Budget 2021 Delivers Funding to Confront Ongoing Pandemic and Support Hardest Hit
While Laying the Foundation for an Inclusive Economic Recovery: Greater Sudbury
Chamber of Commerce
GREATER SUDBURY, March 25, 2021 – Today, Cora DeMarco, Chair of the Board of
Directors of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, released the following response to the
Government of Ontario’s 2021 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy:
“Ontario’s 2021 Budget means supports for businesses, particularly the hardest-hit sectors and
communities, much needed aid for women who have been deeply impacted by the pandemic, and
initiatives that will create a strong economic rebound related to tourism, training, and vital
infrastructure such as broadband.
We are discouraged by the lack of specific funding for the complete four-laning of Highway 69. This
has been a key priority for Greater Sudbury’s businesses for many years, and we are eager to see the
highway be fully four-laned and Northern and Southern Ontario connected fully, to the benefit of
businesses, communities and tourists across the province.”
Leading up to Budget 2021, the Ontario Chamber Network was calling for policies that mitigate the
immediate impacts of the crisis and lay the groundwork for a robust and inclusive economic
recovery. Resources need to be focused on those hit hardest by the pandemic, where they will have
the greatest impact.
Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce added, “Ontario’s business
community welcomes the 2021 Budget, which gives businesses much-needed supports to confront
the current health crisis while laying the foundation for a strong and inclusive economic recovery.”
Some of the things called for in the Chamber Network’s pre-Budget Submission included:
• Targeted support for the hardest-hit sectors and communities;
• Demand-driven skills programming;
• Enhanced access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs;
• Bold action on interprovincial trade;
• Strengthening of municipalities’ fiscal capacity; and
• A sensible path to getting Ontario’s finances on track post-pandemic.
Some of the measures welcomed by the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario
Chamber of Commerce in the 2021 Budget are:
Supports for business:
• Doubling of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. The grant has helped many
organizations survive the crisis thus far and making this an automatic top-up instead
of asking businesses to re-apply will reduce the administrative burden on both businesses
• Additional resources for the Digital Main Street Grant. Many small businesses,
particularly in rural and remote regions, have benefited from the supports of this grant to get
their business online. Expanding the program will help more businesses digitize and prepare
for the economy of tomorrow.
• Invest Ontario Fund. Additional funding in Invest Ontario over the next four years will be
important to create jobs and investment across the province.
Support for tourism:
• Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant. The OCC recently wrote to the
Ontario government about how the tourism industry is not eligible for the Ontario Small
Business Support Grant. This new grant is welcome news for hotels, travel agencies, hunting
and fishing camps, and other organizations that did not qualify for the original grant.
• Local Tourism Tax Credit and Tourism Recovery Program. Many of the chambers of
commerce and boards of trade are active in the tourism industries within their local
communities. These additional supports will be critical to support a revival of tourism after
Support for communities:
• Broadband investments. The pandemic has put the spotlight on the digital divide for
people and businesses, particularly in remote and rural communities. Additional funding to
connect all Ontarians, including businesses, to reliable broadband by 2025 is welcome news.
• A taskforce for inclusive economic growth. The COVID-19 crisis has disproportionately
affected women, racialized individuals, Indigenous people, people with disabilities, and other
communities in the province. The new taskforce will examine how to increase women’s
participation in the workforce, which will support economic recovery.
• Temporary Job Training Tax Credit. Studies suggest about half a million jobs are not
expected to return in Canada after the pandemic, the majority of which are occupied by
women. Financial support for underemployed individuals to access training and
reskilling will be particularly important for lower-income workers, new immigrants,
and Ontarians living in Indigenous, rural, remote, and northern communities.
• Expansion of the Ontario Together Fund. The Ontario Together Fund has successfully
leveraged Ontario’s business community to address pandemic-related challenges and support
relief efforts.• Access to vaccination appointments. The Ontario Chamber Network welcomes support
to help seniors and people with disabilities get to their vaccination appointments. The faster
the population is inoculated, the sooner we can focus on recovery.
Read the Ontario Chamber Network’s pre-Budget Submission here.
For more information, please contact:
Policy & Communications Manager
Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce represents 850 businesses employing in excess of 43,000 employees and
works as the voice of the business community to influence municipal, provincial and federal legislation affecting the
Download the media release here.