A Long Road Ahead for Small BusinessJuly 9, 2021
(Toronto – July 9, 2021) – Today, Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released the following statement in response to the Ontario government’s decision to move to Step 3 of Reopening Roadmap on July 16 under revised regulations:
“We are all breathing a sigh of relief as recovery is in sight with daily case counts dropping, vaccination rates increasing, and the Province signaling we are ready to move into Step 3 of reopening. However, this does not mean that small business owners and others hit hardest by the crisis are out of the woods.
“Over the last 16 months, small businesses have accrued alarmingly high debt to stay afloat. We call on the Province to do everything it can, including addressing the shortcomings of the Small Business Support Grant and opening up applications for a third round, to help ease the burden. Continued supports will be critical to prevent more business closures.
“We also call for additional workplace guidance. The government has a fundamental role to play in addressing questions employers have as public health measures ease. For instance, can employers ask staff about their vaccination status? Can they mandate the wearing of masks and social distancing in the workplace?
“Without clear guidance from government, Canada risks a piecemeal approach – or a situation in which some employers are unsure what they can or should do and/or some fail to take appropriate steps to protect their employees and customers in the workplace. Further, without government guidance, employers could expose themselves to protracted legal issues and grievances from employees.
“We also need immediate public health guidance for those Ontarians who are now fully vaccinated.
“Most of all, enormous thanks to the frontline healthcare workers and Ontarians who rolled up their sleeves to make this possible.”
For further information, media may contact:
Vice President, Public Affairs
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.