Local Markham Small Business Owner Appointed to Province’s Small Business Economic Recovery Advisory Council in Wake of COVID-19

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Local Selected to Help Inform the New Phase of Ontario's Recovery Action Plan


May 7, 2020

Markham, ON— On Tuesday, Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister responsible for Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, held the inaugural meeting of the province’s Small Business Economic Advisory Council. The Ministerial Advisory Council consists of 12 small business owners from across the province who have been tasked with advising the Minister and in turn the government on tackling the challenges of small businesses in the wake of COVID-19.

The Council will assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and utilize their experience to advise the government on economic recovery.

Minister Sarkaria was pleased to welcome the experience and insights of Markham’s own Jay Rana, owner and operator of Iron Fitness Strength Club. Iron Fitness Strength Club is a local 24-hour fitness facility in Markham focused on strength and functional training. Jay Rana will be a voice for the business community of Markham and the region and is tasked with identifying challenges and providing advise to the government as Ontario pivots from health crisis to economic recovery.

“I couldn’t have been prouder to learn that Jay Rana of Iron Fitness Strength Club was selected to join the Council and bring Main Street small business experience to the table,” said the Hon. Paul Calandra. “The addition of Jay, will only bolster the ability of this Ministerial Council to provide solid advice to the government on how best to make Ontario Open for Business once again.”

“Our small businesses are the cornerstone of local economies, and time-tested, small business owners know better than anyone what it takes to create jobs, jumpstart growth, and get our economy moving again” said Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Minister, Prabmeet Sarkaria. “This is why it is vitally important to draw on their strengths, expertise and know-how to develop a prudent, people-focused plan that puts Ontario’s small businesses on the road to recovery.”

Representing a cross-section of sectors, regions, and experiences, ideas from this virtual Council will be reported into the government’s new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee. The 13-Minister Committee will utilize this feedback in identifying how best to protect and support people and jobs, jumpstart the recovery, and rebuild an economy that works for hardworking families.

“The government’s number one priority remains the health and well-being of the people of Ontario, even as we restart the economy and drive subsequent recovery,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance and Chair of the Committee. “People across Ontario need to know they can count on their elected officials as we move forward from this crisis. That’s why we’re working with all partners and doing everything we can to understand what’s needed to continue to protect and support people and our economy in the coming weeks, months and years.”

These consultations reflect a Team Ontario approach, working across parties and with experts, local leaders and people across Ontario.


Visit https://www.ontario.ca/form/survey-economic-impacts-covid-19 to learn how you can submit your ideas.



§ Members of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee include:

• Rod Phillips, Chair, Minister of Finance

• Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

• Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board

• Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation

• Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

• Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

• Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs

• John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry

• Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure

• Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries

• Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services

• Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development

• Prabmeet Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction


On March 25, 2020, the government launched Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19. The first phase of the government’s response, it is a $17 billion package with funding targeted to help families and a variety of sectors across Ontario.


See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.

Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.