Continued Advocacy and Support for Small Businesses Post-CEBA Deadline
Dear OCC Members,
I am writing to you today with deep concern after hearing from members about small businesses that missed the final Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) deadline. As President and CEO, I want to assure you that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been and will continue to be steadfast in advocating for the interests of our members.
Government support for small and medium-sized businesses was a critical lifeline during and after the pandemic – and we are proud that we successfully made the case for these types of essential programs. The decision not to extend the CEBA deadline, against the advice of the business community, is a critical turning point for many small businesses, some of which are now facing closure or significant financial strain.
I want to outline the steps the OCC has taken to date in advocating for small business debt relief options:
- Direct engagement with policymakers: We held several meetings with key government officials to convey the urgent need for the extension of the CEBA deadline and to discuss the potential ramifications of its cessation on the small business community.
- Collaboration with industry partners: In partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, other business associations and industry groups, we formed a unified front to amplify our request to extend the CEBA deadline.
- Public advocacy campaigns: We participated in a series of public advocacy campaigns, including open letters, social media initiatives, budget submissions, and media statements, to raise awareness about the importance of extending the CEBA deadline and outlining concerns with the current deadlines.
- Member mobilization: We encouraged our members to directly engage with their local Members of Parliament to express the critical need for the extension of the CEBA program.
Our work does not end here. The OCC will persevere in exploring and advocating for alternative debt relief options and support mechanisms for our small business community. We understand the importance of these businesses to our economy and will continue to fight for their survival today and their growth tomorrow.
We appreciate your continued support and involvement in the OCC, which makes our collective voice stronger. Your support gives us ongoing and meaningful influence over government policy; and we disagree with a government decision – as we do now - your support enables us to hold governments accountable and open to our future recommendations. Together, we will emerge stronger.
Daniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS, ICD.D
President and CEO - Ontario Chamber of Commerce