Your Chamber Works for Your Business – Taking Action on Tax Reform

Your Chamber Works for Your Business – Taking Action on Tax Reform

Your Chamber Works for Your Business – Taking Action on Tax Reform

It’s been a banner year in Nova Scotia with non-resident tourism traffic in June up 11% compared to last year. Tourism providers across the region have reported increases – line-ups for restaurants and sold-out accommodations tell the story of a region on the upswing; you can feel the optimism in the air!

So much good news, but during what’s shaping up to be a busy fall season, there’s reason for concern.  Taxation changes for corporations being proposed by the federal government stand to damage business growth and sustainability in this region (especially for small business).  With a 75-day consultation that spanned a very busy summer, the Strait Area Chamber has rallied business owners from across the region to ensure that their stories and concerns are heard, shared, and heeded. 

The bottom line for incorporated businesses is that their ability to reinvest – to grow and to be sustainable – is facing uncertainty. Tools used by both large and small incorporated businesses to carry them through troubled times, and to plan for the future, will be fundamentally changed.  Taxation experts have noted that the draft legislation targets areas including a company’s ability to claim earnings by family members, to make passive investments in a corporation, and capital gains. 

Our proactive approach to this issue has been to consult with our 300+ members, and to use their feedback to participate in discussions with federal government MPs and critics.  We have encouraged members to share their stories – giving them an opportunity to outline the impact to their businesses. We have provided templates to help businesses send their concerns to MPs, and provided fact sheets to help educate the public on the issues.  We have worked with media outlets to ensure that the business community is aware of the potential impact, and we have engaged the Atlantic and national chamber networks to ensure that the voice of business is heard – Loud and Clear. 

The feedback and discussions with our members can be summarized as follows: any tax system overhaul must ensure that the pursuit of fairness does NOT result in small businesses being penalized – Nova Scotia doesn’t need more disincentives for entrepreneurs, doctors, or businesses of any kind. Legislation of this complexity and a test of “reasonableness” will be incredibly difficult to apply with consistency, and will likely result in more bureaucracy.  The business community generally agrees that our current corporate taxation system could be more equitable, but doing so at the expense of so many middle class employers is not an acceptable approach.  As presented, these efforts to “close loopholes” will punish legitimate businesses here in Nova Scotia, and across the country – changes of this magnitude deserve a broader consultation and a thorough understanding of potential unforeseen consequences. This is not a tweak – it constitutes a major taxation system overhaul in Canada, so let’s give it the attention it deserves!

At the end of the day we proceed, not only with advocacy, but also with supporting our members at a local level and celebrating their success. On the heels of our largest-ever golf tournament to be held at the newly purchased Dundee Resort and Golf Club, we are now launching into a celebration of local craft brewers and artisan food producers.  That’s right – Celtic Oktoberfest is just around the corner and we have The Privateers lined up to entertain, along with 10 brewers and 10 food providers! It really will be “One Night to Remember” so mark your calendar for October 21st and join us with 400 of our closest friends to support the emerging craft brew sector in Nova Scotia (!  We’ll follow that up with our Fall Dinner and Awards Gala during Global Entrepreneurship Week in November where we’ll recognize new business start-ups and long-standing business success.

Drop in to see us at Business Suite 101 in the Port Hawkesbury Professional Centre at 609 Church Street. It’s our brand new “one stop shop” for businesses looking to grow, address challenges, and start up – we have resources to share with you!  We look forward to working for you, and celebrating with you, in the months and years to come! #ChamberFamily #SMEisMidClass #Golf #CapeBreton #CraftBeer #GEW2017

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