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Ontario Business Should play a Key Role in Budget 2020

02 November 2020

Caitlin Hildenbrand

Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber Publicly Releases its 2020 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission

 Today, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released their 2020 Ontario Pre-Budget Submission focused on four pillars to create a more competitive business environment in the province: fiscal policy; regulation; the future of employment; and innovation and entrepreneurship.

“In Ontario’s 2020 Budget, we want to see public policies that lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth by advancing critical infrastructure, efficient regulation, workforce training, public-private partnerships, and support for entrepreneurship,” said Rakesh Naidu, WERCC President & CEO.

The Government of Ontario has duly responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a series of unforeseen expenditures aimed at sustaining the livelihoods and confidence of Ontarians. Meanwhile, businesses across the province stepped up to the plate by leveraging their resources to respond to the pandemic. RBC’s Canada United Campaign and Bruce Power’s Strength in Numbers initiative are two examples of how businesses have leveraged their brand and supply chains in response to COVID-19.

“Pro-growth policies will help Ontario’s communities emerge stronger than before, ensure public resources are used productively, help bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio, and allow the private sector to generate jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues,” added Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the OCC.

“Collaboration with businesses and the Ontario Chamber Network will be key to the success of our economic recovery. The Government of Ontario cannot do it on its own,” noted Naidu. “For Windsor-Essex, we hope Budget 2020 includes; support for the SME sector, especially those who have been affected by the border closure, reduction in tariffs on the Winery industry, a commitment to support the agri-business sector through a Highway 3 expansion, and support for the new regional hospital.”

Entering the next stages of this crisis, additional spending will be necessary to avoid a prolonged economic downturn. In addition to greater government debt, personal and private sector debt will also rise as households struggle to make payments and firms borrow to preserve their operations. In this context, government will need to walk a tightrope between ensuring their fiscal house is in order while maintaining a competitive economy that encourages business investment and economic growth. The smartest way to do this is by teaming up with the private sector.

“Now is the time to explore innovative partnerships – such as commissioning, alternative financing, and social impact bonds – to share risk and make the most of every dollar spent,” said Naidu.

The Windsor-Essex Chamber and OCC’s pre-budget recommendations were developed together with businesses, chambers of commerce, and boards of trade across the province, with the shared interest of making Ontario a more attractive place to live, work, and invest. Read the full pre-budget submission here.


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About the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber

The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) has been the voice of business in Windsor-Essex for 144 years.  WERCC’s mission is to be the key connector and advocate for the long-term business success of their Members.


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.