Small businesses ignored in economic update
Toronto, November 4, 2021 – Today’s Fall Economic Statement ignores the present-day reality facing Ontario’s Main Streets and small businesses, and fails to provide the desperately-needed immediate financial supports and cost pressure relief Ontario businesses need to reach the recovery phase of the pandemic.
We are disappointed that the government chose not to provide further financial support to Ontario small businesses. The last broad grant program ended April 7, the day before the third government-mandated lockdown that lasted up to 200 days for some sectors.
It was a missed opportunity for the government not to move on wholesale alcohol pricing for restaurants who are facing a 20 per cent increase to the liquor servers’ wage. We continue to urge the government to offset the industry’s increased costs.
While Ontario small businesses will benefit from completed infrastructure projects, we urge the government to include construction mitigation policies – including direct financial compensation – for heavily disruptive construction. Small business owners have been through a brutal 20 months, and reopening to roadwork, scaffolding or transit disruptions could lead to permanent closures.
It’s a positive step to extend the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit and Digital Main Street, and introduce the Ontario Staycation Tax Credit; however, much more is needed to spur small business recovery.
CFIB continues to call for additional grant funding with expanded eligibility, financial support for vaccination screening, and cost pressure relief for the hardest-hit industries.
-Ryan Mallough, Senior Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario