On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has released its latest policy brief Capital is Key: Financing Entrepreneurship in Ontario After COVID-19.The COVID-19 crisis is creating a cash flow crisis for many entrepreneurs and small business owners across Ontario. These losses are damaging to our economy writ large, as small businesses represent 98 percent of all Canadian businesses, contribute close to half the GDP generated by the private sector, produce competition and innovation, and add invaluable character to local communities. Recognizing the critical role of entrepreneurship in Canada’s economic recovery, the Ontario Chamber’s latest report offers practical solutions to support small businesses as they fuel Ontario’s economic advantage. Ontario’s small business owners are armed with grit and creativity, which proved instrumental as they adapted to public health restrictions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, managing cashflows and debt became a challenge as the crisis forced many businesses to suspend, adapt, or restructure their operations. Meanwhile, as the pandemic accelerated digital transformations, many of Ontario’s innovation-oriented firms flourished. Looking ahead, entrepreneurship will be fundamental to Ontario’s economic recovery and it will require access to the right forms of capital. Recognizing that newer and smaller businesses are inherently riskier to finance, Ontario must develop policies to bridge gaps for entrepreneurs who will be in greatest need of support as they rebuild and grow in a post-pandemic world. This means enhancing access to capital for firms that were less well-financed before the crisis, as well as high growth firms with the potential to drive long-term competitiveness.
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