TORONTO – BUSINESS – The Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC) is applauding the actions taken by the Ontario government in its maiden budget that will result in red tape reductions, lower business costs and put consumers first across Ontario.
“Small businesses welcome the message in today’s budget: Ontario’s beverage alcohol policies are moving into the 21st century,” said Anne Kothawala, President & CEO of the CICC. “As the organization representing convenience store retailers, distributors and other members of the supply chain, we are excited to help make expanded beverage alcohol sales in our Ontario stores a reality.”
The Council also welcomes measures designed to address regulatory burdens in the small business sector and spur growth and investment across the province.
“We know consumers want expanded beverage alcohol sales; 74% of alcohol consumers say they support expanded sales,” noted Kothawala. This was one of the findings in a new poll conducted by Abacus Data for the CICC.
The CICC also applauded a number of measures in Ontario’s budget which are designed to reduce red tape and costs for businesses, including:
- a reduction in WSIB premiums;
- accelerating the 25% red tape reduction to 2020;
- holding the minimum wage to $14/hour and tying future increases to inflation; and,
- reaffirming its commitment to cutting the small business tax rate.
Other measures in Budget 2019 also bode well for the convenience store industry, including breaking down interprovincial trade barriers between Ontario and Quebec. “Our retailers have considerable experience in Quebec, and we are pleased to see Ontario’s leadership in working with our neighbouring province to grow trade.”
Lastly, the industry welcomed the commitment to press the federal government to legalize single sport wagering in Canada. “ We commend this government for treating adults like adults and trusting our retailers to responsibly sell lottery and beverage alcohol to our adult customers” noted Kothawala.
“Overall, our sector is very pleased with today’s budget which recognizes the importance of our businesses and the contributions we make to communities across the province,” said Kothawala. “We look forward to working with the government in the coming weeks and months to ensure small businesses continue to be heard and that these policies come to fruition as quickly as possible.”