As a partner to your small business, we are here to help your dream grow. In addition to supplying business cards and marketing products, we also keep tabs on the latest news affecting small business in Canada. In late January, Treasury Board President Tony Clement introduced a new red tape reduction bill to help quell the financial burden increasing regulations have on small- and medium-sized businesses. Here is a deeper look into some of the current Canadian laws and programs aimed to better your small business.
“One for One” Rule
A conservative law introduced by Clement, the “One for One” rule forces lawmakers to cut an old regulation for every new one created. This rule is limited to laws and regulations affecting small- and medium-sized businesses to help eliminate red tape that burdens these companies. Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims red tape is a “silent killer of jobs” by limiting their potential for growth through a series of unnecessary hoops and fees.
For example, if a new regulation is introduced and expected to cost businesses “X” amount of dollars, an older regulation with a similar financial burden will be removed from law. The rule strictly excludes cuts of any health and safety regulations.
Currently Canadian business owners spend more than $30 billion per year on regulatory compliance. This rule aims to significantly reduce the time and money spent on yearly regulatory compliance helping small business focus more attention on expansion and delivering quality goods and services to customers.
NorthLeaf Venture Catalyst Fund
A new fund has been created to support the venture capital community as well as early and mid-stage businesses, the NorthLeaf Venture Catalyst Fund. A total of $217.5 million has been invested in the fund from the federal government, Ottawa’s government and the private sector. The fund was created by Northleaf Capital Partners and has financial support from a number of banks and financial groups throughout Canada.
HSBC Bank Canada Supports International Growth
Small business looking to expand their reach overseas can turn to HSBC Bank Canada for financial backing. Announced in late January, the bank added an additional $1 billion to support financing of small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada seeking international growth. This program was implemented last year and the additional billion dollar investment doubles the current fund for small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada. In order to receive financial backing from HSBC Bank Canada, your small business must be an HSBC customer and have annual revenue of $3 million to $250 million. HSBC created this fund as its research shows growth in many sectors across emerging markets as the Global Connections Trade Forecast report expects infrastructure trade to triple by 2030.
Canada Small Business Financing Program
Amid the most recent laws and programs aimed to support small businesses throughout Canada, one remains a constant chiefly because it works. Since 1999, the Canada Small Business Financing Program has assisted more than 120,000 companies issuing more than $1 billion in loans each year. Supported by Industry Canada, this program is aimed to make it easier for small businesses to receive loans from financial institutions by sharing risks with lenders. The program helps:
- New businesses get started, or established companies expand or improve
- Give small businesses access to loans that would have been unavailable otherwise
- Stimulate the economy and create jobs for Canadians
Small businesses or start-ups operating in Canada with gross annual revenues of $5 million or less are eligible for financial assistance through the program. Small businesses can use loans for financing up to 90 percent of the cost of purchasing or improving land or property, purchasing new or existing leasehold improvements and purchasing or fixing new/used equipment. As a small business owner, stop by your bank, caisse popularie or credit union and talk to a financial officer to learn more about interest rates and comprehensive details of the program.
As you continue to push your small business forward, consider the assistance programs above to accelerate expansion. These programs also give you the opportunity to speak with other small business owners and learn from their experiences. Continue checking back with the Vistaprint Canada blog for all small business news, inspiration, guidance and more.