The rising cost of doing business in Ontario is a major impediment to small business growth, according to a new report released today by the Timmins Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC).
Entitled Top 3 Obstacles to Small Business Success, the report highlights the underlying challenges that are weighing on small businesses and stifling job creation. Resolving these issues is crucial to the provincial economy, according to the report, as small businesses – firms with fewer than 100 employees – employ nearly three million people in Ontario. The report further explores some of the obstacles identified in the OCC’s Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale-Up Challenge, as released April 22.
In fact, OCC survey results show that one in 20 businesses in the province expect to close their doors in the next five years due to rising electricity prices. In addition, 38 percent will see their bottom line shrink, with the cost of electricity delaying or canceling investment in the years to come.
“The rising cost of electricity in Ontario is one of many issues having a significant impact on Timmins businesses’ ability to grow,” said Kurt Bigeau, president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce.
“Businesses are the cornerstone of our economy, and the Timmins Chamber continues to work diligently with our partners throughout the Chamber network to press the government on this file. The need to adequately address energy prices has been a key part of our advocacy efforts, including our recently successful efforts in urging the OCC to make this issue a key priority.”
In addition to the rising cost of doing business, the report also lists key infrastructure gaps and a lack of access to skilled workers as the top three obstacles weighing on small business. According to a recent OCC survey, 39 percent of employers have had difficulty filling a job opening over the past year and a half - an increase of 11 percentage points since 2014.
To begin to address these issues, the Timmins Chamber is helping the Ontario Chamber network to launch Small Business: Too Big to Ignore, a six-month campaign promoting the economic impact of small business and investigating their barriers to growth.
“The Timmins Chamber is launching this campaign to take a look at how we can mitigate these many types of burdensome costs,” said Bigeau. “This will involve engaging both government and business leaders in a productive conversation to the answer the question ‘what exactly is ailing small business?’”
As part of this campaign, other chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout the province will hold consultations with small business owners in their own communities to identify the barriers that they face.
“Small businesses are the core of our membership, which is why we’ve decided to undertake the Small Business: Too Big To Ignore campaign,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “The insights gained from the local chamber consultations will inform an upcoming OCC report to be released during Small Business week in October 2016. We’re really looking forward to the feedback.”
To view the full report, visit http://tinyurl.com/SmallBizObstacles
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:
Manager of Policy, Research and Communications
Timmins Chamber of Commerce