Timmins businesses’ lack of confidence in economy reflective of provincial trend: report

Date ArticleType
1/26/2016 Press Release

Timmins, ON | January 26, 2016—Businesses in Timmins and across Ontario are increasingly unsure about the direction of the provincial economy, according to a new report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, Leger, and the Mowat Centre.

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index, featured in the Emerging Stronger 2016 report as released today, shows that business confidence in the Ontario economy is at a five-year low.

The Index shows that only 30 percent of businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy, compared to 47 percent in 2012. It also shows that 62 percent of businesses are confident in their own organization’s outlook, down from a high of 74 percent in 2014.

In Timmins, the picture is similarly dark: only 31 percent of Timmins businesses are confident in the Ontario economy, while 63 percent of area businesses are feeling confident in their own organization’s economic outlook.

"It's clear that Ontario's business climate continues to pose some major challenges for businesses in Timmins and across the province," said Kurt Bigeau, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.

"Uncertainty in the global economy and the resources sector only adds to existing Ontario issues, such as skyrocketing energy rates, a growing regulatory burden, and uncertainty over such things as the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. These contribute to the lack of confidence reflected in the Index, and we hope the Ontario government will work with the private sector to improve our competitiveness and create future growth.”

Among the key findings of the Ontario Business Confidence Index:

•           30 percent of Ontario businesses believe the Ontario economy is going in the right direction, compared to 42 percent in 2012. Only 31 percent of Timmins businesses believe the Ontario economy is going in the right direction.

•           46 percent of businesses plan to expand in the next five years, down 14 points from 2013. Only 39 percent of Timmins businesses say they will expand over that same time frame.

•           The automotive/manufacturing sector is among the least confident in the province. Just 53 percent of businesses in that sector are confident in their own organization’s economic outlook, compared to a 62 percent provincial average.

This concern could potentially be improved by having the Ontario government and the private sector adopt many of the measures outlined within Emerging Stronger 2016, as they would help to enhance Ontario’s economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province, says Bigeau.

The detailed policy recommendations in Emerging Stronger 2016 are focused on increasing economic stability, supporting investment and fostering business growth across the province. In order to achieve this, some of the key areas that need to be addressed are: fostering a culture of innovation and smart risk-taking in order to become a productivity leader, building a 21st century workforce, restoring fiscal balance by improving the way government works, taking advantage of new opportunities in the global economy, and strategically investing in our competitive advantages. 

“Ontario businesses are looking for stability and economic certainty,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “Emerging Stronger offers a detailed roadmap for how government can work with the business sector to achieve their shared goals. Uncertainty throughout the global economy and, specifically in the resources industry, is further compounding concerns in the private sector, and it is important that public policy address the concerns of the business community.”

Many of the specific recommendations outlined in Emerging Stronger 2016 – including the need to address electricity prices, improve labour market information, and enhance support for the forestry industry – are the result of advocacy by the Timmins Chamber on behalf of its members. These issues will remain the focus of ongoing efforts by the OCC throughout the year to help improve Ontario’s business competitiveness.

The full Emerging Stronger 2016 report is available at www.tinyurl.com/EmergingStronger2016

 

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About the Ontario Business Confidence Index:

The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index is the most comprehensive survey of business opinion in the province (1,310 respondents, survey conducted in November 2015). The margin of error for the survey is 2.71%, 19 times out of 20. The OCC began collecting this data in 2012.

About the Timmins Chamber of Commerce:

With over 750 members, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce is one of the largest accredited chambers of commerce with distinction in northeastern Ontario. As the “Voice of Business in Timmins” since 1949, our advocacy and policy initiatives focus on ensuring a positive business climate in the City of Timmins.

For more information:

 

Nick Stewart
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
Timmins Chamber of Commerce
(705) 360-1900
policy@timminschamber.on.ca

 

Rachel Strong
Senior Communications Advisor
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
(416) 482-5222 ext. 2470
rachelstrong@occ.ca