by Bob Nault MP
KENORA – POLITICS – Small businesses play a fundamental role in our economy and, as a government, we will continue to support their growth and success. Small businesses comprise more than 70 percent of private employment and 30 percent of Canada’s GDP. In 2016, there were 1.14 million small businesses operating in Canada and they are directly responsible for growing job markets.
Local small businesses play a significant role in stimulating our economy by bringing both jobs and money to Northwestern Ontario. I recently had the opportunity to visit with Shannon Mackey, owner of Home Grown Kombucha in Ignace. She sells cultured tea containing live (good) bacteria. The business started with a two-litre mason jar of tea, and since, the business has expanded to a storefront location.
Another local, homegrown business I visited this summer was with Don Marion, owner of the Northbound Moose Company in Dryden, who sells homemade gourmet popcorn, candy apples and an assortment of other goods that have become local favourites. These are just two of the local businesses – the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our riding!
The federal government is showing support for small businesses in a number of different ways. Locally, an investment of $264,987 was made to hire an Economic Development Officer (EDO) for the Township of Ear Falls. The new EDO will be able to engage local residents, businesses and volunteers, as well as nearby municipalities and First Nations, to determine the most effective means of achieving economic, business and community development for the benefit of families living in and around the community.
To help small business owners in our region and across the country, the small business tax rate has been lowered from 11 percent to 9 percent by 2019. This means small business owners will save up to $7,500 each year. We also understand that for our economy to reach its full potential, everyone needs to be involved. That includes more women operating businesses. The federal government is investing $2 billion in Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy with the goal of doubling the number of women-owned businesses to 352,000 by 2025.
We live in a unique part of the country, with its own unique challenges and opportunities. Innovative, local small businesses play a significant role in our economy and we know small businesses not only help shape and personalize Northwestern Ontario, but they are essential cogs in the economy. It is important that we continue to show support so that small businesses in the region thrive.