By Lorne Dach, MLA for Edmonton-McClung
(EJNews) – Things are looking up – but we still have a lot of work to do.
As the economy recovers, we are making sure we continue to protect services Albertans rely on and focus on the priorities that matter to you and your family.
Some of Canada’s most respected economic experts are forecasting Alberta to lead the country in economic growth for the next two years. Statistics Canada’s latest GDP report shows Alberta is bolstering the economic performance of the entire country.
Alberta’s recent infrastructure build, and the increased investor confidence that comes with pipeline approvals, are contributing factors to our economic recovery.
Nearly 40,000 jobs were created in Alberta over the last 12 months. We also continue to have the highest employment rate in the country and the highest weekly earnings. Alberta consumer spending is up. Retail sales in Alberta were at $6.8 billion in May – higher than the pre-recession peak of $6.7 billion in October 2014.
We also know Alberta small businesses are just as vital to our economy as large ones. They account for 95 per cent of all business activity in Alberta, and almost 30 per cent of our GDP. They have a bigger economic impact per capita than small businesses anywhere else in the country, and can be found in every sector.
In addition to providing jobs so hundreds of thousands of Albertans can earn a living, small businesses inject about $100 billion dollars a year into our hometowns and neighbourhoods.
The provincial government has listened to them and took decisive action when they asked us to implement tax credits other provinces have enjoyed for decades. We restored training programs for new entrepreneurs while adding supports for established ones, helping them diversify and expand to new markets.
To help small businesses take advantage of new market opportunities around the world we’ve expanded their access to our 12 international trade offices and provided Alberta companies reimbursement of up to $20,000 for export activities through our Export Expansion Program.
We also cut the small business tax by a third, helping ensure Albertans continue to pay billions less in total taxes than any other province.
Albertans have no control over world oil prices, but strategic investments from government and industry have helped cushion the blow and stimulate growth.
If you or someone you know is a small business owner – please visit jobsplan.alberta.ca to learn more about available supports.
I want Alberta’s small business owners to know: you can count on us to have your back. Working together we will continue to create new jobs and diversify our economy – an economy for the future.
Contact MLA Lorne Dach at firstname.lastname@example.org.