Red Deer Chamber of Commerce react to proposed tax credit

Chamber says thanks for credit but should have been open

More businesses should have been eligible for a proposed provincial tax credit, says the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce.

Economic Development Minister Deron Bilous announced a 30 per cent tax credit for investments in Alberta small businesses made between April 14 of this year and the end of 2019.

The government predicts the credit will support 4,400 new jobs and pump up the province’s GDP by $500 million.

Reg Warkentin, Chamber of Commerce policy and advocacy manager, said the credit will benefit some businesses.

“We know that access to capital is one of the biggest challenges for startups and businesses looking to expand,” he said on Friday. “The investor tax credit is a great way to incent investment while providing a degree of risk mitigation.”

However, the chamber is disappointed that the credit was so narrowly focused. The government says the credit will be available for investments substantially engaged in proprietary technology research, development or commercialization; interactive digital media development; video post-production; digital animation; or tourism.

“Most businesses here in Central Alberta will unfortunately be ineligible to access the funds,” said Warkentin. On the plus side, there will be some eligible sectors, such as Red Deer’s budding film industry, that may get a boost from the credit.

Warkentin said Alberta’s chambers of commerce had lobbied for an investment tax credit but not one so limited.

“B.C. has a similar investor tax credit, but chose to make it accessible to all small businesses.”