Through our active involvement with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and its advocacy and policy work, we are influencing the OCC’s policy agenda and making sure that they are lobbying for issues that are important for Kingston businesses.
Some of the policy areas in which we have been directly involved include:
Small Business: Too Big To Ignore: The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Ontario Chamber Network is proud to be a part of the ambitious campaign, Small Business: Too Big To Ignore. This campaign highlights the important contributions of small businesses to our economy and communities, and seeks to actively engage small businesses across the province in investigating the top barriers to small business growth – and identify solutions to overcome those challenges. To kick off this campaign the OCC has released the report, “Top 3 Obstacles to Small Business Success”.
Electricity Costs Hindering and Hounding Business Locally: Rising electricity prices are often cited as the main barrier to competitiveness by Ontario businesses. The OCC has been conducting in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in the province’s electricity sector on ways to bend the electricity cost curve. We know that
competitor markets are emphasizing their lower electricity costs as a reason to locate south of the border. As a result of these targeted campaigns almost 20 Ontario Chambers of Commerce, including Kingston, co-sponsored a policy resolution to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce asking the government to be aware of this
movement and develop a strategy to help Canadian communities compete.
Other work by the OCC
Tackling the Provincial Deficit: In its publication, “A Federal Agenda for Ontario”, the Ontario Chamber has recommended that the provincial government must press the federal government to reform Equalization and create a national standard for Employment Insurance access, and fix the funding gaps in infrastructure, training, housing, and regional economic development funds.
Taxation: The Ontario Chamber advocates for a competitive and simplified tax regime that is designed with a view to reducing the tax burden on job creators. The OCC encourages the government of Ontario to introduce reforms to the tax system, including; lowering the Business Education Tax rate, and creating a uniform rate across the province; reducing the corporate income tax rate to 10 percent; altering the provincial property tax structure to encourage growth; raising the exemption threshold on the Employer Health Tax.
WSIB: The OCC is working with all stakeholders, including government, to create a WSIB system that is accountable, transparent, client-focused, independent, and efficient. The goal is to help create a workplace insurance system that protects workers and does not compromise Ontario’s economic competitiveness.