Dear Mayor Burton and Town Councillors:
On behalf of the Oakville Chamber of Commerce I am pleased to provide comment on the Town’s Budget for 2020.
The Chamber is pleased to support many initiatives brought forward by the Town’s Economic Development department in an endeavor to strengthen our local economy. According to the Town’s 2018 Economic Update, initiatives such as the new Brownfields Community Improvement Plan and the Economic Development Strategy have facilitated growth for the Town. In fact, in 2018 new operations brought more than 1,600 new jobs while existing companies welcomed more than 560,000 square feet of new commercial and industrial development.
An additional 200,000 people, in the next twenty years, coupled with new investment and supporting the growth of the existing business community, underlines the need for Oakville to remain competitive against other jurisdictions when it comes to property taxes, development charges, and industrial land sale values.
Oakville’s non-residential tax base represents 13.02 per cent of the total assessment base and contributes 18.24 per cent of all town taxes levied. In 2018, this amounted to $34.6 million in tax revenue collected. However, the financial contribution from the business community is further exceeded by the creation of jobs, the spending of funds locally as well as the contribution of companies giving back to the community.
This underscores the importance of the Town remaining innovative and progressive in its effort to remain Canada’s best place to live. As our communities become more “connected” through the collection of data, artificial intelligence and technology, it is vital that we are prepared for
the business climate of the future. To that end, the Chamber is encouraging the Town to develop a Strategy for Urban Mobility and Transportation Planning. Moreover, it is crucial that this Strategy is aligned with the Town’s Economic Development Strategy to ensure that the needs of the business community are prioritized.
Furthermore, as the Town continues to grow and intensify, Council needs to prioritize infrastructure investment for the movement of people and goods and services. Projects such as the Wyecroft Road Bridge and the Grade Separations of Burloak and Kerr will assist in alleviating congestion and improving safety. However, the Chamber also encourages Council to make the improvements to MidTown a priority by accelerating the planning and design for the Royal Windsor Interchange as well as working with the Ministry of Transportation on this crucial transportation network.
We must support all businesses in Oakville including those located in our downtown. As Council is aware, businesses have endured construction and decreased business on Lakeshore Road since April as a result of the downtown streetscape renewal project. The Chamber strongly urges Council to resolve the impediments of this project. We call on the Town to evaluate the challenges of this downtown project to ensure that future streetscape projects don’t have similar delays and impacts on business.
Additionally, the Chamber supported the Downtown Mitigation Strategy and encourages Council to continue to support our downtown core by extending the current parking incentives to January 2021.On behalf of the business community, the Oakville Chamber encourages Town Council to support budget initiatives that strengthen the local economy.
President & CEO
Oakville Chamber of Commerce
Oakville 2018 Economic Update
 Oakville 2018 Economic Update