Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

December 18, 2008 09:04 ET

Mapping the Path to Future Business Prosperity: Survey

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2008) - Concerned Ontario business operators are looking for taxation and regulatory relief to help them ride out the economic downturn and to help them fortify their business operations in preparation for better days ahead.

"Ontario business owners are more optimistic about the growth of their own businesses in the next year than they are about the economy in general yet they still need government to join them in their efforts to maintain profitability," explains Len Crispino, President & CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "While owners of small and medium sized businesses plan to take a pragmatic approach by cutting costs where possible, beginning with discretionary spending, they also hope for government measures that will reduce the cost of doing business in the province."

A recent survey by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce of close to 1400 businesses ranks the following measures as likely the most effective in helping them get through the turbulent times:

- Lower taxes including corporate, personal and payroll

- Streamlined regulatory environment with an emphasis on smart regulation

- The harmonization of retail sales taxes

- Improved access to financing

- More affordable energy pricing and abundant supply

More than half of the survey respondents don't object to temporary budgetary deficits as long as spending is used to stimulate the economy.

"A balanced budget has long been a priority of business owners in Ontario, but these unusual times have given rise to more tolerance for deficits, so long as the shortfall is a result of investments such as infrastructure and tax reduction which will help stimulate the economy," adds Crispino. "Business owners are very focused on immediate concerns like the availability of affordable energy and business financing, rather than more long-term issues that have dominated in the past."

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce will use the survey results to inform comprehensive recommendations to the provincial government on ways to improve economic renewal and business competitiveness. The Business Climate Survey was conducted between November 21 and December 12, 2008. A complete report can be found at http://occ.on.ca/Policy/Reports/435.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is a federation of 160 local chambers of commerce and boards of trade in the Province of Ontario, representing 60,000 businesses of all sizes, in all economic sectors and from every area of the province. In its mandate to advocate strong policies on issues affecting its members, the OCC is currently focused on economic renewal and business competitiveness. Its over-arching goal is to make Ontario the most competitive jurisdiction in North America.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Chamber of Commerce
    Amy Terrill
    W: (416) 482-5222, ext. 241 or C: (416) 605-8205
    amyterrill@occ.on.ca