THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – This week, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released their third annual Ontario Economic Report (OER). Through the Business Confidence Survey, the Business Prosperity Index, and the Economic Outlook, this report presents a candid look at private sector sentiment and opportunities for economic growth for the year ahead. This landmark document is aimed at shaping and informing future public policy and acts as a useful reference for debate and policy change. The key takeaways include:
- Confidence in Ontario’s economic outlook has improved. Thirty percent of members surveyed expressed confidence in Ontario’s outlook for 2019, up seven percentage points compared to last year.
- Despite a more optimistic outlook for 2019, decreasing levels of organizational and economic confidence over the years have impacted business’ willingness to invest, take risks, and adopt technological advancements.
- Businesses are gaining confidence in themselves. Sixty-one percent of respondents reported confidence in their own organization’s economic outlook heading into 2019, a seven-point increase from last year.
- Revenue projections for 2019 are more positive than those of 2018. Eighty-six percent of respondents believe their organization’s revenues will increase or stay the same over the next twelve months, with only fourteen percent anticipating a decline.
This represents a notable change from 2018, when 27 percent were projecting their revenue to decrease.
Charla Robinson, President of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce comments, “New research shows that businesses are feeling more confident; however, ongoing challenges regarding the cost of doing business and the ability to recruit and retain talent could undermine our economic potential, especially in areas like Thunder Bay. More than ever, the development of balanced government policy that fosters competitiveness and addresses vulnerabilities is vital to build a stronger Ontario for the future.”
“Ontario’s overall prosperity depends on the strength of its regional economies, yet these vulnerabilities are expected to be most acutely felt in rural regions of the province. We should all be concerned that the province’s employment growth has been largely concentrated in the Greater Golden Horseshoe since 2003, while other regions have experienced slow or even negative growth during that same period,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the OCC.