|Media Release January 17|
FISCAL BALANCE AND STRATEGIC ACTION REQUIRED
TO BUILD A STRONGER ONTARIO
Chamber urges provincial government to focus on spending smarter and evidence-based tax reforms to help businesses strive and grow in upcoming budget
Quinte Region, January 17, 2018 – Recently, the Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) provided the Government of Ontario with thirteen tangible recommendations for the upcoming provincial budget to build a stronger Ontario and create a business climate which encourages growth. The submission calls on the government to prioritize small business tax reforms, strategic infrastructure investment, and value-based procurement in Budget 2019.
In an OCC survey last year, 48 percent of Ontario businesses indicated they were not confident about the province’s economic outlook and 61 percent of these cited high tax rates as a reason. As the province heads into a time of economic uncertainty coupled with the province’s staggering deficit, the submission calls on the government to focus on fiscally sustainable and long-term taxation priorities. Currently, business with an income of less than $500,000 are taxed at a flat rate. To create an environment which encourages small and medium business to successfully scale, the Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce and OCC recommend the government create a variable small business deduction in Budget 2019.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and the heart of communities in all regions of the province. Yet, cumulative red tape, U.S. tax reforms, economic uncertainty, and a system that discourage growth have led to a staggering scale-up challenge for businesses of all sizes across Ontario,” said Michelle Eaton, Vice President of Communications and Government Relations of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are encouraging the government to address these challenges, focusing on fiscal balance and smarter spending in the upcoming budget to help Ontarians today and into the future.”
The Bay of Quinte Chambers and OCC are also urging the government to strategically spend in key areas that will help grow the economy and have the highest return on taxpayer dollars such as expanding broadband access and strengthening critical transportation infrastructure. They also recommend removing red tape for small and medium businesses to access procurement opportunities, leading to employment, economic growth, innovation, and cluster development
“We applaud the government’s commitment to reduce the debt and deficit as well as cut red tape by 25 percent by 2022 in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement. Yet, more work must be done to build a stronger Ontario and create an environment which encourages growth,” said Lesley Lavender, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce.
“We look forward to working with the government to support evidence-based policies that drive growth and contribute to a stronger province for all,” said Suzanne Andrews, General Manager of the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce. “The time and money that was lost by small business owners in 2018 as they dealt with the consequences of Bill 148 can never be recovered and illustrates the importance of well researched and implemented public policy to the Ontario Economy.”
“This Pre-Budget submission is another example of the dedicated work the OCC pursues in providing well-researched and articulate arguments in support of the needs of small business,” said Jill Raycroft, CEO of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce. “The paradox of potential economic instability while we have more jobs than people makes it difficult to isolate root causes and provide solutions. We are once again well served by the OCC’s ability to synthesize the needs of businesses across the province and present them in a cohesive way.”
The pre-budget recommendations stem directly from the Ontario Chamber Network’s policy resolutions presented at the OCC’s Annual General Meeting. Read the full pre-budget submission here.
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About the Bay of Quinte Chambers
The Bay of Quinte Chambers of Commerce is the regional voice for the Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West Chambers of Commerce. Representing over 1200 businesses of all sizes and all sectors located in the Bay of Quinte riding, this regional voice advocates for fair government policies that allows businesses to thrive and prosper.
For more information please contact:
Suzanne Andrews, General Manager
Quinte West Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 392-7635
Jill Raycroft, CEO
Belleville Chamber of Commerce
T: (613) 962-4597
Lesley Lavender, Executive Director
Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce