Small Businesses Make a Big Impact
The Government of Saskatchewan recognized the positive impact of small businesses to the province during the Business Development Bank of Canada Small Business Week. The week in October is set aside every year to celebrate entrepreneurship across Canada.
The impact of small businesses is quite incredible. In 2017, small businesses in Saskatchewan employed 31.2 per cent of the province’s workforce, paying $6.3 billion in wages and salaries and accounting for 25.6 per cent of total payroll. They also contributed almost a third of the province’s gross domestic product at 27 per cent.
Saskatchewan has Canada’s second highest rate of small businesses—about 130 for every 1,000 people, compared to about 111 nationally. These organizations, which have fewer than 50 employees, made up 99 per cent of all businesses in the province in 2017.
The Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce has over 500 small businesses in their membership. This goes to show that small businesses contribute in a big way to our local economy.
We want to see this kind of success continue to grow. The Government of Saskatchewan has invested in initiatives, services and programs that support small businesses in the province.
Some of these include:
- The Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive, the first “patent box” style incentive of its kind in North America;
- The Saskatchewan Technology Start-Up Incentive, which offers a 45 per cent non-refundable tax credit for individual and corporate equity investments in eligible technology start-up businesses;
- The Product2Market: Value Added incentive which helps support small-and-medium-sized agri-businesses, from product development through to marketing activities;
- The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, an employer-driven program which helps employers train new or existing workers to meet their specific workforce needs;
- A small business income tax rate, at two per cent, for Canadian-controlled private corporations. The rate applies to the first $600,000 of business income and is among the lowest in the country;
- A highly competitive tax structure which includes tax credits for research and development, as well as for manufacturing and processing equipment expenditures;
- The proclamation of the Regulatory Modernization and Accountability Act in 2013, to remove red tape that could be a road block to business, and to remove some of the barriers to growth.
Small business owners are encouraged to access the supports that apply to them. There is useful information online at Saskatchewan.ca.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Fraser Institute consistently rank Saskatchewan near the top of the nation for its business environment. In spite of the downturn in the resource sector, Saskatchewan’s business-friendly policies have generally been reflected in a growing small business sector. Nationally, the largest increase in average weekly earnings for small businesses between 2006 and 2016 occurred in Saskatchewan.
Small business owners are a hard-working and innovative group. Their determination and enterprising spirit built our province, and continues to keep Saskatchewan growing stronger. We salute our valuable Saskatchewan small businesses for investing, employing and growing our economy, making Saskatchewan a great place to live, work and raise our families.