March 17th, 2017

Upcoming budget should support small business: NDP

OTTAWA – The NDP’s Critic for Small Business, MP Gord Johns (Courtenay-Alberni), wrote a letter to the Minister in charge of small business policy, Bardish Chagger, urging her to include measures to address the top priorities of small business owners in the upcoming federal budget.

“Minister, we both know that across Canada, small business creates 78 percent of new jobs and accounts for almost one-third of Canada’s GDP,” Johns wrote, “Reducing the small business tax rate would provide a fair and level playing field for small businesses.”

The Liberals ran on a platform which promised to reduce the tax rate for small businesses, aligning themselves with the same commitment from the NDP and the Conservatives, but in last year’s budget that tax cut was delayed indefinitely. The second priority of small business that Johns determined after consulting with over 300 small business owners in a single week, is to lower the merchant fees associated with accepting credit cards that goes to Canada’s big banks.

“In 2012, the last year with data available, Canadian retailers paid $832 million in credit card interchange fees to Canada’s banks who issue the credit cards. Meanwhile the big banks in Canada have enjoyed record profits in recent years with the five largest banks making a combined $35.7 billion in profits in 2016.” Johns wrote. “In the midst of this corporate greed, the federal government has an opportunity to protect consumers and small business owners by regulating the credit card interchange rate.”