No Easy On & Off Switch for Business: Recent Closures Devastating for Business Community
(Toronto – April 7, 2021) – Today, Carla Y. Nell, President and CEO of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released the following statement in reaction to further restrictions announced today:
“Ultimately, we want to see a safe and sustainable opening of Ontario’s economy. Closures buy us time at a high cost to business, our economy, as well as the mental and the long-term health of Ontarians. We recognize the restrictions brought in today are to help save lives and curtail the spread of the virus. However, in absence of further supports, new restrictions will simply devastate Ontario’s business community.
“An expedited vaccine roll-out prioritizing essential workers who cannot work from home is critical to preventing these stops and starts that are so damaging for business. With the Ontario Business Support Grant coming to a close, we call for continued supports that will see businesses through the third wave of the crisis,” said Carla Y. Nell, President and CEO, Burlington Chamber of Commerce.
“We call on all levels of government to work together to accelerate vaccinating Ontarians, so we can fully reopen the province. As the Government of Ontario proceeds with Phase 2 of the rollout, we would like to see the earlier prioritization of essential workers who cannot work from home and are most vulnerable and at risk.
“The Ontario Chamber’s Ontario Vaccination Support Council members are ready, willing, and able to support and accelerate local vaccine deployment efforts. As supply ramps up, we need an all-hands-on deck approach from Ontario’s business community, labour, associations and academia to move these vaccines from freezers to arms as quickly as possible. From vaccine facilities and centres to volunteers to donations to support ride programs, we truly see Council members stepping up to make a difference.” – Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce
Director, Stakeholder Relations & Policy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(BURLINGTON, December 10) – This week’s report from Ontario’s Auditor General has put the spotlight on virtual care. And while telemedicine sites have been in place for decades in Canada, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual care in Ontario. Virtual visits have enabled more and more Ontarians to continue accessing quality health care while not exposing themselves to the virus. The latest report by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Realizing the Full Potential of Virtual Care in Ontario, underscores the need to permanently integrate virtual care into Ontario’s health care system.
“We are now more virtually connected than ever before, and how Ontarians are interacting with the health care system reflects this fact,” said Rocco Rossi President and CEO of the OCC. “We can’t make the same mistakes we did with SARS, by only implementing temporary measures related to virtual care. The permanent integration of virtual care into our system could ensure all Ontarians can access timely and appropriate care, no matter their circumstances, as well as alleviate some of the pressures facing our health care system, such as reducing unnecessary visits to the ER.”
According to Canada Health Infoway’s September 2020 survey, 60% of health care visits with primary care physicians and specialists were conducted virtually at the onset of the pandemic.1 The report notes that given the uptick in virtual care usage, the resurgence of the pandemic in a second wave, and an uncertain timeline for a vaccine, a more permanent and comprehensive solution is needed.
“Long before COVID-19, Ontario’s health care system faced numerous pressures and growing costs. By empowering patients to manage their health while at home, virtual care has the potential to reduce the strain on primary care providers and hospitals, lessen the backlog in care, and protect frontline workers from exposure to the virus,” added Carla Y. Nell, President & CEO of the BCC. “We are calling on the Government of Ontario to consider urgent policy reforms such as modifying the existing fee code system to allow for the permanent and effective delivery of virtual care in Ontario.”
The report explains that, while the implementation of temporary billing codes in March 2020 allowed physicians to conduct virtual visits, these temporary codes were a stop-gap measure and have limitations.
The report provides the Government of Ontario with four recommendations to ensure virtual care is not only permanently integrated in our health care system, but is more equitable, accessible, and widely adopted:
- Develop a comprehensive framework for virtual care in Ontario.
- Modify the existing fee code system to allow for the permanent delivery of virtual care, and provide physicians with training and knowledge supports to allow care to be delivered virtually.
- Focus on equity to improve access to virtual care, including ensuring all Ontarians have internet access so that the expansion of virtual care options does not exacerbate inequities for patients in rural, remote, northern, and Indigenous communities.
- Support employers’ continued investment in virtual care for their employees that expand beyond care delivered virtually through the health system.
These recommendations were developed with the OCC’s Health Policy Council, a group of expert practitioners and industry representatives.
The report explains how virtual care is not solely about convenience for patients, but it also benefits the health care system as a whole. Further, virtual care should be viewed as one modality in which health care can be delivered, and should continue to complement, not replace in-person care.
“Looking beyond the pandemic, virtual care holds much promise and we believe our recommendations can help the Province realize the full potential of technology for patients and our health care system alike,” added Rossi.
The OCC would like to thank members of the Health Policy Council whose input helped shape this report.
 A survey conducted by Leger on behalf of Canada Health Infoway between April 3 to August 25, 2020, with 31,889 Canadians.
Strategic Communications Coordinator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 26, 2020
Mayor Meed Ward Announces December 2nd as Chamber of Commerce Day in Burlington
Burlington, Ontario (November 26, 2020) – To honour and recognize the work that the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has done to support the business community in Burlington and beyond, December 2, 2020 has been declared Chamber of Commerce Day across the City.
The Burlington Chamber of Commerce has played a critical role in supporting the business community, factoring in all sectors and sizes of business, as a vital partner during the COVID-19 crisis. Early on in the pandemic, the Burlington Chamber committed to keeping the broader business community strongly connected, focussing on bringing leaders together and creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership to position Burlington’s economy for recovery.
“I am thrilled that the Chamber is receiving this honour and recognition from the City of Burlington. At the beginning of the pandemic, we adapted quickly to ensure that Burlington businesses were kept informed and supported to access the tools, programs and resources necessary to get through these difficult times and to ensure their viability beyond this crisis” said President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell. “We have been working tirelessly with our Team Burlington partners and all levels of government to advocate for relief to offset the financial hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in for both employers and employees.”
In honour of this recognition, the Burlington Chamber is launching the #BCofCStrongerTogether campaign to rally further support from the community for local businesses and to recognize the Burlington Chamber of Commerce as an indispensable partner to business. Learn more about how you can show your support at burlingtonchamber.com.
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce
OCTOBER 21, 2020
For Immediate Release
Government of Canada announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund
(Milton – October 20, 2020) – Small businesses are at the heart of Canadian communities. They are critical in helping Canada turn the corner on COVID-19 and their success is essential to Canada’s economic strength. Created and launched by RBC, Canada United is a national movement to support local businesses in communities across the country. Today, during Small Business Week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced an investment of $12 million to support the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
The pandemic has created substantial uncertainty for small businesses. They are facing mounting losses, increased costs to reopen and shaky consumer confidence. As part of the Canada United movement, RBC brought together more than 70 of Canada’s leading brands, the national Chamber of Commerce network and business associations to rally Canadians to “show local some love” by buying, dining and shopping local. Meanwhile, more than 40 municipalities across Canada made official proclamations in honour of the Canada United Weekend, which took place over the weekend of August 28 – 30.
“Small businesses are cornerstones of our local economies and key to thriving communities—creating jobs, driving innovation, and generating wealth for Canadians. Local businesses have always been there for us and now need our support now more than ever. A sincere thanks to Minister Ng and the federal government for providing critical support to small businesses when they need it most,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
The actions of Canadians during the campaign helped establish the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses offset the cost of expenses required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online.
“While the pandemic has undoubtedly challenged us in many ways, it’s also highlighted Canadians’ unwavering commitment to supporting one another during difficult times,” said Neil McLaughlin, Group Head, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC. “We are incredibly grateful for the ways Canadians have supported their local businesses when they really needed it, and for the commitment of our partners who helped bring Canada United to life. And, now, with the Federal Government’s support, we are confident that the Small Business Relief Fund will make a significant difference in helping businesses prepare for the road ahead.”
Through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, grants up to $5,000 are available to small businesses so they can cover the costs of PPE as well as physical modifications and digital enhancements to their businesses to meet local health and safety requirements. The grant can also be used to help firms with the cost of Personal Protection Equipment and enhance their e-commerce capabilities so they can do more business online. Canadian small businesses can learn more and apply for the grant online.
“Along with chambers of commerce and boards of trade across the country, we’re proud to support small businesses through the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund, helping small businesses with their recovery efforts as a result of COVID-19,” added President & CEO, Carla Y. Nell.
The new application window will for the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund will be open on Monday, October 26, 2020. Click here to learn more about Canada United.
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“The Canada United Small Business Relief Fund is helping our small businesses offset the cost required to reopen safely or adopt digital technologies to move more of their business online at a time when they need it most. Chambers of commerce and boards of trade from coast, to coast, to coast have come together to start the Canada United movement, to show local businesses all the support they deserve.” — Perrin Beatty, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
“By teaming up with the Canada United campaign, our government is able to give yet another lifeline for small businesses during Small Business Week. On the road to economic recovery, we will continue to do whatever it takes to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in every corner of the country.” — The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 84,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.
Strategic Communications Coordinator
Burlington Chamber of Commerce