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Budget 2014 supports small businesses, keeps taxes low

Small businesses are important to Alberta’s strong economy and are supported by a number of programs and services as well as a low-tax environment.

Minister Horner stops for coffee at the Three Bananas Cafe

Budget 2014 introduces no new taxes or tax increases and Albertans continue to enjoy the lowest overall taxes in Canada. This includes the lowest corporate tax rate at 10 per cent and a competitive small business tax rate at three per cent.

Alberta has no payroll tax, sales tax or health premiums, in addition to the personal tax advantages small business owners and their employees enjoy.

Budget 2014 will also see education property tax mill rates reduced by 4.5 per cent and personal income tax credits rise by 1.1 per cent.

Operating a business in Alberta keeps owners’ taxes low (both corporate and personal), making it easier to attract and retain employees. If Alberta employed the tax system of any other province, Albertans and Alberta businesses would pay at least $11.6 billion more in taxes each year.

“Budget 2014 is a fully balanced budget that protects the programs and services important to all Albertans, including small business owners. This government remains committed to fiscal responsibility with no new taxes or tax increases, ensuring we maintain our province’s competitive tax advantage.”

- Doug Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Alberta continues to be a leader in the number of new small businesses created in Canada each year. Small businesses are a vital part of Alberta’s economy, making up 95 per cent of all businesses in the province and contributing 27 per cent to Alberta’s gross domestic product.

“Alberta is the best jurisdiction in the country to do business and we lead the country in small business creation. To build on this success, our government is currently developing a small business strategy to help us better respond to the needs of Alberta’s small businesses and support their growth.”

- Dave Hancock, Deputy Premier and Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education

“With an economic footprint of more than $77 billion annually, rural Alberta is a tremendous contributor to our province’s success. Through the Rural Economic Development Action Plan, we will help ensure our programs and services continue to support a strong economy and create a positive environment for our businesses and entrepreneurs, who are essential to the continued growth of Alberta’s vibrant rural communities.”

- Verlyn Olson, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

“Alberta is a great place to do business. Businesses thrive and grow in Alberta by participating in our strong economy. Business can rely on competitive personal and corporate income tax rates, a skilled workforce and support from government departments who understand what is important to business.”

- Brad Severin, CA CFP TEP, Chair, Alberta Chambers of Commerce

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Backgrounder

Support for Small Businesses in Alberta

  • Information and advice for small business: The government actively supports several programs for small businesses, including The Business Link, which offers free or low-cost business seminars for business start-ups and helps entrepreneurs grow their business. The Business Link is jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the province.
  • Rural Alberta Business Centres partner with local stakeholders to provide access to information, advice, and learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses in eight participating rural communities across Alberta. Budget 2014 includes $0.6 million to meet GOA funding commitments for the Rural Alberta Business Centres.
  • Small Business Strategy: Budget 2014 includes $1.0 million for the implementation of the Small Business Strategy. In fall 2013, government met with small businesses across the province and feedback from this engagement is helping to shape Alberta’s new strategy for small business success. The strategy is expected to be released later this year.
  • Productivity Alberta offers a broad range of services that help companies identify and address gaps in productivity, maximize resources and be more efficient.
  • Alberta Flood Recovery Programs for Small Businesses (short-term program): In the wake of the June 2013 Floods, the Alberta government created three Flood Recovery Programs designed to offset the costs of recovery for small businesses, administered by the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC):
    • The Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Guarantee Program;
    • The Alberta Flood Recovery Interest Rebate Program; and
    • The AFSC Alberta Flood Recovery Loan Program.
  • Regional Innovation Networks delivered by Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF), support technology companies and innovators across Alberta by providing funding, technical facilities, advice and expertise. This support assists all regions in diversifying their economies into knowledge-based and increased value-added sectors. AITF programs aligned with the Regional Innovation Networks include: Innovation Vouchers, Youth Technopreneurship, Industry and Technology Commercialization Associates, and the Product Demonstration Fund.
  • The Alberta Innovates Connector is a free, personalized service provided by the Alberta government that connects innovators and entrepreneurs to the resources, organizations and people that make up Alberta's research and innovation system.

Support for agricultural businesses

  • The Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) provides loans to farmers, agribusiness and other small businesses.
  • The New Venture Team with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development provides coaching to startup agricultural businesses and those looking to add another enterprise to their existing business.
  • The Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator (APBI) is a multi-tenant facility located in Leduc. It provides the infrastructure and services to support and enhance the establishment and growth of new companies and new business ventures in Alberta.

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