TORONTO, ONTARIO—March 23rd 2017) – The Small Business Matters Coalition, representing well over 100,000 small and medium size businesses in Canada, are very encouraged by some of the measures announced in the 2017 federal budget that will help support the ability of their members to innovate and reinvest in the growth of their businesses. According to Coalition Chair Gary Sands, “SME’s often do not have the resources and infrastructure that allow them to find their way through what sometimes can seem to be a myriad of government agencies, boards and departments. Having a ‘one stop window’ that can provide our members with a toolbox of innovation support will be very welcome.”
The $50 million allocated to a new procurement program, Innovation Solutions Canada, is apparently modeled on the highly successful Small Business Innovation Research Program in the United States. This program announced in the budget will allocated a portion of funding towards R&D, prototypes and other innovative goods and services. It will also make the government a first customer for these products. “Small businesses know that to survive in a very competitive marketplace, they must innovate and reinvest in their businesses. They are often the ‘incubators’ for testing many new products and services and as such the procurement measures are an encouraging support mechanism that can hopefully accelerate even more innovation in the SME sector” said Tricia Anderson, President of the Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association and Vice Chair of the Coalition.
The budget also referenced the release of a consultation paper on a new retail payments oversight framework. Coupled with the current review initiated by Minister Morneau last September into the current rate of interchange fees, Satinder Chera, the President of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association and a Vice Chair of the Coalition, added that “we are encouraged by the governments acknowledgment of the onerous burden credit card fees and the lack of meaningful oversight in the payments sector has on the small business community. We hope that overdue relief for our members in this area is on the horizon.”
As well, the Small Business Coalition applauded the Government for not raising the thresholds for duties and excise taxes for out of country online purchases. Small and medium size businesses have invested in the bricks and mortar of businesses here in Canada, create jobs, pay taxes and support communities across the country. The Coalition had written to the Minister outlining our concerns around the possibility of increasing those thresholds and we are pleased that the Government has been sensitive to the disproportionate impact such a measure would have had on small business.
The Small Business Matters Coalition was formed in 2014 to represent the interests of Canada’s small businesses. The coalition is comprised of trade associations that represent in excess of 100,000 small business sites operating in Canada.
For more information on these matters, the following SBM members are available for comment:
Gary Sands, Small Business Matters Chair & Senior VP, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers | 416-409-7882
Satinder Chera, Small Business Matters Vice-Chair & President, Canadian Convenience Stores Association| 905-845-9339
Tricia Anderson, Small Business Matters Vice-Chair & President, Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association|905-823-6996
© 2017 Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers