QUÉBEC, June 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - In presenting Québec's Budget 2014-2015, the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, announced several measures to support private investment, especially by SMEs.
"We must act and rely on the best ways to revitalize economic activity and create jobs, while laying the foundations for solid and sustainable growth. It is necessary to regain the confidence of investors and send a clear message that Québec welcomes those interested in contributing to our economy while building a more productive economy," the Minister said.
Make SMEs even more innovative
The Minister noted that to improve the productivity of SMEs, we must ensure that they are more innovative, more creative and better performing. He announced the creation of the Créativité Québec program, with a budget envelope of $150 million over three years, to support the innovation and performance of SMEs by funding innovative projects. He also announced a holiday from the contribution to the Health Services Fund on salaries for SMEs that hire specialized employees to foster innovation.
Boost exports by Québec SMEs
"Québec needs to export more to bolster economic recovery. The way for businesses to broaden their pool of consumers, and thereby foster their long-term growth and prosperity, is to take fuller advantage of opportunities on external markets," the Minister said.
He announced that the tax rate for manufacturing SMEs will be lowered from 8% to 4%. Some 7 500 SMEs will benefit from this measure as of this year. He also announced an additional deduction for transportation costs of remote manufacturing SMEs. This deduction will enable them to improve their competitiveness despite their remoteness with respect to their market. In addition, $20 million will be allocated over three years to Export Québec, which helps Québec businesses to develop, consolidate and diversify their markets outside Québec.
Increased financing for businesses
To support business start-ups, the Minister announced an increase in the capitalization of the Anges Québec Capital fund of $25 million, raising it to a total of $100 million. In addition, the Québec government will participate in the creation of a new venture capital fund in Québec, in partnership with the private sector and the federal government, whose capitalization should reach $375 million.
Moreover, local investment funds, which are the main tool available to local development centres to support regional SMEs, will be able to postpone the repayment of their loans until December 31, 2015 so that they can maintain their activities in the regions. The capitalization of the Fiducie du Chantier de l'économie sociale will be increased by $2.5 million.
Developing entrepreneurship in Québec
"Entrepreneurship and business succession are essential elements for the sustainability of the economy. To foster entrepreneurship in Québec, Budget 2014-2015 provides for measures totalling on average more than $2.3 million per year over the next three years," the Minister indicated.
To that effect, the envelope of university entrepreneurship centres, which promote awareness of entrepreneurship among students, will be increased by $500 000 per year for three years to support the establishment and development of accelerators for the creation of technology companies. The Entrepreneur Program and the Investor Program, which support immigration of foreign investors and entrepreneurs, will be revised to foster the best candidates. Lastly, to support entrepreneurship among women, the government will contribute $9.5 million over five years to bolster the Réseau Femmessor.
Ease the administrative burden on businesses
"The efforts already undertaken to reduce the red tape and administrative burden on businesses must be continued and stepped up. Our objective is to cut the cost of administrative formalities imposed on businesses by 20% by the end of 2015. To that effect, I am announcing the creation of a standing oversight committee to implement the recommendations of the report of the Groupe de travail sur la simplification réglementaire et administrative," the Minister concluded.
SOURCE: Cabinet du ministre des Finances
For further information:
Press Relations Officer
Office of the Minister of Finance