Olivia Chow will fight unemployment by supporting small business

Community News & Features Apr 3, 2014 at 1:47 pm
Photo courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS

Photo courtesy of THE CANADIAN PRESS

SCARBOROUGH–Olivia Chow continued to set the policy agenda in the mayoral race with her fourth specific proposal. She will fight unemployment by supporting small businesses in four ways.

Despite Rob Ford’s claims the city is “booming” unemployment is 10%. It is 22.5% among young people.

“When I began my campaign, I said I’d create jobs by supporting small businesses. And I will,” said Olivia. “By extending small business tax cuts, getting the city into the 21st Century and offering services online, helping new immigrants start and expand businesses, and demanding the province stop forcing our businesses to subsidize ones in the 905.

“We need a new mayor because youth unemployment is 22.5 per cent. Rob Ford spends more time in Hollywood than he does thinking about helping businesses create jobs,” said Olivia. “My proposals are practical, focused and affordable. They reflect our city’s diversity and contributions of entrepreneurs. And if Mr. Ford spent as much time with the premier as he does with Jimmy Kimmel, our businesses would have a better chance at tax fairness.”

As our new mayor, Olivia will:

• Invest $3 million a year to further cut small business taxes. The city already has a small business tax class but its tax cuts expire in 2015. As our new mayor, Olivia will extend these tax cuts to 2020 to help our biggest job creators create more jobs.

• Help entrepreneurs from abroad set up businesses and export. Our city should offer forms in many languages, like the province does. We should also emulate successful programs for immigrant entrepreneurs like Vancouver’s SUCCESS program (successbiis.ca) that helps new Canadians start businesses in Toronto, while helping existing small businesses export to markets abroad. Together, these are expected to cost $1 million.

• Get business approvals into the 21st Century, by putting services online and in more locations. Currently, prospective new business owners have to physically go to East York between 8.30 and 4 p.m. Provincial business registration, as well as Vancouver and Calgary, can be done online. As our new mayor, Olivia will also ensure existing Enterprise Toronto locations in North York, Scarborough and the old city of Toronto can get new businesses up and running faster.

• Demand provincial action to stop our city’s businesses paying 12 to 40 per cent more tax than businesses in the 905. In 2007, the province promised fairness for the business education tax—set provincially—but has since stopped. If the province kept its promise, a business would save $1,000 a year for every $1 million in assessed property.

“Small businesses are essential to create jobs in our city. And as your new mayor, I will not spend my time in Hollywood being a celebrity. I’ll respond to entrepreneurs to help them get started and cut taxes to help them grow,” said Olivia. “My investment in creating jobs can be afforded by reasonable property taxes, which rise around the rate of inflation.

“People don’t want taxes out of line with inflation. My time on the budget committee produced tax rates identical to those of Mr. Ford, but unlike Mr. Ford I have the courage to say yes to smart investments—like helping businesses create jobs,” she said.

Olivia will release a fully-costed platform that will keep property taxes reasonable and consistent with her pledge to mind the public purse.