Week of October 15, 2018
By Bob Nault
KENORA – Small businesses are critical to the economic success of Northwestern Ontario and the entire country. They make up 98% of all Canadian businesses and employ over 8 million Canadians and Northerners. This year, from October 14th – 20th, Canada celebrates Small Business Week, because it’s our chance to recognize the value that small businesses bring to our communities.
In our riding, we have a number of thriving local businesses, including restaurants, specialty shops, healthcare service providers as well as numerous small and mediums size retailers. Nationally, these small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are responsible for around 52% of Canadian gross domestic product and almost 40% of the value of total Canadian goods exports.
To help small businesses in our region and across the country, we are cutting costs by lowering the Small Business Tax Rate to 9%. This means small business owners will save up to $7,500 each year and by lowering the Small Business Tax rate, entrepreneurs can reinvest these savings back into their business to create even more jobs.
We also understand that in order for the economy to reach its full potential, everyone needs to be involved. That includes more women operating businesses, so we are investing $2 billion into Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. The goal is to double the number of women-owned businesses to 352,000 by 2025.
Small businesses play a key role in our efforts to expand Canadian trade throughout the world. Research shows that companies who have a product to export grow faster, pay higher wages and are more sustainable than companies that don’t. However today, only about 10-12 per cent of SMEs are currently tapping into international markets. This signals a great opportunity to do much more to develop a long-term export strategy that focuses on helping Canadian exporters sell their products throughout the world.
Trade is critical to our future success. Recently, Canada negotiated hard and held out for a good deal with the U.S. and Mexico. The USMCA safeguards more than $2-billion a day in cross-border trade and tariff-free access for more than 70 per cent of Canadian exports. However, these difficult negotiations also highlighted the need to diversify our trade relationships with other countries.
Recent trade deals like the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) are good examples. They illustrate the potential of having open market access to over a billion new customers. Again, we need to make it as easy as possible for small business owners to find government programs and services to help them succeed. That’s why we launched Innovation Canada, which is a one-stop-shop website that’s fast and easy to use for businesses looking for the right information when looking to expand.
It takes great courage to start a business and entrepreneurs who take that leap, work long hours and face numerous challenges. That’s why this government is committed to helping them succeed and we will continue to do so.
In short, small businesses play a vital role in our economic future and their long-standing success is a significant reason why our economy remains one of the strongest of the G7 countries.
Bob Nault MP