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Flaherty Highlights Canadian Small Business Initatives

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

27 July 2011

Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has held a small business roundtable, where he emphasized the government tax breaks and economic incentives available to the sector.

Flaherty held the discussions in Burlington, Ontario on July 26, in order to seek the views of local small business people and gather suggestions concerning the general economic direction of the country.

Flaherty praised the role small businesses play, stressing that they are a vital part of Canada’s economy, creating jobs and economic activity. He also stressed that they are key engines of wealth generation and play a critical role in sustaining the economic recovery. The government has declared 2011 the Year of the Entrepreneur, in order to help increase public awareness of the important role played by small businesses.

Flaherty said: “Our dialogue today occurs at a time when the Canadian economy is the envy of much of the developed world. We have experienced seven straight quarters of economic growth. About 590,000 more Canadians are working today than in July 2009. Indeed, since mid-2009, Canada has had the strongest employment growth among the G7. We have much to be proud of, but we must not forget that Canada is not an island and therefore, not immune to the challenges that come from elsewhere.”

Flaherty highlighted a number of key Government initiatives to improve the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs. This includes introducing a temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business, lowering the small business tax rate to 11 per cent from 12 per cent, and increasing the amount of small business income eligible for this reduced rate to CAD500,000 (USD530,400) from CAD300,000.

In addition, Flaherty cited the government's extension of the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance rate for investment in machinery and equipment for two additional years, which he said will support business innovation. The government is also in the process of opening new international markets for Canadian exporters through an ambitious trade agenda, including negotiating trade agreements with the European Union and India.

Flaherty added: “All of these initiatives – and more – are designed to support economic growth and job creation in this country. Canadians can be assured that, in our new mandate, we will continue to keep our focus on the economy – and keeping it on the right track.”

Flaherty will hold several further meetings in the coming weeks, to prepare for the return of parliament and the continued implementation of his 2011 Budget, "The Next Phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – the Government’s Low-Tax Plan for Jobs and Growth".

TAGS: tax | small business | economics | business | entrepreneurs | corporation tax | agreements | Canada | tax breaks | trade

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