The framework within which business operates is changing rapidly at multiple levels of government.
The bright spot in it all is that in Peterborough we have a wonderful and engaged business community willing to take risks so that their businesses can grow, willing to make it work so they have jobs and products to offer the community and willing to give back in taxes, fundraising initiatives and many
local sports, arts and cultural events. We should celebrate their success at being profitable. We cannot forget that a thriving business community is a significant contributor and a constituent to a healthy community.
What’s on the minds of business these days?
Provincially, businesses of all sizes are in the process of adjusting to a significant number of legislated changes around employment and labour laws. How businesses adapt and if the legislated desired outcome will be achieved remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that we’re in a period of disruption.
Electricity prices continue to put strain on businesses, as do planning and growth legislation, as well as finding the talent they need, when they need it.
Federally, changes to the rules around how private corporations are taxed raised concern amongst businesses. The response to those proposed changes was very loud from the business community. Clarification to rules around passive income for small business could be revealed in the 2018 federal budget.
If there ever was a moving target its NAFTA negotiations. There's also the implementation of CETA
continues; the ink is just drying on new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership, there is a renewed focus on reconciliation and gender parity; the announcement of Superclusters; the continued debate about pipelines; living in a global economy; and a rail project that the Peterborough business community would like to see given the green light.
Business is part of the conversation as the County and the City update their official plans and work is being done at both council tables around development charges. There are infrastructure needs and a new agriculture map that will guide growth in the County.
The City will be the site of a new provincially-owned marijuana store; the airport continues to grow,
as will Peterborough’s place in the clean tech sector with the new Cleantech Commons at Trent University.
Our members, Peterborough’s businesses simply want the tools and framework to be competitive, creative, and confident in their home community, province, and around the world.
Together, with our Chamber member businesses that is what we advocate for and in doing so we are strengthening the business community.
We also strengthen the business community by asking questions. At the Power Hour 16 questions were directed to our MP Minister Maryam Monsef, MPP Minister Jeff Leal, Warden Joe Taylor, and Mayor Daryl Bennett.
When asked about debt all mentioned that infrastructure is one of the main reasons they were experiencing high debt levels, but that in some cases debt is necessary to get the work done, as long as there is a plan to move forward and pay down that investment. Broadband was identified as a critical piece of infrastructure and it was acknowledged by all four politicians that improving access is key to our economic success.
Minister Leal told the crowd that the government is looking into transition programs for business and that more could be present in the upcoming provincial budget. Minister Monsef spoke about her trip to Davos and meetings with the heads of Pepsi Co. and Coca-Cola. Warden Joe Taylor talked about the County of Peterborough through the lens of the 407, saying that through their official plan process they are ready for any influx of people. Mayor Bennett addressed new city rules around secondary units.
To wrap up this article we go back to the first question of the night on talent. All agreed that there are more programs around integrated learning, that Peterborough area sectors such as agriculture and public administration will have openings for younger workers as older workers transition out of the workforce, and that there is increasing value in the brain trust of younger generations. All of this to say that attracting and retaining talent is one of the most critical to the success of our communities.
*Power Hour Sponsor YourTV & Cogeco recorded the Q&A Session
Watch it on Channel 700 or 10:
Fri, Mar 2, 2018 7:00pm
Sun, Mar 4, 2018 12:00pm
Mon, Mar 12, 2018 7:00pm
Tue, Mar 13, 2018 2:00pm
The Peterborough and the Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce acts as a catalyst to enhance business growth, opportunity, innovation, partnerships and a diverse business community.