SEPT-ÎLES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 23, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), kicked off a series of round-table meetings with Quebec entrepreneurs to discuss ways that the Harper Government can continue to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). In the first leg of the tour, the Minister of State will meet with local business representatives from Sept-Îles, Gaspé and Rivière-du-Loup.
"I look forward to hearing from entrepreneurs on the best ways to help their businesses succeed and grow," said Minister of State Bernier. "We are committed to providing the best business environment possible by cutting red tape, reducing administrative burdens and keeping taxes low."
During meetings with entrepreneurs from Sept-Îles, Gaspé and Rivière-du-Loup, the Minister of State will outline how the Harper Government has taken decisive action to support SMEs across the country. Economic Action Plan 2012 includes a commitment to extend the temporary Hiring Credit for Small Business for one year and to limit Employment Insurance premium rate increases. It also included $400 million to help increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds led by the private sector. It also confirmed $100 million for the Business Development Bank of Canada to support its venture capital activities.
Minister of State Bernier will also discuss the feedback that he received as Chair of the Red Tape Reduction Commission. Cutting red tape is critical for small businesses in Canada, and the government is currently developing a plan to respond to the commission's recommendations.