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Helping Ontario’s Small Businesses

Dr. Helena Jaczek, MMP, Oak Ridges – Markham

The last year has been a challenging time for all Ontarians.

From the beginning, the McGuinty government has been doing everything we can to help our businesses and families - and our economy - emerge from this difficult time stronger than ever.

October is “Salute to Small Business Month” in Ontario, an annual occasion for us to recognize the contributions of the hard-working small business operators across our province.

Our government has always recognized the importance of small business to the future of Ontario. Small and medium-sized enterprises are a key engine of our economy, accounting for over half of all private sector jobs in Ontario, and an astonishing 97 percent of all businesses in this province.

In these trying times, our government recognizes the need to help our small businesses not just survive, but thrive.

That’s why the McGuinty government has proposed a comprehensive tax reform package as part of the 2009 Ontario Budget. This package would modernize Ontario’s tax system and provide significant advantages to our small businesses.

One part of the package involves moving to a single, value-added sales tax, called the harmonized sales tax (HST). The HST would integrate the current GST and PST into a single, federally-administered, tax. Businesses would save $500 million per year in administration costs alone. And to further give our businesses a kick-start and lower business costs, we are also proposing $4.5 billion in business tax relief over three years. Because the cost of doing business will go down, companies will be able to invest in growth and new jobs, and pass savings on to consumers.

To help small businesses become more competitive, our government is also proposing to cut the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rate for small businesses from 5.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent effective July 1, 2010.

We are also eliminating a key barrier to growth for small businesses by proposing to get rid of the CIT small business deduction surtax, making Ontario the only Canadian jurisdiction that does not claw back the benefit of the small business deduction.

Once fully implemented, these reforms would cut Ontario’s marginal effective tax rate on new investment in half. This means that businesses would pay half as much tax on things like new equipment and technology, which means more money to invest in themselves so they can grow stronger and create more jobs.

It will make Ontario one of the most competitive jurisdictions in the industrialized world for new investments.

And we’re doing more to help small businesses get off the ground, and succeed.

We have 56 Small Business Enterprise Centres that help entrepreneurs with starting-up and growing their business. We also offer a number of programs to encourage young people to choose entrepreneurship as a career.

And we have created the Open for Business initiative, an ambitious three-year initiative to create a modern government system that delivers results for Ontario’s businesses while protecting the public interest.

Our government recognizes the importance of creating a strong business climate where Ontario businesses can succeed and stay competitive in today’s global marketplace. By working together, we build a brighter, stronger future for all Ontarians

For more information on what your government is doing to help small businesses, contact my constituency office at (905) 294-4931.

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