Working to Build a Strong Business Climate
The Small Business Agency of Ontario (SBAO) is an advisory body reporting to Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade. The agency was established in 2005 and focuses on improving the interactions between government and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ontario.
It provides high-level advice to the minister on key issues affecting the growth and competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario.
The government’s goal is to work with our partners and stakeholders to build a strong, positive business climate for businesses in this province.
What We’ve Done So Far
Since its formation, SBAO has contributed to solutions that:
- Save businesses time and money by making it easier for them to find and complete government forms.
The Paper Burden Reduction Initiative resulted in the identification and elimination of 30% of business forms that were identified as obsolete and no longer necessary for businesses to complete.
347 government forms were added to the central forms repository on the Ontario government’s website.
- Improve opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to sell their goods and services to government.
A “Doing Business with the Ontario Government” Task Force made 11 recommendations on helping small and medium-sized businesses acquire government contracts. The SBAO has helped to bring key recommendations into practice. For example:
- Insurance: the government’s procurement policy has been changed as a result of feedback from the SBAO. Insurance requirements are now reduced, with small and medium sized businesses bidding for government contracts now being required to have $2 million in liability and $2 million in errors and omissions instead of the previous $5 million. This is consistent with industry practices and levels required in other jurisdictions.
- Education: we continue to conduct ongoing educational outreach sessions across Ontario with potential vendors. In addition, we conduct mandatory vendor debriefings to unsuccessful bidders so that they can get tips on how to improve future proposals.
- Plain language: documents written in plain language are now available on how businesses can successfully sell goods and services to government.
Please refer to the Ministry of Government Services website for additional information.
- Create a one-stop website for businesses to find out about and comment on the government’s regulatory initiatives that affect small and medium-sized businesses.
- Service Ontario Regulatory Registry RSS feeds and e-mail subscription services have been added to keep businesses and the public informed of any news updates.
Have a question, some feedback, or want to get information? Please visit our Contact Us page at www.ontario.ca/economy.
Also of interest for business owners would be BizPaL. BizPaL is an online service that simplifies the business permit and licence rocess for entrepreneurs, governments, and third party business service providers.
Membership on the SBAO includes:
- Ian Howcroft, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters
- Gary Rygus, Retail Council of Canada
- Ashok Koul, Life Prediction Technologies Inc
- Irene Kozlowski, Sencia Canada Ltd.
- Princess Alexander, Alexander Business Solutions
- Stephen Cavell, Organic Meadow Co-operative Inc.
- Satinder Chera, Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Angella Hughes, Xogen Technologies Inc.
- Lucas Scarfone, Scarfone Photography
- Sally Daub, ViXS Systems Inc.
- Lisa Cousins, Ionics Mass Spectrometry Group