By Amelia Naismith The Pipestone Flyer
There are many changes coming down from the different levels of government that will soon be, if not already, affecting Albertans and not everyone seems to think these changes have Albertans’ best interests at heart.
During a special Meet in the Millet chamber of commerce meeting Sept. 15 that brought together the counties and cities of Wetaskiwin and Leduc, as well as the Town of Millet, Ken Kolby, Alberta Chambers of Commerce president and CAO, addressed with the business community many of the concerns he has.
The way in which small businesses are being treated by governments was one such concern.
Of the one-third reduction of the small business tax rate Kolby said, “The net effects … Is minimal at best.”
He also says the NDP Carbon Tax has affected small businesses’ finances and operations.
“We’re barely surviving in a sluggish environment,” said Kolby.
“It’s about the continuing layering of costs on small businesses. When we look at these types of compounding effects it can be very dangerous,” he added.
Kolby says changes coming down from the federal level are also cause for concern.
Her added small businesses across the country are primarily made up of the middle class. “I don’t think the federal government understands that.”
In order to solve the country’s deficit the strain is going to be put on the backs of small business owners, says Kolby. “They’re not just going to tax the rich. They’re going to tax every small business in the province.”
Kolby said during his speech what the changes come down to is income sharing. “It’s about sharing the efforts that go into small businesses.”
He added, the federal government is looking to divide the nation by excluding some businesses from the conversations that will affect them, and is intent on keeping it between high level business professionals. “In my opinion that creates the seeds of jealousy and envy.”
The lack of consultation from both the provincial and federal governments is another concern of Kolby’s.
Online consultations provide businesses with no face to face interaction. Kolby says it is also disconcerting when the outcome has already been decided regardless of the consultations. “People can see through this sham.”
The Alberta Chambers of Commerce would like to see consultations expanded past the Oct. 2 deadline, and expanded to include face to face interactions.