Charlottetown, PE – The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraged by investments in the Island’s business community announced in the 2021-22 provincial operating budget, recognizing the government’s expedited commitment to lowering the small business tax rate to 1 percent.
“The reduction of the small business tax rate is something the Chamber has long advocated for and means that PEI has the lowest and most competitive rate in Atlantic Canada,” said Penny Walsh-McGuire, CEO of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce. “This is an investment that will keep profits recirculating within businesses and our economy as we look towards recovery.”
The increase of the Basic Personal Amount to $11,250 puts more money in the pockets of lower-income workers, many of who have been essential workers throughout the pandemic. The Chamber welcomes this news and will continue to encourage the government to fulfill its election promise to increase the Basic Personal Amount to $12,000 by 2023.
Tourism and hospitality businesses will benefit from a new Tourism Activation Fund non-repayable grant to assist with reopening costs; however, the Chamber points to the fact operators are still unsure when the province will reopen to visitors.
“Given the impact that COVID-19 has had on tourism in our province, we were pleased to see support for operators as they prepare for what we expect will be a better year than the past. With that, the tourism season is fast approaching, and it is crucial for government, in partnership with the other provinces, to set a date for the safe reopening of the Atlantic Bubble,” said Walsh-McGuire.
In reinforcing the importance of investments in workforce development, given the labour gaps and skills shortages many employers face, the Chamber looks forward to learning more about the new Workforce Development Agency. The Chamber also recognizes the introduction of a $25 per day childcare program as a positive step in supporting Island families while also reducing the financial barriers for parents looking to access the workforce or training.
The Chamber references several other investments in supporting our economy and its recovery:
- A $1 million micro-loan program to provide Islanders who identify as BIPOC, indigenous, women, and 2SLBGTQIA+ individuals and youth with financing to start a new business venture or support an existing one.
- New Small Business Assistance Grant will help small business owners and entrepreneurs access professional services and advice in finance, marketing, quality control, and production efficiencies to support their success. Applicants will receive a 50% reimbursement of up to $4,000 to provide such services.
- Making permanent the Web Presence Assistance program, which provides small businesses and not-for-profits up to $1,000 to develop and launch a traditional website and up to $2,500 to build and launch an e-commerce site.
- New Innovation Fund to help businesses refine and commercialize innovative products and services and a new Strategic Improvement Fund to help businesses access professional expertise that will help them with operational efficiencies, quality assurance, and capacity building.
“Investments in small business is an investment in our economy and our community,” said Walsh-McGuire. “With this budget, we remain optimistic that government will ensure the needs of our business community, particularly our hardest-hit sectors, are met as they navigate the coming months and the path to recovery.”
To view the 2021-22 provincial operating budget, click here.
For more information, contact:
Policy and Communications Manager