July 1, 2020
It’s our businesses – large and small – who create jobs and prosperity in our province, and it’s their hard work and success that builds Ontario’s economy. When COVID-19 first hit Ontario, government had to take swift and tough actions to protect our health. We all faced new limits and restrictions, but closures of non-essential businesses left them in peril. The Ontario Government knew it had to act to help businesses get through the crisis.
Ontario entered a State of Emergency in March, and the government offered businesses help immediately. We established $10 billion in emergency cash flow for business, cut business taxes and suspended WSIB premiums for 6 months. We cut hydro rates for small businesses and individuals. We worked to cut red tape and rules that got in the way of business success.
In April, we set up a cabinet-level Jobs and Recovery Committee to plan the reopening of our province, consulting with business and community leaders. This committee is overseeing a staged plan of reopenings, but it also made sure businesses had the advice they needed to safely reopen. Over 100 health and safety plans, designed for individual business sectors, were released.
Working with the federal government, we designed a commercial rent support plan, worth more than $900 million in Ontario, so that commercial tenants, working with landlords, could save rent money during the crisis. In June, we also put a ban on commercial evictions until the end of August.
I’ve worked hard with our local businesses to ensure their views – and needs – are heard. I brought the Small Business Minister to speak with roundtables in Burlington and Oakville, and I’ve worked with our Chambers of Commerce and local governments.
I am proud of the way our communities came together during the crisis, and this includes our businesses, with those who could retooling to make protective gear, making meals for health workers and keeping their workers employed working at home.
So I urge everyone to support our local businesses as they reopen and rebuild. Let’s stand with them as they create jobs and prosperity in our communities.