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More than 230 leaders of technology companies and innovation hubs across the country are calling on the Ontario government for more help to weather the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organizations are recommending the province look at payroll subsidies, tax deferment and other means to ensure companies retain top talent and jobs amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

They also want to see increased and rapidly deployed funding and greater grant and program flexibility for companies with existing relationships with the government.

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They called for such measures to be considered in a letter written to Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Finance Rod Phillips and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli.

The letter was signed by scores of tech start-ups and backed by the MaRS and Communitech innovation hubs and leaders from Manulife Financial Corp., Interac Corp. and Cineplex Inc.

It follows a Mar. 20 letter from 300 Canadian tech executives who asked the federal government for more measures to help them preserve as many jobs as possible because growth-stage companies are struggling to stay cash positive.

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