Elk Valley business community supports budget

A tax rate cut for small businesses will have a significant impact on the Elk Valley economy.

Earlier this week the Conservative’s balanced their budget, expanding the tax-free savings account, while also cutting the tax rate for small businesses from 11 per cent to nine per cent by 2019, a cut that many business leaders and politicians believe will have a significant impact on the Elk Valley economy.

“One of the most significant ones for not only the Elk Valley but all of the Kootenay-Columbia is the reduction in the small business tax,” Kootenay-Columbia Member of Parliament (MP) David Wilks said. “It is estimated that this will put $2.3 billion back into the pockets of job creating entrepreneurs between now and 2020.”

Embracing this gradual change, both the BC and Fernie Chambers of Commerce applauded the federal government.

“This was certainly not an easy endeavour, with dropping oil prices and ongoing global economic uncertainty,” John Winter president and CEO of the BC Chamber said of the balanced budget. “Canada is in an enviable position, being one of only a few nations to announce a balanced budget.”

The 2015 balanced budget was promised by Finance Minister Joe Oliver in 2011, with the hope of government spending being reduced by $1.4 billion.

The Conservatives are currently projecting a $.9 billion surplus in 2016-17 despite still having a deficit for 2015-16.

Locally, the small business tax decrease has intrigued the business community.

“This is good news for our local economy,” Fernie Chamber of Commerce board president Todd Fyfe said, “as any relief in tax burden for our business members will only strengthen them.”

In terms of financial gains, the Canada Small Business Financing Program is expecting to expand under the new budget, as the maximum loan amount will increase from $500,000 to $1 million.

“The federal budget shows the government’s continued support to small business and that they are a vital piece in the Canadian economy,” Fernie Chamber Executive Director Patty Vadnais said. “The Fernie Chamber will be identifying the programs applicable to its membership and sharing those details with its members.”

City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano also embraced the tax break, noting that she hopes this change will bring more business to the area.

MP candidate Wayne Stetski, however, raised some concerns over the small business tax rate reduction.

Despite acknowledging the importance of this break in the Kootenay-Columbia area, Stetski said the decrease will be done at a slow rate in comparison to the NDP’s proposed one per cent cut per year.

“It’s a little slower than I would have liked to have seen,” he said. “A lot of the budget is post dated.”

Stetski continued, “I think that’s the right tax to reduce. Getting that tax down is absolutely the right thing to do. This will hopefully generate new jobs. Small business is a key element, particularly in Kootenay-Columbia.”

In terms of the budget as a whole, Stetski also raised concerns over affordable daycare and a liveable wage not being included.

“Those are the kinds of things that I hear from constituents of Kootenay-Columbia that were missing,” he noted.

Despite the constituents concerns over the 2015 federal budget, Wilks assured the public that strides are being taken to improve living in the Elk Valley.

Included in the budget is an additional three years of funding the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program (RFCPP) at $10 million per year beginning in 2016/17.

 

To look at other program funding, visit http://www.canada.ca/en/

 

 

Just Posted

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Rumble In The Rockies brings live boxing back to Fernie

Local boxer, Dylan Mitchell takes first career win at home

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Lumby supports the vote for Fernie Hockeyville idea

Okanagan village that won the 2016 crown backs Saskatchewan call to vote for Fernie, B.C.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Sentencing hearing begins for ex-BC Liberals employee in ‘quick wins’ scandal

Former communications director Brian Bonney pleaded guilty last October

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

BC Liberal leadership candidate stops in Cranbrook

Andrew Wilkinson drums up local support as race enters final weeks.

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

Most Read