REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - May 13, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), met with local small business entrepreneurs who are members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. He listened to the priorities of Regina entrepreneurs while underscoring the Harper Government's recent efforts to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) through Economic Action Plan 2013.

"I meet frequently with entrepreneurs across Canada to see how our government can create the best business environment possible for small business entrepreneurs," said Minister of State Bernier. "We want entrepreneurs to be able to do what they do best: create jobs, wealth and long-term prosperity in Canada."

During the meeting, the Minister of State highlighted SME-specific initiatives included in the Economic Action Plan 2013. This plan is delivering for small business entrepreneurs by extending and expanding the Hiring Credit for Small Business, increasing the Lifetime Capital Gains Exemption and aligning job training with the needs of employers through the new Canada Job Grant.

The Minister of State also explained how the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan will save entrepreneurs time and money by cutting government red tape. The plan includes 90 common sense reforms, in areas ranging from tax and payroll to labour, transport and cross-border trade.

"Our government is committed to putting in place the right conditions for our entrepreneurs to succeed," said Minister of State Bernier. "In doing so, we are making sure that Canada's finances are sustainable over the long term and that we return to balanced budgets by the end of this Parliament, without raising taxes on individuals or businesses."

In Canada, SMEs account for 99 percent of companies, employ 60 percent of working Canadians and contribute about 40 percent to the GDP, proving to be economic drivers and important sources of job creation.

Contact Information:

Scott French
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

Media Relations
Industry Canada