June 7, 2021
The Hon. Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
The Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria
Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
7th Floor, 56 Wellesley St. W
Toronto, ON M7A 2E7
Re: Further Supports for Small Business
Dear Premier Ford and Minister Sarkaria,
On behalf of the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce and our members, thank you for your continued leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am writing
to request your government provide further, more targeted support for small businesses in light of further capacity limits introduced through Ontario’s reopening plan. Small businesses across the province are at their breaking point and the extended restrictions in the reopening plan place additional strain on already strained resources.
Recovery is in sight for the province with daily case counts dropping and over half of adult Ontarians having received their first shot. We need to ensure our small businesses are supported to make it through to the other side of the crisis. We ask that you do everything you can to support affected businesses, including addressing the shortcomings of the Small Business Support Grant and opening up applications for a third round.
Looking ahead, in the ongoing management of this crisis, we also ask that your government consider alternative methods of addressing outbreaks to avoid the economic damage of locking down the province as a whole. For instance, if case counts rise in a particular region, a new framework could specify measures to reduce individual contacts and outline capacity restrictions for public-facing businesses in that region. This approach must ultimately be science-based and informed by public health officials. In addition, reopening guidelines should be applied fairly and consistently to all businesses regardless of sector or establishment size.
The Ontario Chamber Network passed a resolution last month calling on the Province to establish a Responsible Business Protocol, parts of which are echoed within this letter. The protocol aims to simplify understanding of rules by sector, address community contact reduction and most importantly, minimize damage to our economy while fighting the spread of COVID-19.
As business and community leaders we stand ready to work with you to ensure a safe, transparent, and sustainable re-opening that avoids another wave and prolonged public health restrictions.
We would be happy to discuss this issue further and look forward to continuing to work with you and your government on solutions that
support the health of Ontarians and our economy.
1000 Islaands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce
CC: Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Hon. Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health
Hon. Victor Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade