Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Takes Leadership Position
THUNDER BAY – Business – A Status Card represents economic opportunity. The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce has re-launched a program that encourages businesses to understand and support Status Cards in their shops and businesses.
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce is distributing decals that present a positive message for customers who use Status Cards. The Chamber’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee has prepared a “Status Cards Welcome” decal for display by businesses across the city.
“The Aboriginal community makes a significant contribution to the Thunder Bay economy.” says Joe Moses, Chair of the Chamber’s Aboriginal Opportunities Committee. “It is important to ensure that Aboriginal customers recognize local businesses as an accepting and inclusive place to make their purchases. By displaying this decal, the business is showing Aboriginal customers that their patronage is appreciated and that staff has been trained in proper handling of status card transactions.”
In many businesses, and in particular in retail businesses, far too often customers get treated badly for using their Status Card in many instances. For business owners, often it is likely not noted by managers, but many people experience clerks rolling their eyes, or making a customer spending money in the business feel uncomfortable. Likely in many cases, the opportunity for repeat business can be lost. That is costing your business sales, and costing your business its hard earned reputation.
The Chamber of Commerce sites a recent study by Thunder Bay Ventures which estimates that the contribution of the Aboriginal workforce to Thunder Bay’s GDP is in the range of $254.38 million to $383.33 million per year.
“Status Cards Welcome” decals will be mailed to affected Chamber members and are available for pick up from the Chamber office.
Here is what you need to know: Ontario Sales Tax
Effective September 1, 2010, Status Indians may claim an exemption from paying the eight per cent Ontario component of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on qualifying property or services at the point of sale. Qualifying property and services are described in Guide 80 – Ontario First Nations Point-of-Sale Exemptions. To receive the exemption, the Status Indian must present their “Certificate of Indian Status” identity card at the time of making a purchase.
The Ontario Government states:
“The point-of-sale exemption for Status Indians, Indian bands and councils of an Indian band will apply only to qualifying off-reserve acquisitions or importations of property or services that are for the personal consumption of the Status Indian or exclusively for consumption or use by the band or the council of the band.
“The Status Indian point-of-sale exemption will not apply where any other relief is available, such as:
- when the purchaser is eligible for input tax credits for the HST payable (e.g., because the purchase is for use in the purchaser’s commercial activities);
- in cases where the supply is already relieved of the HST because it is zero-rated (e.g., basic groceries) or exempt (e.g., certain health care services); or
- when the property is a designated item that qualifies for an Ontario point-of-sale rebate for the Ontario component of the HST (e.g., children’s clothing, printed books).
“Effective September 1, 2010, vendors will provide a credit (exemption) at the time of sale of the eight per cent Ontario component of the HST for qualifying off-reserve property or services.
“Also effective September 1, 2010, the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) will credit the eight per cent Ontario component of the HST on qualifying goods imported by Ontario Status Indians, Indian bands and councils of Indian bands”.
For more information visit: www.fin.gov.on.ca