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My Letter Regarding the Proposed Tax Changes for Small Businesses

Every single day I work with entrepreneurs who have put it ALL on the line to start and run a business.  I am talking about their life savings, maxed out credit, very often they risk their homes and more. All this risk for the possibility of starting a business that they hope will one day provide for their families and then for themselves as they age. I see them work literally night and day to make these dreams a reality.  There are no EI Benefits, pension plans, nobody paying their life insurance or medical plans, no paid time off, no paid maternity leave, etc… Many of the people I work with have not had a holiday for years.  Furthermore, there is no guarantee of success despite best efforts.  Things can and do go horribly wrong for even the smartest and hardest working small business owners. After years of hard work and success, things can still go wrong and businesses collapse. Owners are the ones left with the debt and legal issues, the ones who lose it all. I also watch their families make sacrifices to support this dream.  Let’s face it – in the beginning, every business is a dream.  Most of these small businesses provide jobs for other families who depend on them for their living and their dreams. That’s a ton of responsibility!

I quote from Joan Bryden – Canadian Press – 6-Sep-17:

“While he signaled a willingness to adjust the proposed tax changes, (Prime Minister) Trudeau was adamant that they won’t simply be abandoned in the face of a mounting backlash from doctors, lawyers, tax professionals, shopkeepers and others who’ve incorporated their small businesses in order to reduce their income tax bill.”

I have been in the business of equipment lease financing for 17 years now and NOT ONCE have I had a client indicate that they were going through all the hard work necessary for getting a business up and running just to reduce their income tax!

I speak from some experience here as I started my small business several years back and was not a “spring chicken” when I did.  I come from a family of entrepreneurs, of whom I am very proud. I also spent the majority of my life as a wage earner so I think that I have some credibility there also. I respect people who choose either path and recognize that sometimes it is not a choice. Owning a business is not a license to print money. I also know how unpredictable things can be as a wage earner and how hard that can be on a family.  We are all in this together if we want a healthy and vibrant economy. The last thing we need is a government that feeds into misunderstanding and starts pitting small business owners against wage earners. What happens to all the wage earners who work for small businesses if those businesses go away?  I have three ladies that work with me. What happens to them and their families if I shut down?

Are there business owners who abuse the system? Of course there are. I am very grateful I live in a society that has social programs for our vulnerable members.  Despite best efforts by government, there are cases of these benefits being abused.  It happens and we know it does.  Still, I would never want to see these programs eliminated. The overall benefits substantially outweigh these abuses.  I would suggest that the same holds true for taxing small business.

I have seen articles that say the government is missing out on $250 million per year if they don’t implement these tax changes. I have witnessed bigger misses by the government in my life. I also see that they are standing firm on their October 2nd deadline for consultation.  I would suggest that it is more important to “GET IT RIGHT” than to rush to judgement and penalize all the hard-working people out there that I work with every day!

If you feel the same way I do, we need to make our voices heard. I strongly encourage you to ACT.

  1. Send a message to your government representative. The Calgary Chamber has a letter you can personalize and use: https://www.calgarychamber.com/policy/our-work/engage-business-tax-changes

Below are a few email addresses you can start with:

  1. Sign the following petition: https://www.e1239.ca .
  2. Spread the word. Share this post and encourage others to get involved.

Respectfully,

Brenda Goettler

President, Lease 1 Financial Ltd.