Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: With tax changes, my business wouldn’t exist

Penticton business owner on the pitfalls of proposed business tax changes

With tax changes, my business wouldn’t exist

I see that the Liberal Caucus meeting is in Kelowna this week and I hope that the Kelowna MP’s have the opportunity to explain how the Okanagan is starting to thrive, much of it driven by entrepreneurship and small business.

I’ve been in the Okanagan for seven years and have seen the growth and maturity of not just the tech industry but all businesses, evidenced by the increase in local clients for my business in the last two years.

When I started my business, Big Bear Software, 14 years ago in my living room, I had a newborn and a spouse who was a stay at home parent to my two boys until they were school age. I was working for a company at the time that was not a good fit for me and after my son was born I knew it was time to start my business. We were in debt from student loans and just recently had bought a house. I could not have made the jump from employee to employer without the ability to split income with my spouse. Did she write software? No. Did she directly work in my business? At times. Was she critical to the success of my business? Yes.

I now have five people on my payroll plus several contractors and am a leader in the tech and business community. Small businesses often grow into big businesses. We are job creators, take a great deal of risk and cannot survive with these proposed changes.

Mine is a story I hear over and over again. Another business owner who employs many people, just last Friday said he could not have taken the risk without the existing tax rules. A friend and an accountant told me last week that this will affect 90 per cent of his clients. They are hard working small business owners that these proposed changes will severely punish.

My business would have never started if the proposed changes were in effect 14 years ago and what a shame that would be for myself, my family, my clients and my valued employees and contractors. Justin Trudeau needs to take a closer look at who these changes are going to actually affect and the catastrophic results that will follow.

Keith MacIntyre, P.Eng.

Penticton

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