In Don Valley West, small businesses are important drivers of our local economy and active contributors to the specificity and vitality of our communities.
Ardith One Canadian Pottery and Crafts on Yonge Street in North Toronto has brought Canadian pottery to our community for over 35 years, and currently represents over 60 Canadian potters. The Flying Dragon Bookshop on Bayview Avenue in Leaside does great work to build a community of readers, young and old with events like their Harry Potter Book Launch, and by supporting organizations like Frontier College.
To me, businesses like Ardith One and Flying Dragon are such an important part of our community. They support local producers. They give back to the community. And they give our streets that local feel so instrumental in making them our home.
I encourage each of you to support our local businesses. At the same time, I recognize a responsibility I have as the local MPP to make sure our government does what it can to recognize the importance of our small businesses and to create conditions conducive to their success. I’m proud to be a part of a government that understands the importance of small business.
Small businesses are important to the prosperity all Ontarians enjoy in every region of the province – they make up 99% of Ontario’s businesses and account for more than 50% of Ontario’s jobs.
In 2006, to recognize the importance of the small-business sector to the economy, we established the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBE), to help deal specifically with the many issues that arise within this sector.
We have developed a number of policies and programs to help Ontario’s 355,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs grow and succeed, including:
- Our Summer Company supported the launch of 263 student businesses in 2007.
- We have eliminated 24% of business forms in the first phase of our paper burden reduction initiative.
- 46 Small Business Enterprise Centres across Ontario that have contributed to the start-up or expansion of 30,000 businesses.
Our 2007 budget also included a number of measures that will allow businesses to be more innovative, competitive and resilient, including:
- $540 M reduction in the Business Education Tax – more than 500,000 businesses (97% which are small businesses) will benefit.
- Expansion and extension of the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit to encourage more businesses to hire and train apprentices;
- Lowering the threshold for loan applications to the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy.
As MPP for Don Valley West, I will continue to work to ensure that ours is a government that supports our small businesses.