The Green Party has a plan for supporting small businesses and Ontario’s workers through fair tax reform. This plan will result in an additional $1 billion
remaining in communities each year to help businesses pay a living wage.
Small businesses are the engine of our economy and account for over 87 per
cent of new private-sector jobs in the past decade.
The Green Party of Ontario believes that to sustain vibrant communities we must
open up more opportunities for small business to thrive.
We will do this by making it easier for small businesses to pay a living wage and
create jobs by increasing the exemption level for the Employer Health Tax from
$450,000 to $1 million in payroll for businesses and organizations with payrolls
under $5 million.
Our plan will provide immediate cash flow relief that will help local, independent
businesses to continue thriving in this transition to better wages.
We will also support local food and farmers and expanding local markets for
products such as the craft beer industry, which right now faces restrictions on
where they can bring their products - which are in high demand - to market.
And we will create smart regulations that understand the needs of small
businesses are different from those of big business.
Small businesses are key to vibrant communities, providing good jobs and new opportunities for Ontario families, which is why the Ontario Liberals are committed to their success and growth.
With more than 400,000 small businesses with employees in communities across the province, we know that when they succeed, we all succeed.
Our plan is to invest an additional $500 million to help small businesses lower
costs, take advantage of new opportunities, and save time when dealing with government, including a suite of small business supports were announced in Ontario’s recent Fall Economic Statement and reiterated in the 2018 budget,
- A 22 per cent cut in the Corporate Income Tax rate for small businesses— from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, effective January 1, 2018.
- Designating 33 per cent of procurement spending to small and medium-sized businesses by 2020, which will be supported by initiatives to improve the process by making it easier for businesses to submit bids.
- Investing $40 million in small businesses in downtown and main street areas under the Main Street Enhancement Fund.
- Launching a new program called Small Business Access, which will provide resources online and over the phone to make it easier for small businesses to interact with the government and get the supports they need.
The Liberals are also making investments that make business operations more
competitive and efficient in a rapidly changing economy. These investments
- The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) and the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF), which supports regional economic development by creating jobs, attracting private sector investment and promoting innovation, collaboration and cluster development in Southwestern and Eastern Ontario.
- The creation of a new Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Fund (GTHAF), as part of the Good Jobs and Growth Plan, to complement the SWODF and EODF and fill a critical gap in regional development throughout the GTHA. As announced in the 2018 Budget, Ontario will be investing an additional $100 million in the EODF, SWODF and GTHAF over the next ten years.
Beyond these important funds, Ontario will also be investing $50 million over the
next ten years in a new Transformative Technology Partnership Fund to
accelerate the development and commercialization of transformative
technologies by bringing together SMEs, technology developers and adopters,
and academic institutions.
We’re also taking further steps to support Ontario’s small and medium sized
producers of locally grown fruits and vegetables and other edible horticulture
products with $60 million in support over two years, ensuring they continue to
grow and remain competitive.
Finally, we are modernizing and making changes to the microbrewer definition
and the Small Beer Manufacturer’s Tax Credit. These changes will ensure that
small beer manufacturers and microbrewers continue to have incentives to grow
and fuel economic development in local communities.
Small businesses are the backbone of the Ontario economy. When small businesses grow and prosper, so does our province. However, with fewer resources and personnel and smaller budgets, small businesses face unique challenges on their path to prosperity.
In Ontario high hydro rates are hurting our small businesses and undermining our competitiveness. Small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to hire qualified, experienced people - and small businesses have not been getting their fair share of provincial businesses supports and procurement opportunities.
Only New Democrats will lower hydro bills by 30 per cent – and keep them down over the long-term. We will end mandatory time of use pricing that penalizes businesses for being open during business time. We will put an end to the government’s disastrous Fair Hydro borrowing scheme that will add $40 billion of unnecessary debt while causing bills to rise again by 70 per cent shortly after the election.
An NDP government will make historic investments in workforce development and training including creating 27,000 new work-integrated learning experiences for post-secondary students. We will partner with small businesses and organizations like CFIB to ensure small businesses are able to access Ontario’s world-class post-secondary talent. We will invest in and reform Ontario’s apprenticeship system to begin closing the skills gap in the skilled trades.
An NDP government will make sure provincial business supports reflect the needs and realities of small businesses: we will make sure business support programs are accessible, simplified and transparent.
New Democrats also believe that governments should be reinvesting tax dollars back into Ontario communities by procuring made-in-Ontario products and services when possible. We will set a target of procuring 33 per cent of government contracts from small and scaling businesses. We will make greater use of Community Benefit Agreements in infrastructure projects.
We will maintain the one-third reduction to the effective small business tax rate and we will maintain the small business exemption in the Employer Health Tax while limiting it to small businesses.
The Progressive Conservative Party opted to respond via letter. Please see the attached document.