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Ontario business like their own prospects, not so much the rest of the province

The first of three rounds of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Business Confidence Survey reveals only 10 percent of respondents expressed confidence in Ontario’s overall economic outlook, with the majority of respondents (48 percent) remaining neutral and 43 percent lacking confidence in the province’s outlook. Yet, when asked about the prospects for their own business, respondents were optimistic on a scale of two-to-one over those who were not optimistic.  “The pandemic has had catastrophic impacts on people, business and the economy,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “Unsurprisingly early data shows almost half of business respondents are not confident about the province’s economic outlook. However, in contrast, it is promising to see almost half of those correspondents feeling cautiously optimistic in their own organization’s economic future.”

Graph on left shows half of Ontario business are optimistic about their own recovery but graph on right shows poor confidence in the province’s economy overall

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s  released initial insights from data it has collected to inform its fifth annual Ontario Economic Report . The report, set to be released in early 2021, will be rooted in the OCC’s annual survey of its members, and will reflect the unprecedented year that was 2020 and the unpredictability of the year to come.

“The pandemic’s impact on human resources decisions has disproportionately affected certain sectors, which cannot be ignored by policymakers,” said Daniel Safayeni, Director of Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “The survey reveals 48 percent of all businesses have had to let employees go either permanently or temporarily, with more than 60 percent having done so in the following sectors: accommodation and food services; transportation and warehousing; arts, entertainment and recreation; and retail.”

This survey was fielded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and included email invitations from the OCC as well as 134 local Ontario chambers and boards of trade. Fieldwork was completed from September 3rd to September 23rd, 2020.

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