July 16th, 2019

Business Beat: The seven burdens of business

By Lisa Kowalchuk on May 15, 2019.

Canada has long represented a country of opportunity with businesses being the backbone of our economy, driving opportunity and prosperity forward. Within Canada 97.9% of all businesses represent small businesses, with 96.5% of our businesses locally representing small business in our region.

These businesses have to make hard decisions everyday about labour, investment, cash flow, growth, disruption and risk management, with all of these decisions having an impact on the future prosperity of our communities and our country.

We know it hasn’t been an easy road. Right now, Canadian businesses are straining under the seven burdens of business: A complex regulatory system; an out of date tax system; technology infrastructure that is failing to evolve with the times; a mismatch between the skills workers have and the skills businesses need; a lack of accessibility to tools needed for small- and medium-sized businesses to thrive; barriers to trade, both at home and abroad; and a potentially costly pharmacare system.

This is why we have launched a Vote Prosperity platform, in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, leading up to this year’s federal election. This platform challenges all party leaders to adopt and implement 45 recommendations related to the Seven Burdens of Business.

Vote Prosperity was created to provide workable, real-world solutions for the next Government and calls on all of the federal parties to support Canada’s job creators by including these priorities in their election platforms:

– A tax system that is fair, efficient and modern.

– A regulatory system that works for everyone, including business.

– Access to new markets around the world and the elimination of trade barriers at home.

– Resources to help small- and medium-sized businesses grow and succeed at home and abroad.

– Innovation and infrastructure to make Canada the most connected country in the world.

– A workforce with the skills, education and training required to prosper.

– A healthier pharmacare system for healthier Canadians.

Elected leaders must recognize that in order for our country to prosper, they need to enable businesses to be able to make the decisions needed to succeed. This ensures governments can have the resources needed to build roads, hospitals, schools and provide social services to support our communities.

Canadian businesses, our nation’s job creators, are not asking for a handout, they just want a fighting chance to compete and grow. Canada’s businesses have every right to expect a level playing field with the counties they compete against and they need our Government leaders to take bold action to achieve this.

Heading into the 2019 federal election, the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber network will engage with federal representatives to focus on reducing the overall taxation, regulatory burden and access to markets as critical priorities for Canadian businesses owners to maintain their competitiveness and the prosperity of all Canadians.

In addition to engaging with candidates and political leaders, we will also be encouraging our 200,000 Chamber members across Canada and the millions of Canadians they employ to vote for prosperity in the next election and to ask the critical questions of our candidates to find out what they will be doing to encourage prosperity and address the seven burdens of business as we move forward.

Just imagine what we could do for our country by working together to address barriers in order to create prosperity for our country.

Visit voteprosperityCA.ca to learn more about this initiative.

Lisa Kowalchuk is the executive director of the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. For more information on this column or the Chamber, contact 403-527-5214.

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