Quinte Regions businesses not confident in provincial economic outlook
Bay of Quinte Region, ON, JAN. 26, 2016: Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Quinte West and Belleville Chambers of Commerce released their fifth and final iteration of Emerging Stronger. A detailed economic agenda for Ontario, Emerging Stronger 2016 identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance Ontario’s economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province.
Ontario and Quinte Region businesses are increasingly unsure about the direction of the provincial economy, according to a new survey from the OCC and Leger. The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index, featured in Emerging Stronger 2016, shows that business confidence in the Ontario economy is at a five-year low.
“In early 2014, we personally delivered the message to Premier Wynne that the type and volume of policy being announced by her government was eroding the confidence of our local business community.” Said Bill Saunders, CEO of the Belleville Chamber. “The findings in this report confirm that message, things must change!”
The Index shows that only 30 percent of businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy, compared to 47 percent in 2012. It also shows that 62 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization’s outlook, down from a high of 74 percent in 2014.
In the Quinte Region, the picture is even bleaker: only 26 percent of Quinte area businesses are confident in the Ontario economy, while 59 percent of area businesses are feeling confident in their own organization’s economic outlook.
Among the key findings of the Ontario Business Confidence Index: the Ontario
- 30 percent of Ontario businesses believe the Ontario economy is going in the right direction, compared to 42 percent in 2012. Only 26 percent of Quinte Region businesses believe the Ontario economy is going in the right direction.
- 46 percent of businesses plan to expand in the next five years, down 14 points from 2013. 41 percent of Quinte Region businesses say they will expand over that same time frame.
- The automotive/manufacturing sector is among the least confident in the province. Just 53 percent of businesses in that sector are confident in their own organization’s economic outlook, compared to a 62 percent provincial average.
“In these surveys the businesses in the Quinte Region tend to be slightly less optimistic than the rest of the province,” said Quinte West Chamber of Commerce General Manager Suzanne Andrews. “The big concerns here center around the rising costs & regulations associated with doing business in the province. The growing Ontario debt is also seen as being out of control and for an area where businesses are fiscally quite conservative there are fears on the long term consequences of this policy.”
The detailed policy recommendations in Emerging Stronger 2016 are focused on increasing economic stability, supporting investment and fostering business growth across the province. In order to achieve this, some of the key areas that need to be addressed are: fostering a culture of innovation and smart risk-taking in order to become a productivity leader, building a 21st century workforce, restoring fiscal balance by improving the way government works, taking advantage of new opportunities in the global economy, and strategically investing in our competitive advantages.
“Ontario businesses are looking for stability and economic certainty,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “Emerging Stronger offers a detailed roadmap for how government can work with the business sector to achieve their shared goals. Uncertainty throughout the global economy and, specifically in the resources industry, is further compounding concerns in the private sector, and it is important that public policy address the concerns of the business community.”
About the Ontario Business Confidence Index:
The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey of business opinion in the province (1,310 respondents, survey conducted in November 2015). The margin of error for the survey is 2.71%, 19 times out of 20. The OCC began collecting this data in 2012.
Read Emerging Stronger 2016: https://quintewestchamber.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Emerging-Stronger-20161.pdf