Small business is the backbone of the Canadian economy. As a former small business founder, owner, and operator, I know the challenges small businesses face. I crafted this plan based on my own experience dealing with government red tape and tax policy. Please send me your suggestions for improvements.
Ease the Burden on the Self-Employed
I will remove the “double” CPP payment for the self-employed. Self-employed people have to pay both the employee and employer portion of the CPP, which is double that which a regular employee would pay. This is unfair. Employees often have benefits and pensions, whereas self-employed people often have neither. The least we can do is give them a break on the CPP.
Distinguish between Big and Small Business
Small business is the backbone of the Canadian economy. I know: I founded, owned, and operated my own business in Oshawa, ON. I was sick of large international corporations with special tax breaks destroying the capacity of locally owned businesses to prosper.
We need to raise the amount of income eligible for the small business tax rate to $1,000,000. Right now, once a business earns above the small business rate, they pay regular corporate taxes, which can be double the small business rate. We need a medium business rate to ease corporations as they grow into a full corporate tax rate.
Distinguish between Made in Canada, and made somewhere else (like China)
In my furniture business, I could clearly see the way in which the Made in Canada furniture industry was almost destroyed by the flooding of our market with cheap and inferior furniture from places like China.
It is not “free trade” when countries like China manipulate currencies, steal intellectual property, and subsidize their own industries. They also play by entirely different rules in environmental safety and worker protection.
Therefore we must distinguish between Made in Canada and made elsewhere. I propose a nation-wide made in Canada program that labels and promotes Made in Canada products, and educates the public on the importance of buying in Canada.
This is also good for the environment, as we will buy fewer “throw away” products, and instead buy products made to last.
I will offer tax breaks to companies with warranties of 10 years or more to promote better quality and get away from the throwaway society. It was not uncommon for appliances to last many decades in our parents’ generation.
Small Business Tax Breaks and Red Tape Reduction
1. I will implement a payroll tax holiday and GST amnesty for one year for small businesses, cooperatives, and charities. Charities are largely exempt from GST, but we want to include them in any event.
2. Help Small Businesses Provide Benefits and Pensions. Small business owners often find it difficult to provide benefits to their employees, and very rarely can they provide any type of pension. My plan would allow small and medium businesses to put the portion of payroll taxes that they would’ve paid on incomes up to $60,000 per year into a benefits and/or pension pool to enable the creation of benefits and pension plans for all employees.
3. End corporate welfare and big business loop holes. Too often large corporations receive unnecessary government funding, and are further able to shield their earnings in legal (but unfair) overseas tax schemes. It’s time to even the playing field with small businesses that earn, work and pay all their taxes in Canada.
4. The Amazons and Facebooks must pay their fair share. We need to ensure that big tech platforms and e-commerce companies pay a fair amount of corporate taxes in Canada. Their impact on local business is significant, and they have to play by the same rules.
5. Raise the Small Business Limit. We need to raise the small business limit to $1,000,000 in revenue (the current amount eligible for the small business tax rate is $500,000) and create a medium business tax bracket to ease the transition to full corporate rates, which can often be double small business rates, depending on the province.
6. Encouraging Skills Training. To encourage skills training, I will offer a 100% percent tax credit for small business spending on skills training and education.
7. Encourage crowd funding. I will ease regulations on start-ups for licensing and crowd funding. This is a novel and appropriate way to encourage investment in new businesses, and we will work with provincial securities regulators to ensure greater access to this novel form of funding.
8. Reduce Red Tape. I will pass a “1 in, 2 out” rule for regulations at all three levels of government using Federal authority. Most red tape abuses are provincial and municipal, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB).
9. Further Red Tape Reductions. Our goal will be to repeal 70% of existing federal regulations by streamlining duplications.
10. Digitize Material Data Safety Sheets to save chemical manufacturing businesses thousands of dollars.
11. Forbid Statistics Canada from forcing small businesses to answer surveys upon pain of fines or jail time.
12. Bring all Federal Government forms and paperwork for small businesses to a single web page.
13. Remove the fees and reduce waiting time to three months on Temporary Foreign Worker applications.
14. Remove the Climate Action Incentive Fund which favours big businesses with 80k fee for privileges.
15. Work with provincial governments to make workplace co-ops mandatory for all high school, college, and university students. Many countries, such as Switzerland, have great success with apprenticeships in both blue-collar and white-collar industries (insurance, banking, etc.). We must encourage students to get a taste of the real world early – it improves understanding of how money is made, and encourages fiscal responsibility. Many students who are left-leaning complain significantly when they receive their first paycheque and see all the tax deductions. Exposure to fiscal realities will change their political reality.
16. End double payment into CPP for self-employed people.