Have your say: what's ailing small business in Ptbo?

93 percent of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce membership fall under the category of small business (100 employees or less).  These businesses employ close to 8,500 people.  For the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, 96% of their membership is small business, employing over 3,800.

Recently, the Peterborough and Kawartha Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), launched Small Business Too Big To Ignore, a six month campaign to highlight the important contributions of small businesses to our communities and investigate the top barriers to small business growth. 

Along with the campaign the Peterborough and Kawartha Chambers will be hosting a series of roundtables using the OCC’s recent report, Top 3 Obstacles to Small Business Success, which is aimed at starting a conversation about the underlying challenges that are weighing on small businesses and stifling job creation.

In the report, the OCC cites the rising cost of doing business as a major impediment to small business growth. In fact, OCC survey results show that one in twenty businesses in the province expect to close their doors in the next five years due to rising electricity prices. In addition, 38 percent will see their bottom line shrink, with the cost of electricity delaying or canceling investment in the years to come.

“Rising electricity prices is just one of the many elements adding to the cost of doing business in the province,” said Stuart Harrison, President & CEO, Peterborough Chamber of Commerce. “The Peterborough and Kawartha Chambers are launching this campaign to take a look at how we can engage both government and business leaders in our communities in a productive conversation to answer the question ‘what exactly is ailing small business?’.”

In addition to the rising cost of doing business, the report also lists key infrastructure gaps and a lack of access to skilled workers as the top three obstacles weighing on small business. According to a recent OCC survey, 39 percent of employers have had difficulty filling a job opening over the past year and a half - an increase of 11 percentage points since 2014.

“Building a 21st century workforce that is reflective of the needs of employers in our area has been a cornerstone of our advocacy efforts for quite some time,” said Sherry Boyce-Found, General Manager, Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. “We’ve seen tremendous progress on this file over the past few years, but we recognize the need to foster greater connections between skilled workers and employers.”

The goal of the roundtables with small business owners is to identify the barriers that they face and understand how the three areas already identified fit into the equation.

“Small businesses of 100 or less employees are the core of our membership and employ nearly 3 million Ontarians, which is why we’ve decided to undertake the Small Business Too Big To Ignore campaign,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “The insights gained from the local chamber consultations will inform an upcoming OCC report to be released during Small Business week in October 2016. We are really looking forward to the feedback.”

Top 3 Obstacles to Small Business Success

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