The Canadian Chamber of Commerce reported that the first federal budget released in more than two years, had many positives for business as the look to adapt and exit the pandemic, but our longer-term economic health will depend on the government managing debt and deficits.
“For all of the subsidy and stimulus spending Canada has seen and will continue to see, the only path to real, sustainable growth starts with helping this country’s business owners create more opportunities for more Canadians. Businesses are the ones that drive the economy, start and grow organisations that hire Canadians and build projects. The Budget’s focus on growth and jobs is an important step towards our economic recovery, but our growth drivers will need to shift from public spending to private investment to help get our finances under control. The plan to reduce deficits over the coming years is important, but it will depend on meeting our growth targets,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO, Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
Belleville Chamber of Commerce CEO, Jill Raycroft stated that "Over the course of the past year, the federal government’s response to the pandemic, and its efforts to continue supporting small business is of primary interest for members of the Belleville Chamber of Commerce. While this budget is described as one for all people, and touches on issues that also indirectly impact business (such as childcare, housing and broadband) we are happy to hear that support for business through rent and wage subsidies continues through September – but even more importantly, the government recognizes the pandemic does not have a firm end date and they will be flexible with theirs as well. We do have a unique challenge in our region that our unemployment rate is low and many employers struggle to find workers. On the other hand, we have the polar opposite issue with the tourism industry completely hobbled with the lockdowns. We saw an opportunity to increase funding for internal training and succession planning that would help but that doesn’t capture headlines the way “new jobs” does. The expectation that interest rates will remain low for the next couple of years may also ease fears of increased debt in response to an increase in interest rates. "
Beatty went on to say “Canada’s fiscal situation needed serious consideration as we begin to shift away from subsidies to economic growth. With so much pent-up demand on the horizon, avoiding structural deficits and fuelling private sector growth were the core building blocks businesses were looking for in this budget. To ensure the hardest-hit sectors and small businesses survive until they can become self-sustaining again, the extension of support programs like CEWS and CERS will help. However, the government must ensure that support is not removed too early and that its level does not decrease too quickly. The Budget announcements on longer-term competitiveness issues like interprovincial trade barriers, productivity, and reducing the regulatory burden in Canada are an important step forward and should be prioritized” added Beatty.
CLICK HERE to view the budget from the Government of Canada.
READ FULL PRESS RELEASE and Budget Analysis from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on the 2021 Federal Budget.
REGISTER now for the budget discussion with local MP Neil Ellis on Friday, April 23 at 1:00 p.m.