Businesses ‘Tapped Out’

Local Businesses ‘Tapped Out’

Chamber calls for evidence that proposed labour reforms

 won’t kill job creation and increase costs for consumers

HALIBURTON, May 31, 2017 – The Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce is expressing concern that the Government of Ontario’s Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Plan is proposing unproven, sweeping reforms without ensuring protection against unintended consequences: job losses, rising consumer costs, and economic hardship.

Member businesses of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce are worried about these labour reforms. While the Chamber agrees some changes are necessary, the burden should not be placed on the backs of small business, as will be the case if many of these reforms move forward. Small businesses in the Haliburton Highlands are already struggling with the rising cost of doing business and these changes will mean more costs which they simply cannot afford.

Small businesses are having the same problems managing rising costs as residents. Hydro and propane bills running into the thousands of dollars in winter months are common. The ever-increasing administrative and financial burdens on small businesses make it increasingly harder to stay afloat.

Local businesses are concerned that higher wages, more rules and increases in mandated leave will make it harder to hire new employees. They worry that higher costs will have to be passed on to customers, increasing the cost of living for everyone. Over-burdened employers fear spending more of their time on administration and red tape. And at the end of the day, the costs for all of the Province’s proposed changes would come directly from the already-light pockets of local entrepreneurs.

Small businesses are the engine of economic growth in Haliburton County. Running a small business means taking risks – in many cases, borrowing against your home and your future to deliver goods and services, and to create local employment. Employees are often unaware when an owner skips his or her own paycheque, or takes out a line of credit to bridge the slow winter months.

“We feel it’s time the Province got its own house in order before it comes after the small businesses that are the backbone of our local economy. The changes proposed require careful economic analysis,” says Chamber president, Jerry Walker. “We’re tapped out.”


  • Susan Danilko

    Very well said, thank you

  • Corina

    I think the Province has a lot of other things to fix to help our cost of living. I also think that the wages paid in Haliburton County are atrocious, and a single person cannot live on them, let alone a family. As a business owner who has only recently started to employ others, (and no, I have not been able to pay myself yet…) I am determined to pay as much as I can so that my employees can enjoy their life, and not have to work several jobs to get by. Work satisfaction and a feeling of ownership and appreciation helps employees be hard working and loyal. I will continue to do all I can to pay my employees as much as possible. I am starting them at $15, without being mandated to do so, and hope to be successful enough to raise that over time. The overall cost of living has to come down though, or it won’t matter, they will still struggle, we will all still struggle and the effort will be moot.

    I don’t know all of the answers, and I know I am a rookie employer, but I am experienced in the financial struggle faced here. I do not want to be part of the problem.

    So, I agree and disagree. I think there is a culture of ‘pay-as-little-as-possible’ in Haliburton County that needs to end, and I think the cost of living makes it impossible even if you did make a good wage. So a little from each would be good. Address/fix the Hydro FUBAR, childcare etc., and pay a little more. People deserve to work hard and feel happy, satisfied and secure.

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