Photo by Lorraine Graves
The Honourable Mary Ng, Federal Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion, joined business people from Richmond and Metro Vancouver at an event, at the Qulichena Golf and County Club Monday, Aug. 20 sponsored by ICONNBC Business Association, to introduce herself and the federal programs appropriate to small and medium businesses in Canada.
Ng, the Member of Parliament for Markham-Thornhill said, “Exporting and going global is not just a nice thing to have. It’s an imperative.”
Pointing out why small and medium-sized companies in Canada should consider looking beyond our borders, Ng said, “Firms who export have hire sales and higher returns than non-exporters.”
She said, “I am meeting with great small business leaders, just like the ones here today, to listen to them and to tell them the kind of things we are doing as a federal government to support them and to make them export ready.”
Why small businesses? “Small businesses make up 98 per cent of businesses in our country and if you add medium businesses, they make up 99 percent. Small and medium businesses count for 90 per cent of the jobs in Canada so they are very important to our economy and our government treats small businesses with utmost importance.”
Saying she wants businesses to have a “one-stop shop” to access all the tools necessary to grow their businesses and to learn to export products, NG announced, “Our government is dedicated to giving businesses all the tools necessary to reach new markets.”
Citing a federal government website for owners, Ng said, “You only enter in a little information about yourself and business, what you are looking for, for example funding, advisory services, skills and human capital. It then shows you the programs available to you--not only government of Canada programs but the resources available at other levels of government.”
Ng also mentioned the online one-stop shop for information will also include other ministries’ programs such as the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, IRAP,“That pairs small and medium-sized enterprises with experts that help them reach their goal, as well as funding that will help their businesses grow and thrive.”
At that point, local Richmond-Steveston MP, Joe Peschisolido, joined the event to applause.
Ng also outlined another federal initiative to stimulate small businesses in Canada, “In 2019, we are cutting small the business taxes. The small business tax rate will be at 9%, which will make it the lowest in G7, lower than Germany, France or Japan.”
Acknowledging the $75 million the federal government is spending to strengthen our trade commissioner services around the world, Ng added, “In 2016, CanExport was launched by government offering $50 million to small and medium businesses to help with exports to developing markets.” CanExport, through the Government of Canada, offers financial support for small or medium-sized firm’s development of new export opportunities.
Canadian businesses can now take advantage of new markets and new market places in the world. Citing the new trade agreements signed with Europe, the CTA, and with the Asia-Pacific zone, the TPP, Ng said they offer, “Access to new customers and new markets so (exporting is) really important.”
And for the future?
“I look forward to working with small and medium-sized businesses so I can help them grow their businesses and grow Canadian middle class jobs.”
In thanking Ng, Peschisolido noted that Ng chose Richmond to deliver her first speech as minister, with her visit to the Richmond Night Market her first stop and the meet and greet with Richmond business leaders.
He said, “There can be no one better qualified to be our new minister of small business. I got to know her quite well in the past few years. She is passionate about small business and entrepreneurs. It hits home for the minister. She grew up with immigrant parents who were small business folk in the 1980s. She knows what goes along with small business and entrepreneurship and the challenges.”
Peschisolido also said that as the MP for Markham-Thronill, “Ng brought innovative ideas to that area.”
Ng closed her interview by saying, “I love my
new portfolio. I looking forward to working with the businesses here, in
Vancouver, and across the country.”
See video below.