Posted on Oct 16, 2016

Small Business Week

OUR TOP PRIORITIES:

• Jobs and Diversification

• Supporting families and communities

• Investing in Alberta’s infrastructure

• Promoting growth with new tax credits

• Diversifying our energy industry

• Increasing access to markets

• Getting the best value for our resources

• Strengthening business in Alberta

We will continue to will invest in programs that support economic diversification and innovation, that attract investment and create jobs for the future, and support a just transition toward a new economy.

The Alberta’s Jobs Plan continues investments in modern, efficient infrastructure to help stimulate the economy and keep people working. Measures were also introduced to expand access to workforce and skills training and retraining, so that people facing unemployment can upgrade their skills.

 

SMALL BUSINESS WEEK

October 16- 22, 2016

Business Week provides a unique opportunity to celebrate entrepreneurship in our province and the important role small businesses play in our communities and economy. I’m pleased to meet regularly with local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others to learn about the terrific work they are doing in their communities. I am very happy to celebrate local businesses this week.

Economy

Our economy is something that I know is on everyone’s mind. In the past year and a half, the international price of oil has dropped by more than two-thirds. As a result, the province has experienced a serious and prolonged economic shock. There is no question the dramatic drop in the international price of oil is having a significant effect on Alberta families, communities and businesses. However, Alberta small businesses continue to demonstrate innovation and resiliency in the face of this challenge, making it especially worthwhile to celebrate them this week.

I know how important small businesses are in the role they play in Alberta’s economy. More than 95% of all businesses in the province are small businesses. As of the first quarter in 2016, small businesses employ more than 535,000 Albertans in the private sector, or about 36% of all Alberta private sector employment. Small businesses are the foundation of our city and neighbourhoods, and provide good jobs for Albertans to earn a solid living for themselves and their families.

Our support for small business

Our government wants to make sure small businesses have what they need to thrive. We have significant small business supports in place to help homegrown business through difficult times. For example, more than 260 service providers are available to work with Alberta businesses to contribute to their formation, growth and long term success- whether it’s writing a business plan, accessing legal advice, increasing marketing capacity, hiring expertise or exporting.

Alberta Jobs Plan

I’d also like to tell you about how the Alberta Jobs Plan will help diversify the regional economy and create long-term economic growth for the region. Our government has provided $250 million for a suite of initiatives under the Alberta Jobs Plan to support the province’s job creators – Alberta businesses. !Some of these initiatives include: !!

• The Alberta Investor Tax Credit which will offer a 30% tax credit to investors who provide capital to eligible Alberta companies;

• The Capital Investment Tax Credit which will encourage companies to make timely capital investments by returning a percentage of the company’s costs

• An additional $25 million for the Alberta Enterprise Corporation through Budget 2016 to improve access to venture capital financing and build stronger connections to Alberta entrepreneurs.

Reduction in small business corporate income tax

Our jobs plan will also reduce Alberta’s small business corporate income tax rate by one third, from 3 to 2% as of January 1, 2017. This tax relief will be worth an estimated $185 million in 2017-2018 to small business owners. Alberta is now tied for second lowest provincial small business tax.

Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)

In Budget 2015, our government announced a series of initiatives to improve access to investment capital and mandated the Alberta Investment Management Corporation or AIMCo, to invest up to three per cent – or $540 million – of the $18 billion Heritage Fund in Alberta companies with strong growth potential. Since then, AIMCo has made four investments worth a total of $98.4 million from the Heritage Fund. Alberta has always been a good place to live, explore new ideas, and launch a new business. Working together, I know Alberta will continue to be the right place to launch and grow a business long into the future.