The Bay of Quinte chambers of commerce and OCC urge government to address pain points and lay the groundwork for a strong rebound as province grapples with economic fallout of the crisis
Quinte – Today, the The Bay of Quinte chambers of commerce (including Belleville, Quinte West and Prince Edward County) and 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 Suzanne Andrews, General Manager from the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce. “In the upcoming budget, we would like to see a focus on reskilling, broadband, and access to capital, which will be necessary for the revival of small business and entrepreneurship as well as an inclusive economic recovery.”
“Businesses in Prince Edward County are looking to stabilize and to grow, especially considering the changing landscape due to the global pandemic. The challenges facing rural communities, such as modernization, affects the economic competitiveness of small business and their ability to succeed,” said Lesley Lavender, Executive Director of The Prince Edward county Chamber of Commerce.
In 2021, Ontario will continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Bay of Quinte chambers of commerce and OCC’s submission 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.
The Bay of Quinte chambers of commerce are member-based organizations representing Prince Edward County, Belleville and Quinte West with a shared focus to channel the collective strength of the business community to improve the economy.