With the advent of computers over the past several decades, the entire world of commerce has undergone tremendous change. Some would say even cataclysmic change.

Just think about the massive change – and challenges – traditional retailers face with the explosion of online shopping.

The latest examples is the growth of Uber and Airbnb. The impact on the transportation and hospitality sectors of the economy has been dramatic.

Existing businesses can choose to ignore the changes. Or condemn it. But they do so at their peril.

Which brings us to one of the oldest adages in the real world of commerce: ADAPT … OR DIE.

In a deliberate pro-active role, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has released a new report, Harnessing the Power of the Sharing Economy, which calls on governments to move quickly and boldly to ensure that Canada and Ontario realize the full potential of the sharing economy. The report calls for immediate action to be taken to fill any insurance gaps and ensure tax compliance. The report seeks to level the playing field between the existing world of commerce and emerging, innovative alternatives.

If adopted, the recommendations would make Ontario the first jurisdiction in the world to take a comprehensive approach to address the growth of the sharing economy.

The past several years have witnessed the rise of new models of consuming and accessing goods and services, often referred to as the ‘sharing economy.’ Fueled by companies such as Uber, Autoshare, and Airbnb, the sharing economy enables individuals to obtain rides, accommodations, and a wide range of other goods and services via online platforms in exchange for monetary and non-monetary benefits.

The report finds that nearly two thirds of Ontarians believe that the growth of companies in the sharing economy is good for Ontario’s economy. It also finds that nearly 40 percent of young Ontarians (18-34) are consumers in the sharing economy.

The entire report can be found by clicking HERE.

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