Wage Increase Could Harm Businesses at Critical Time When They are Still Struggling to Recover from Pandemic
A Statement from the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce CEO Mishka Balsom
Posted November 2nd, 2021 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – Today (November 2nd), Mishka Balsom, CEO of Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, released the following statement regarding the Government of Ontario’s proposed legislation that, if passed, would raise the general minimum wage effective January 01, 2022.
“We support fair wages, and we recognize that workers have been impacted by the pandemic and an increased cost of living.
“However, two months is not enough time for businesses to plan for and implement such changes, especially when many will have already set their budgets for next year.
“We also have to be mindful that we are just emerging from a 20-month-long economic shock, especially for the hospitality industry, where minimum wages are going up as much as 20% in just a few weeks. Many businesses in this industry simply cannot absorb another added cost at this time.
“Too many businesses are still recovering and are faced with continuous uncertainty. Many businesses are still not back to full capacity, are dealing with increasing costs of conducting business, or both, while at the same time confronting a depleted cashflow.
“In the Government’s media release, no consultation with either stakeholders or economists was mentioned. Lack of input from experts on such an important policy question leaves our economy at risk of unintended consequences such as job losses, service cuts, rising costs, and even business closures.
“The GNCC asks the Government of Ontario to consult with businesses, to seek expert, independent advice on this important question, to commit to giving appropriate notice to businesses of changes to key labour policies, and to have contingency plans ready to assist businesses that are not in a financial position to comply with this change and remain solvent.”
The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in Niagara, the largest business organization in the region and the second-largest Chamber of Commerce in Ontario, with 1,500 members representing 50,000 employees. More information on the GNCC is available at gncc.ca<https://gncc.ca/>.
To read the Ontario government’s news on the increase of the province’s minimum wage to $15 per hour starting this coming January 1st, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/11/02/ontario-government-to-raise-minimum-wage-to-15-an-hour/ .
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