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Thinking Small to Get Big Results: Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy

Published on
March 11, 2020

Calling all small businesses: the Ford government needs your input on what is needed from government to help you succeed. All thoughts are welcome and will help guide the creation of Ontario’s Small Business Success Strategy.

Earlier today, several members of the Ford government, led by the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Hon. Vic Fedeli and Associate Minister for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Hon. Prabmeet Sarkaria, announced the launch of province-wide consultations and an online survey to help the government engage with this critical segment of the business community and gain their feedback to help make Ontario’s business environment even more competitive and enable more Ontario companies to succeed.

What’s It All About?

From day one, the Ford government has been focused on making Ontario “Open for Business.” This focus has ranged from the ornamental (highway signs) to the tangible (Ontario job growth figures leading the rest of the country). With today’s announcement, the government has made clear their next step is to focus on what’s needed to help Ontario small businesses succeed and grow.

These consultations will focus on 5 key pillars:

  1. Lowering costs: reducing red tape and other regulatory burdens to make it easier, simpler and cheaper for small businesses to interact with government;
  2. Increasing exports: helping small businesses access domestic and international markets;
  3. New technologies: helping small businesses establish an online presence and to adopt and/or commercialize new technology;
  4. Talent development: ensuring small businesses can access and retain the skilled workers they need; and
  5. Succession planning and supporting entrepreneurship: helping retiring business owners successfully transition their business to a new generation and ensuring supports for under-represented groups in entrepreneurship (such as women, minorities and people with disabilities).

Between now and the beginning of September, the government will hold a series of roundtables across the province to engage with and hear directly from dozens or hundreds of small businesses. Please note there’s an accompanying 19-page discussion paper roundtable participants are asked to review. At the same time, the government launched an online survey and is inviting written submissions.

What Does It Mean for You?

If you are a small business owner, today’s announcement presents a real opportunity to engage with the provincial government, to help shape your regulatory environment and to ensure your impediments to business success (that government can help address) are dealt with. Whether it’s access to capital, finding talent, overcoming government bureaucracy to get the help you need or something else entirely, the Ford government plans to come out with a strategy to support you.

Keep in mind both the Premier and Minister Fedeli have been successful small business owners. They are big boosters of small businesses generally and have lived experience that will inform how seriously the government pursues this agenda.

Keep in mind as well we are rapidly approaching the midway point of the Ford government’s mandate. The political lens is becoming the dominant one through which government actions will be taken. And small businesses are an important constituency the Ford government wants as its champion.

Sussex can help your business get involved in the development of this small business strategy. Whether it’s drafting a submission, participating in a roundtable or providing the government with the anecdote they need, Sussex consultants are happy to help your business succeed and get results. There are many ways to influence this process and for your company to gain profile. Make sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

Please contact your Sussex representative for more information on this important next step in Ontario’s commitment to a competitive business environment and a growing economy or to me directly at:

Brian Zeiler-Kligman
416-961-6611 ext. 109