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Saugeen Shores Chamber Assists With Pre-Budget Submission

The Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, has released its 2017 pre-budget submission to Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government.

The submission outlines four key budget priorities and 13 specific recommendations for Queen’s Park to adopt in order to restore fiscal balance and spur economic growth.

At the top of the list for the Saugeen Shores Chamber is immediate support for increased broadband infrastructure, and for the government to demonstrate fiscal prudence and sound budget management.

As cited in the submission, the government must “bridge the broadband gap” by considering this type of technology as a fundamental piece of infrastructure and address the inadequacy of ultra high-speed Internet in Ontario communities.

Saugeen Shores Chamber General Manager Joanne Robbins listed the following recommendations that are of particular interest for the local business community:

  • Broadband shortcomings throughout the province that are weighing on the ability of small rural businesses to compete in the technology-driven knowledge economy.
  • Allowing small business owners’ children access to student loans.
  • To provide a one time, $30-million enhancement of the Connecting Links fund as a transitional measure to assist affected communities in addressing the two-year gap in which the program was discontinued, along with a suggestion to develop a strategy to annually revise the Connecting Links funding envelope and criteria.
  • Amend the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 to allow real estate sales people to incorporate – real estate salespeople are currently prohibited from incorporating due to restrictions under the REBBA Act. They are one of the few regulated professions in Ontario who are subject to such restrictions.

The submission is largely made up of policy recommendations that are supported by resolutions passed by Ontario’s Chamber Network at the OCC’s most recent annual general meeting.