Ontario Chamber of Commerce releases report on barriers facing scaling businesses

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Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce released a report identifying the major roadblocks preventing Ontario businesses from scaling up, as well as recommendations for supporting these business owners.

The report, called Breaking Barriers: Ontario’s Scale Up Challenge, included interviews with two dozen business owners and sector associations, as well as a survey of over 350 Ontario business owners. The report proposes recommendations to address six specific barriers preventing businesses from growing, which include a lack of access to talent with scale up experience — an issue that Chris Arsenault from iNovia Capital recently raised — gaps in the right kinds of financing, and lower incentives to growth.

“The release of Breaking Barriers coincides with initiatives currently underway by the governments of Canada and Ontario to help our most promising firms scale up,” said Allan O’Dette, president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We have an incredible opportunity to leverage this alignment across government and the business community to tackle this challenge.”

To help scaling businesses, the report recommended re-aligning public programs and incentives to focus supports on high-growth firms, encouraging greater international trade activity by linking more business support programs to trade, improving access to public and private anchor customers by using procurement to strategically invest in growing businesses, and enabling accurate measurement and monitoring of the scale up challenge through collaboration between Statistics Canada and industry groups to collect and publicize relevant data.

According to the survey, the cost of doing business was identified as a top issue by 69 percent of Ontario employers.