Unprecedented Health Crisis Demands An Unparalleled Economic ResponseApril 27, 2020
(Toronto – April 27, 2020) – Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released Uncharted Territory: Assessing the Landscape for Ontario’s Economic Recovery Post COVID-19. As governments urgently contemplate policies to reopen the economy, this report outlines the tools capable of providing critical economic relief at a time when businesses need it most, and the risks of failing to act appropriately.
“The inability of our members to make ends meet marks the beginning of what could be a swift deterioration of invaluable economic structures, such as supply chains, markets, investment, and credit facilities, irreparably harming Ontario’s future,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We need to starve the virus, not the economy: immense and unprecedented relief measures will continue to be needed to preserve the economy through pandemic containment measures.”
The report explains that critical relief measures must use existing financial distribution channels, such as private loan guarantees and loan forgiveness programs, to ensure businesses have immediate access to cash, allowing them to reduce short-term costs needed to maintain their workforce, foundational investments, and credit.
“An unprecedented pandemic requires an unprecedented policy response: we urge governments to continue to examine all relief measures at their disposal to ensure businesses are able to adapt to the economic challenges posed by COVID-19. Relief will ensure businesses are able to focus on how to re-establish their value offering once containment measures begin to ease,” noted Rossi.
Uncharted Territory is the first in a series of COVID-19 policy briefs to be released over the coming months providing insights on the impacts of the pandemic on the business community. The report also advises the Ontario government to continue to:
- Work with the federal government and Bank of Canada, encouraging the use of monetary policy in complement with fiscal measures, to preserve the economic viability of businesses. Though government can use debt financing and cash reserves to support businesses, monetary policy is needed to support credit market liquidity, private investment, and fiscal measures in funding direct relief.
- Work with the federal government to implement a comprehensive COVID-19 testing and tracing regime. The report explains that it is only through exhaustive testing and tracing of potential breakouts that businesses and their respective workforces will be offered confidence in their ability to work in a safe environment.
“Through robust and efficient relief measures, and working in concert with our public health system, Ontario commerce will once again demonstrate that our economy is one of the most resilient in the world,” added Rossi.
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.
For more information, please contact:
Vice President, Public Affairs
Ontario Chamber of Commerce
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