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The Case for Extending Implementation of the Minimum Wage Increase

From the Chambers of Commerce – Belleville, Prince Edward County & Quinte West

Locally, the Chambers of Commerce have been engaging their membership to share how they expect the Fair Workplaces Act will affect them as small business owners.  And as outlined in the provincial reports, their stories are reflected across the province. The impact is expected to have multiple unintended consequences.  The deadline for amendments was in August, but the “The Flip Side of Fair” report features testimonials of the impact this will have on the human side of business case.  Link to the report

There are many compelling stories, but local entrepreneur, Guenther Huettlin, is quoted in the provincial release as follows:

“This Bill is forcing businesses to automate where possible, reduce labour/staffing, absorb part of the costs, and pass along a price increase to the customers (consumers) where possible. …The very people that you are purporting to help are the ones who are going to be hurt the most. This will be the inexperienced and/or unskilled in Ontario. As these jobs disappear, they will be pushed onto social assistance… and will remain in poverty.”

  • Guenther Huettlin, President and Owner at GH Manufacturing, Belleville, Ontario

“Small business is being pressured from all sides right now, from Bill 148 to proposed corporate tax changes; who in their right mind would want to be a business owner in this climate? says Emily Cowan, Executive Director of the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. “Small businesses make up 98 percent of total businesses and two-thirds of private sector employment in Ontario – what happens when they can’t afford to run their businesses anymore?”

“These reports are issued as the Bill enters into debate with the hope that our representatives at Queen’s Park will understand concerns for the increase and changes are not based on an interest in maintaining profits but rather, sustaining jobs and morale internally and the ability to continue to provide products and services at affordable prices.  Businesses are prepared to plan for an increase to $15/hour but not in 15 months.” summarized Jill Raycroft, CEO for the Belleville Chamber of Commerce.

“What is going to happen to productivity when the raise in minimum wage ensures that more workers than ever in Ontario will be working minimum wage jobs?” said Suzanne Andrews, Manager at the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce.  “Currently only seven per cent of Ontario’s workers, about 520,000 people are earning minimum wage, this number will reach 1.6 million by 2019 according to the report from Ontario’s independent Financial Accountability Office.”  Link to the report

“Today’s final report by CANCEA is clear, while the Government is correct to say that there will be a stimulus from Bill 148, it does not cover the $23 billion cost challenge for business in the first two years – a substantial amount that poses great risk to our economy and cannot be resolved through offsets alone,” said Karl Baldauf, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “More must be done. The Ontario Government must resolve the economic challenges presented in Bill 148 through a combination of slowing down the implementation period, amending the legislation, and offsets. Business and Government must work together to avoid unintended consequences and protect our most vulnerable.”

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RBC - Save on Bank charges
Jesan Property Maintenance - SAVE 10%
Esso Chamber
Grand & Toy - Members can save up to 85%
OSM Website design - SAVE on services.
Superior Propane - Save 5% on fixed price propane
Friendly Fires - 10% OFF
NRG Alternatives - 10% Discount
Dinkles & Paulos Restaurants - 10% OFF
Grand & Toy - Cost-saving solutions
Be Prepared First Aid Traning - 15% off
Quinte Siding - 10% OFF
Allen Insurance - Exclusive Chamber Member Rates
Body Systems Nutrition - 15% OFF purchases.
Shoppers Drug Mart - Save 20% on Thursdays
Constant Contact Chamber Member Offer
Papa Johns Pizza Member Offer- 25% off
Stirling Festival Theatre - Group Discounts available to members
Parsons Cleaners Member offer - 10% OFF
Group Benefit Plan for Chamber Members
St. John Ambulance - Discount on training
Belleville & District Shrine Club
Cloud Bookkeeping Services - 10% OFF
Body Systems Nutrition - 15% OFF purchases.
Quinte Siding - 10% OFF
Papa Johns Pizza Member Offer- 25% off
RBC - Save on Bank charges
Parsons Cleaners Member offer - 10% OFF
Group Benefit Plan for Chamber Members
Superior Propane - Save 5% on fixed price propane
OSM Website design - SAVE on services.
Dinkles & Paulos Restaurants - 10% OFF
NRG Alternatives - 10% Discount
Belleville & District Shrine Club
Grand & Toy - Cost-saving solutions
Shoppers Drug Mart - Save 20% on Thursdays
Grand & Toy - Members can save up to 85%
Friendly Fires - 10% OFF
Jesan Property Maintenance - SAVE 10%
Stirling Festival Theatre - Group Discounts available to members
Esso Chamber
Constant Contact Chamber Member Offer
Be Prepared First Aid Traning - 15% off
Allen Insurance - Exclusive Chamber Member Rates
St. John Ambulance - Discount on training