Advocacy issues at the Chamber are very much result of issues and challenges facing our members and are led by our volunteers and supported and guided by our Board of Directors.
We rely on our members to share their challenges with us so we can do everything we can to support the business community. If you are experiencing an issue that is impacting your business and would like inquire if we can be of assistance, contact Autumn Wilson, Chamber Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, 705-457-4700 ext 24, or 705-854-0593.
Chair – Bram Lebo
2016/17 Objective: Research a local procurement policy that can be presented to local municipalities to promote hiring local businesses.
2017 Advocacy Items So Far…
- Bill 148 Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act
- Haliburton Trademark
- Provincial Pre-Budget Submission
- Bridging the Digital Divide
As a member of the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce, you also belong to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce which means all their advocacy work is done with you in mind. They undertake research on Ontario’s most pressing policy issues from a business perspective. They propose and advocate for solutions that will foster the growth of Ontario businesses and lead to the creation of jobs in the province. Their work is based on the belief that strong businesses are the foundation of a prosperous Ontario. They are a respected voice among government decision-makers whose solutions-based advocacy sets them apart.
Advocacy Updates 2016
We have to change our thinking. High-speed internet is no longer a luxury, but is a basic infrastructure necessary for economic growth. Our economy is driven by technology. Without access to high-speed internet it is almost impossible to start or build a competitive business and compete in the 21st century global economy. With record investments being made by government in transit and transportation, we’re calling on the provincial government to commit some of those infrastructure dollars to high speed internet access. We all understand how essential roads are to get products to market, broadband infrastructure is how we get ideas and services to market.
Obstacles and Opportunities: The Importance of Small Business in Ontario
How Important is small business in Ontario?
Our report highlights that businesses with fewer than 100 employees, make up 98 percent of total Ontario businesses and two-thirds of private sector employment in Ontario.
Does the success of our economy depend on it?
Small businesses contribute approximately 30 percent to the provincial GDP and created 87.7 percent of the new jobs nationally from 2005 to 2012.
Challenges facing small business:
- We have some big obstacles facing Ontario businesses.
- Throughout our consultations, small business owners across the province expressed the concern that government, at all levels, is often unresponsive to the unique needs of business their size.
- Small businesses are facing increased global competition, compounded by over regulation and red tape. This means that small businesses are being squeezed financially from both ends.
- Small business owners often lack the capacity and resources required to lobby government effectively in order to advocate for policy solutions that support small business. The Chamber Network is well positioned to advocate on their behalf.
What are the top three recommendations/ priorities in the report:
- Continue the scheduled Business Education Tax (BET) rate reductions.
- Develop a single access point for all government-funded workforce, training, and employment services.
- Commit infrastructure dollars to connect all Ontario businesses to the 21st century global economy.