Business owners: Sign the letter below to make your voice heard!
Mr. Éric Girard
Minister of Finance
As a small business owner, I am writing to share a few issues that I would like to see addressed in the upcoming provincial budget.
As you know, labour shortages are severely impacting many businesses throughout the province. In the third quarter of 2018, nearly 118,000 private-sector jobs went unfilled in Quebec, and this number continues to rise.
As a reminder, Quebec’s small business community is also subject to the heaviest tax burden in Canada. Although the Small Business Tax Rate will go down to 4% by 2021, the burden will remain almost twice as high in Quebec as in the rest of Canada (2.5% on average). Also, despite a planned reduction to Health Services Fund (HSF) contribution rates, my payroll taxes as an employer are approximately 30% higher than anywhere else in Canada.
In light of this situation, I believe that small businesses would benefit from the following measures in the upcoming provincial budget:
1- To address labour shortages:
- Improve existing tax measures intended to encourage experienced or retired workers to stay in the labour market as long as possible.
- Make the tax system more attractive to employees who work overtime or hold more than one job.
- Ensure a better match between the skills of immigrants and the needs of the labour market.
- Implement relief measures so that SMEs can absorb the costs of recruiting employees outside of Canada.
2- To improve small business competitiveness:
- Accelerate the SME tax rate reduction to 4%, as promised.
- Gradually abolish Health Services Fund contributions and bring the QPIP employer/employee contribution rates down to 50-50%.
- Ensure that the reduced tax rate is once again accessible to all SMEs.
- Support SMEs in their automation efforts and as they move to digital technology.
I would like to thank you for supporting Quebec’s small businesses.