Red Tape, Taxes Reduced for Small Businesses

NOTE: Small Business Week, Oct. 15 to 21, is an annual event that recognizes the importance of small and medium-sized businesses.

The government is tackling the top two priorities of small businesses – cutting red tape and taxes – as it works with them to build a stronger Nova Scotia.

Premier Stephen McNeil highlighted government’s commitment to supporting small businesses during a visit to a new café in Halifax today, Oct. 17, during Small Business Week.

“Nova Scotia’s tens of thousands of small businesses help make this a stronger province,” said Premier McNeil. 

“We are cutting taxes and red tape so small businesses can grow and hire Nova Scotians.”

Government has set a bold target to reduce red tape – saving Nova Scotia businesses $25 million annually. In addition, a new approach is now in place whereby every $1 of new regulation costs to business must be offset by $1 in savings. 

In the past two years, government has cut red tape to help local wineries, farmers, apprentices and many other businesses. To date, this work has saved businesses more than $5 million every year.

“Less red tape means fewer unnecessary costs for businesses – that’s money that will get reinvested here in Nova Scotia,” Premier McNeil added. “We know it is important to cut red tape, but we are also making the existing rules easier to understand and navigate.”

The Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness launched the Business Navigator Service this year, a Canadian first. 

It provides one-on-one, customized service to steer small business owners through the regulatory environment, saving them time and money. Nearly 800 small business owners have used the service since it launched in February 2017. 

“My partner and I had never owned a business, but we were excited to bring our ideas and recipes to the community,” said Safia Haq, co-owner of the Tart and Soul Café in Halifax. “Starting a business is overwhelming, and there are so many things to do before opening the door to customers. The business navigator service was extremely helpful. 

“We loved having so much information available online so we could work on administrative tasks on our own time. It’s also so great to have somewhere and someone we can bring all of our questions to.”

In addition to the savings realized by red tape reduction government is lowering taxes for more than 1,800 small and medium-sized businesses. An increase in the small business tax threshold to 500,000 from $350,000 will mean $14.1 million in savings that can be reinvested and create jobs.

“As a former small business owner, I am excited to make this announcement because I know how far every dollar gets stretched,” said Premier McNeil. “The tax relief we are providing to small businesses will help our province’s small businesses grow and our people prosper.”