The Premier of the SME

Almost all of Premier Lord’s economic development initiatives have been focused at small businesses. He cut small business taxes. He initiated a program that gives a tax credit for investments into small businesses. He goes about the province trumpeting his governments love of the SME (small to medium sized enterprise). I on the other hand, think the focus should be on attracting large scale business investment from outside the province – tapping the global investment flow.

But, maybe the Premier has the right strategy. Who knows? Well, if the statistics have anything to say, it’s not too good. Since the current government came to power there has been a drop in the number of businesses with a payroll remittance (i.e. that have a payroll) by 1.2%. This compares to signficant growth in the provinces that have attracted large scale business investment in that same time frame.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions but it seems to me that if your emphasis is on growing small businesses, all those programs don’t seem to be working.

On the bright side, the drop in the # of businesses is not as large as the drop in the population since Lord took office.

Increase/Decrease in the # of Businesses
(establishments with employees)*

Table 178-0001 – Remitting payroll deduction accounts, seasonally adjusted, quarterly (Number)
Survey or program details:
Business Register – 1105
Statistics Canada