Guelph Chamber to City Council: Take Action on Helping Employers Attract Top Talent
For Immediate Release | Jan 22, 2019
The Guelph Chamber of Commerce presented to Guelph City Council as part of the stakeholder engagement and public presentations process on Development Charges. The Chamber reiterated its concern that the proposed increase in the fees Guelph charges to builders for new developments will have an effect on housing affordability and the retention of top talent. The City’s competitiveness survey of local employers showed 65% of those surveyed indicated finding talent as being one of their biggest barriers to success. The cost of residential building could drive up the cost of living in Guelph, which in turn could make the city less attractive to live in for the top talent local businesses need. The proposed bylaw calls for a 17.35 % increase in development charges for residential development and 23.85 % increase in the non-residential rate, costs which ultimately will be passed on to the end-user.
“No increase in the cost of doing business in Guelph lives in isolation,” says Kithio Mwanzia, President & CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. “It is incumbent on City Council and Staff to find ways in which to mitigate the impact of the increases by ensuring greater ease of doing business and reducing other soft costs businesses may incur at the City level,” concludes Mwanzia.
During the last term of Council, both Council and Staff committed to being more business friendly. Council must work towards re-affirming its Get to Yes imperative, which was their commitment to being more business-friendly. This included a commitment to ensuring that when fees are increased, the increases would be mitigated by reducing compliance and soft costs. This development charge process provides the opportunity to effectively live up to this commitment and ensure Council and Staff remain accountable for the pledge to the business community.
“We look forward to working with the City and continuing to provide the voice of the business community as a means to bolster growth and opportunity for Guelph,” concludes Mwanzia.
Download the Guelph Chamber’s full Development Charge presentation here.