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Support small businesses, says Angus

The North is dependent on the resource sector, but small businesses are the backbone of the region.

That’s according to Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus. Angus wrote an open letter to the editor this week, saying the government needs to better support small business owners.

Tax incentives, and growth policies are among the ideas. Angus says the Harper government is focused on the wrong thing, large corporations.

Angus says the NDP are working with entrepreneurs to develop solutions that work for everyone.

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The full letter from Charlie Angus is as follows:

NDP: Onside with small business
By: MP Charlie Angus

This past week I sat down with the Timmins Chamber of Commerce to talk about issues in the north. We may be heavily dependent on the resource sector in the north, but small businesses continue to be the backbone of stability across our region. The key to diversification is ensuring that the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a climate that encourages them to invest in growth and in hiring new people.

Over the last decade, SMEs created nearly 80 percent of all new private sector jobs in this country. Yet for many, survival can be a daily challenge. And every day, my New Democrat colleagues and I hear from small business owners who expect better from their government in Ottawa.

They’re telling us that Canada needs a real job-creation strategy. They’re looking for tax incentives to help them clear the hurdle of hiring and training new employees. They want innovative policies that help start-ups grow into bigger, more competitive companies. They believe it’s time to leverage new digital technologies to make businesses more efficient.

More and more business owners are talking about the barriers they face when it comes time to pass their family enterprises onto their children. And yes, we often hear about the need to reduce unnecessary red tape—so business owners can focus more time on what they do best.

Yet despite their central role in our economy, SMEs just aren’t on Stephen Harper’s radar. Instead of working with smaller businesses, his Conservatives are still handing billions of dollars to large corporations, as subsidies and tax giveaways. And those giveaways are clearly failing to spark the good-quality job creation our communities need.

New Democrats believe it’s time to change focus. We believe it’s time to take practical steps to help Canada’s real job creators: small and medium-sized businesses.

As a practical first step, we’re urgently calling on the government to bring back the Hiring Credit for Small Business that they eliminated in their last budget. We should be helping small businesses create jobs—not making it harder to get the job done.

At the same time, we’re getting ready to build on our successful cross-country consultations on unfair credit card merchant fees. All summer and fall, New Democrats reached out to small business owners from coast to coast to coast. We’ll be sitting down together to develop practical, common sense proposals to help SMEs thrive and grow. Our community deserves nothing less.

While the Conservatives stay focused on Bay Street, New Democrats are engaging with Canada’s entrepreneurs—our real job creators—to develop solutions that work for Main Street as well.

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