QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan 15, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), met with Québec-area entrepreneurs at the offices of Québec International to discuss how to continue to improve Canada''s business environment. The Minister of State also outlined the Harper Government''s recent efforts to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) by cutting red tape, providing fast-growth SMEs with greater access to venture capital, opening new markets for Canadian businesses and keeping Canada''s finances sustainable over the long term while keeping taxes low for businesses and Canadian families.
"Entrepreneurs are key to Canada''s success," said Minister of State Bernier. "By listening to entrepreneurs, our government can work toward creating a business environment driven by entrepreneurs that encourages jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians."
To help cut red tape, the Harper Government launched a Red Tape Reduction Action Plan, a far-reaching, whole-of-government initiative that includes 90 department-specific reforms ranging from tax and payroll to labour, transport and cross-border trade. To improve access to capital, the Harper Government committed $400 million to increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital and to support large-scale, private sector-managed venture capital funds.
The Harper Government continues to assist SMEs by opening new markets. In less than six years, the Harper Government has concluded trade agreements with nine countries. Canada is also in negotiations with large, dynamic and fast-growing markets, including the European Union, India, Japan and the countries that comprise the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"Our government is also ensuring that Canada''s finances are sustainable over the long term by committing to return to balanced budgets by the end of this Parliament and without raising taxes on individuals or businesses," said Minister of State Bernier. "As a share of GDP, government program spending is projected to steadily decline over the next few years and return to pre-recession levels."
In Canada, SMEs account for 99 percent of companies, employ 60 percent of working Canadians and contribute about 40 percent to the GDP, proving to be economic drivers and important sources of job creation.