When I think of Corner Brook, I think about our incredible diverse community. I think about families enjoying the great outdoors at Marble Mountain or Blow Me Down Cross-Country Ski Club. From picking up fresh brewed coffee at our various cafes, dropping by one of many pet stores and services for pet owners, picking up that specialty item or getting a checkup at one of our local doctors, we rely on small businesses to make our lives simpler and more enjoyable. In fact, most days they seem like such fixtures of our community that we forget the immense contributions these entrepreneurs and businesses make to Corner Brook and our economy.
Small businesses are, simply put, job generators. They make up 98 per cent of Canadian businesses and employ eight million hard-working Canadians from coast to coast to coast, including right here in the Bay of Islands. More than this, they promote the industry around which thriving communities can grow.
It is because of our community’s entrepreneurial small-business owners that Canada’s economy is now among the fastest growing in the G7 countries and that the unemployment rate is at a historic low.
People are working, wages are growing and more Canadians are buying goods and services. There is a renewed sense of confidence and potential in the air.
To keep up this momentum, your federal government is working hard to make it easier for small businesses.
On Jan.1, we lowered the small-business tax rate yet again, from 10 per cent to nine per cent, giving Canada one of the lowest small-business tax rates in the world and giving small-business owners to up to $7,500 a year in savings.
We also worked with credit card companies to lower the fees they charge businesses. For some small businesses, this could mean thousands of dollars in savings.
And because our government knows that it isn’t just about savings but also about opportunity, we have made unprecedented investments in helping small-business owners start up, scale up and access new markets through programs that offer them access to capital, valuable advice or even paid interns.
Recently, our government announced the Fall Economic Statement. In it we proposed three immediate changes to Canada’s tax system that will make it easier for small businesses.
The first will allow businesses to immediately write off the full cost of machinery and equipment used for the manufacturing and processing of goods.
The second will allow businesses to immediately write off the full cost of certain clean technology equipment.
And the third, the new Accelerated Investment Initiative, will allow businesses across all sectors of the economy to write off a larger share of the cost of newly acquired assets in the year the investment is made.
These are real actions that will make Canadian small businesses more productive, more innovative and more competitive. And I am delighted to see many local businesses throughout the Long Range Mountains take advantage of these changes.
A big part of remaining competitive means rolling up sleeves and cutting red tape. That’s why, since 2015, our government has cut more than 450 federal rules that impose an administrative burden on business.
Regulations are intended to help us by protecting Canadians, but over time, outdated rules and poor alignment with our trading partners can mean small businesses are held back.
Whether it’s our easy-to-use innovation.canada.ca website that provides small businesses with the help they need, or BizPaL, which simplifies getting permits and licences, our government is working hard to make it easier for small businesses to do what they do best: grow amazing communities throughout the Long Range Mountains.
Gudie Hutchings is the Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains