Monday, July 6, 2009

Leaders ask governments to ease up on smaller Canadian companies

In a poll taken by COMPAS Inc., Canadian CEOs say the government should change its regulations and tax policies on small businesses.

After the C.D. Howe Institute issued a report calling for making taxes and regulations lighter for small businesses, CEOs polled largely agreed so that small business can have room to expand.
“Government by its very nature attempts to solve all problems with regulation and complexity. In today’s regulatory climate, it certainly is difficult for small companies to survive,” said one CEO polled.

The majority of those polled agreed with simplifying the laws regarding capital gains rollovers so they could be more easily reinvested in small companies. They also supported changing employment laws like maternity and sick leave. “Small businesses are not the banks,” wrote one participant in the survey.

There was some but not universal support for the government to implement a flat corporate tax rate for all businesses. Those CEOs supporting the flat rate argued that small businesses lack the resources and staff to keep current with the regulations and cannot afford the time investment away from their main businesses as much as large companies might be able to.

There was also a difference of opinion among the CEOs polled regarding the federal small business deduction, as to whether lowering taxes on a company's first $400,000 of income discourages reinvestment as they would rather bonus out on that money. One respondent felt their business' growth was not stunted by the ceiling. “The issue is more one of the tax rate on capital gains versus the tax rate on personal income,” he replied.

All in all the respondents to the survey turned out to have a generally negative attitude toward government regulations and higher taxes. They would like governments to recognize that without the money they bring in from their businesses the governments would be crushed financially. As one respondent put it, “Governments do not create wealth. They use it up.”

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