Will the next Ontario budget boost small business and the economy?



    TORONTO, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - Today, Judith Andrew, vice-president of the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), along with the
Federation's director of provincial affairs, Satinder Chera, presented CFIB's
pre-budget recommendations to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic
Affairs committee at Queen's Park. "For the past year, optimism has been
steadily declining among Ontario's small- and medium-sized business owners. If
we are going to turn this around, the upcoming budget must give entrepreneurs
some reason to believe things will improve," Andrew noted.
    The pre-budget submission, titled Choose Small Business for a Change,
highlights the fact that, although SMEs account for 98 per cent of all firms
by number, are responsible for more than half of Ontario's jobs and are the
province's strongest job creators, an examination of the McGuinty government's
record shows the balance of new initiatives has gone against small business
interests.
    Andrew pointed out that since the government's prior budgets have focused
elsewhere, this time around the SME sector is looking for some support for
being the economic bedrock of communities across Ontario. Based on the
feedback of its 42,000 members in Ontario, Andrew said that would mean: lower
taxes for businesses, lower taxes for individuals, and less government
intervention and regulation.
    In terms of tax relief priorities, CFIB members identified corporate
income tax, personal income tax, and property tax as the top three. On the
regulation front, CFIB is calling for a moratorium on all new provincial
legislation and regulation that adds to the burden on SMEs and for firm
regulatory reduction targets with an implementation timetable.
    "Budgets are always about choices," said Chera. "This year the government
has a choice about whether it will boost small business by giving them the
wherewithal to expand their firms, create more jobs, invest in new equipment
and in employee salaries and benefits, or whether it will continue to ignore
the sector and watch the economy struggle. We hope they'll choose small
business for a change."




For further information:

For further information: contact Holly Bennett or Gisele Lumsden at
(416) 222-8022, or via e-mail at Holly.Bennett@cfib-fcei.ca or
gislum@cfibmail.com


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