October 18, 2021
Honourable Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Dear Premier Ford:
REQUEST FOR FURTHER BUSINESS SUPPORTS
Thank you for your continued leadership to support employers as they experience economic disruption related to COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber Network are taking concerns from the business community and communicating them to all levels of government. I am writing today to ask the Government of Ontario to consider additional supports for business.
We are supportive of your government’s implementation of a proof-of-immunization system and app. A well-designed proof-of-immunization system can help prevent another province-wide shut down and has already encouraged more Ontarians to get vaccinated. It, combined with high vaccination rates is also key to lifting capacity limits to spur the recovery.
However, businesses have suffered greatly over the last 19 months and continue to face unprecedented cash flow constraints and uncertainty. Many have operated under reduced capacity for a significant amount of time and have had to hire additional staff to verify documents or to implement new staff for security purposes because of the COVID-19 vaccine certificate requirements. In addition, due to travel restrictions and the closure of the US-Canada border, tourism has been at an all-time low, further impacting these businesses. We, therefore, ask your government to consider further grants or tax credits to support these businesses.
No business, region, sector, or demographic should be left behind in the pursuit of economic recovery and growth. Support programs and pro-growth policies should be targeted towards those experiencing the most pronounced challenges.
Public health and safety are priorities for all Ontario businesses. We will continue to monitor and assess new developments pertaining to COVID-19 and work with our members, partners, and all levels of government to provide support to business.
Thank you for your consideration.
c: Hon. Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry
Michael Gravelle, MPP, Thunder Bay-Superior North
Judith Monteith-Farrell, MPP, Thunder Bay Atikokan