Ever notice how EVERY politician … whether municipal, provincial, federal, from any party or political bent … always claims to be a friend of small business, says he/she supports small business and praises small business as the backbone of the community?
And yet, they’re slowly strangling small business, while giving HUGE corporations all kinds of breaks … including the HST, special tax writeoffs, subsidies and some of the lowest corporate tax rates in North America !
A couple of nights ago, a small restaurateur , told me how extra fees/taxes are killing her business. No big tax breaks there!
I guess don’t move in the right media circles, whose mouthpieces are always proclaiming how full their favorite dining spots always are, and how well they’re doing, despite the “squeeze” getting tighter all the time by increasing taxes/fees …and especially the HST.
We were dining at a small, family-run East Indian restaurant that has been at the same location for more than 20 years. The food is good, the atmosphere is comfortable and the prices reasonable … and yet business is down and they’re now struggling and even considering closing Mondays.
Why? THEY blame … not the economy … but the City and the Provincial HST.
A few years ago ,the city put parking meters along their street; has since both raised the rate AND extended the hours, right to 10 p.m., so with no other parking close by, that has added a $5 fee to each and every dining bill.
Then came the HST … that has added another $5 to $8 to even a modest meal. Restaurants used to benefit from a parking fee break, that saw meters initially go out of service at 6 pm., then 8 p.m., but now are enforced right to 10 p.m. … seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Add a tip to the same modest meal … say, another $6 to $10 … and you’re up to $23 (or more) before even factoring in ANY food or drink.
Big earners … like the relatively rich who make city parking meter policy and provincial politicians who set rates like the HST … clearly have no idea …or don’t care … how these extra taxes/fees are hurting SMALL businesses that measure sales in $20 or $40 or even $50 a pop.
In the rush to make things even easier and more rewarding for companies that measure sales in the $1,000s or $10,000s or $100,000s … or even millions … the family-run business is paying a huge cost.
In the face of all those fees/taxes that keep adding up, diners are now eating out less often (especially those with children), cutting back on appetizers, drinks or desserts, the owner of that little restaurant told me. And that is hurting … a lot! Because the dollars from those “extras” that used boost restaurant sales … and account for a lot of the profits … now just go into the cash machines of the city and the pockets of the province.
All a result of the strangulating squeeze put on small business by politicians, who seem to find all kinds of ways to support, encourage and give tax breaks to big business.
Government insists it needs more money to pay for all those services it demands. Understood. But if that’s the case, BIG business MUST pay its fair share.
And getting rid of the HST would be the start of that.