Most independent business owners are happy with the Yukon budget announced last week, according to a small-business lobby group.
“The fact that the territory is in a pretty exclusive club of governments with balanced budgets this year I think is great, that’s a pretty rare thing these days,” said Ben Kolisnyk, policy analyst for the Yukon with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
The group’s members were happy to see that taxes would not rise in 2013/2014, but they would also like to see some sort of commitment to lower taxes for small businesses over the long term, he said.
The small business tax rate in the Yukon is among the highest among the western provinces and the territories, said Kolisnyk. And tax breaks to businesses would help communities.
“Research shows the savings from tax rates go back into the community. We’ve got lots of our members who say they end up turning around and putting that money back into community thorough hiring and increased wages or expansion of their business.”
The federation was also happy to see a commitment to invest in training, said Kolisnyk.
But training means nothing if employees can’t find housing in the Yukon.
“Attracting employees as a partial solution to the shortage of labour is definitely worthy but totally problematic without sufficient and adequate housing for those employees to live in.”
The federation is happy to see some action on housing, but they would like to see more, he said.
There also needs to be more action to reduce red tape, or excessive paperwork, for small business, said Kolisnyk.
Yukon received a D minus on the federation’s last red-tape report card, but with some political leadership Kolisnyk would like to see that grade improve, he said.