23 Oct 2014

Our provincial and federal governments are finding ways to ease the pain and suffering of small business owners.

This week, to recognize Small Business Week across Canada, each government announced initiatives to simplify some entrepreneurial struggles.

Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives launched a website aimed at “giving small business a stronger voice in government, easier access to information, regulatory guidance, and entrepreneur support.”

The website, smallbusiness.alberta.ca, is touted as a one-stop shop for government services information.

It also offers The Business Link, intended to help small business owners navigate Alberta’s business programs, supports and regulatory information. You can access this service toll-free at 1-844-422-7705 or via the Ask An Expert button on the new website.

The Business Link streamlines government interaction for small business owners. Previously, they often had to interact with multiple ministries regarding regulation requirements. Business advisers at The Business Link pull everything together and provide holistic perspectives, reducing red tape and run-arounds.

The entire strategy is a result of consultations the government held with small business owners. They will continue to meet with government leaders at semi-annual roundtables.

Ken Kobly, president and CEO of Alberta Chambers of Commerce, said the continued meetings are an important venue for the province’s small business owners.

“We are pleased to work with the Alberta government and other business stakeholders to host semi-annual roundtables that will support formal and regular engagement with small businesses,” Kobly said. “This will enhance Alberta small businesses’ strong and meaningful voice.”

Small businesses contribute more than 25 per ccent of Alberta’s gross domestic product and comprise 95 per cent of all businesses in Alberta.

The provincial government’s small business strategy supports its recently released Economic Development Framework. The strategy promises to strengthen and broaden the Alberta economy and build resilience to boom-and-bust economic cycles.

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice said the province needs to improve its small business efforts to create the best entrepreneurial climate in North America.

“Our new Small Business Strategy will save small businesses time, give them better access to business advice and government information, and provide them a stronger voice with government,” he said.

There’s an app for that

In conjunction with Small Business Week, Revenue Canada launched a mobile app to help small and medium-sized business owners to remember their tax deadlines.

The app lets business users or owners create custom reminders and alerts for key due dates related to instalment payments, returns and remittances. You can customize your notifications with different alerts, including calendar or popup messages.

Download the Business Tax Reminders app at:

The Apple App Store on iTunes

Google Play for Android

BlackBerry World