FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2020
SMALL BUSINESS: TOO BIG TO IGNORE
Chamber and Partners Kick Off Small Business Week Conversation About Digital and Skills Access
(MISSISSAUGA – October 15, 2020) – The pandemic has highlighted challenges for small businesses: their access to digital technologies and skills. In advance of Small Business Week 2020, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Mississauga Board of Trade and partners are kicking off a vital conversation today about these gaps with the launch of their report, Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills. The report is a Skills Next project and a collaboration between the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, Public Policy Forum, and the Future Skills Centre.
“We are deeply concerned about the impacts the COVID-19 crisis is having on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities, and not-for-profit organizations in Ontario,” said David Wojcik, President and CEO of the Mississauga Board of Trade. “They are the backbone of the Canadian economy, accounting for more than 90 percent of jobs in the private sector. Yet they face critical labour shortages, skill mismatches, and challenges related to broadband internet access that threaten their competitiveness.”
“Broadband is a basic infrastructure requirement in today’s economy, but the ongoing pandemic has made it even more essential to public health and economic resilience,” added Ashley Challinor, Vice President, Policy, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “For businesses and workers, particularly those practicing physical distancing, connectivity is necessary to ensure they can remain productive by using digital tools such as video conferencing. Without adequate access, those in rural and remote regions will be vulnerable to additional layoffs and business closures.”
Canadian Small Business Week takes place during the third week of October every year. This year, the celebration will occur October 18-24, 2020. Over the course of Small Business Week, the OCC and the Mississauga Board of Trade be participating in the “Small Business: Too Big To Ignore” campaign across the province, actively engaging small businesses in discussions about the top obstacles impeding their growth and the ways in which these challenges can be overcome.
Read the Skills Next project report: Small and Medium-Sized Employers (SMEs): Skills Gaps and Future Skills, Skills Next is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.
About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, 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.
About the Mississauga Board of Trade
Since being established in 1961, MBOT has played an important leadership role serving and representing the interests of business of all sizes and sectors in our community.
Mississauga is Canada’s sixth largest city and third largest in Ontario – with a population of close to 800,000 residents and over 50,000 businesses employing over 440,000 people, including 60 Fortune 500 Canadian headquarters. Mississauga is where successful companies choose to do business.
MBOT’s large, diverse, and active membership has made us one of the most vibrant business associations in Canada.
As the “Voice of Business” we advocate on policy issues that impact local business at all levels of government and are influential in helping to shape policy decisions. MBOT also offers a wide variety of valuable business services and professional development programs, networking events and marketing opportunities, to help business grow, prosper, and get connected.
For more information, please contact:
Brad Butt, Vice-President, Government & Stakeholder Relations
Mississauga Board of Trade