ten to allow more SMEs to participate.”

“Finally, we were also pleased to see the government bring the Assisted Devices Program online as it will create speed and efficiency. We hope to see similar modernization to the program with respect to types of devices offered.”

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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