MPP Jeff Yurek hosts Ontario Small Business Minister at Virtual Roundtable in St. Thomas to Look for Ways to Help Small Businesses During COVID-19 

Published on June 02, 2020

St. Thomas, ON – On Tuesday, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Sarkaria and Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP, Jeff Yurek hosted a virtual roundtable to hear from the small business community in St. Thomas and surrounding areas on how to respond to COVID-19 and help Main Street rebound.


“It is critical that communities across Ontario, especially in rural regions, have a chance to provide their insights and feedback to the provincial government as we continue our roadmap to recovery. This is why I am very pleased Minister Sarkaria was able to hear from our St. Thomas-Elgin small business owners,” said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek 


 "Small businesses, like these in St. Thomas, are vital to our communities and our local economy – whether that’s the inn in Port Stanley or a bakery in Aylmer,” said Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Minister, Prabmeet Sarkaria. “Our small business owners know better than anyone what it takes to create jobs, jumpstart growth, and get our economy moving again -  this is why it is vitally important to draw on their strengths, expertise and know-how.” 


Tuesday’s virtual roundtable gave St. Thomas’ small business community to participate in the government-wide effort to help businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic and provided local business owners to identify specific challenges and potential solutions for the government to consider. 


Minister Sarkaria is one of the members of Ontario’s Jobs and Recovery Committee which is tasked with developing the staged action plan on how to move Ontario forward as it deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. Feedback from this and other provincial roundtables will help inform that committee and its necessary and critical work ahead.  




  • 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 COVID19. 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. 




Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance for Small Businesses


See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.  


Information and advice to help your business navigate the economy during 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.