CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - May 14, 2013) - The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), today met with local small business entrepreneurs and members of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. He listened to the priorities of Calgary entrepreneurs while underscoring the Harper Government's recent efforts to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) through Economic Action Plan 2013.

"Our government is listening to the concerns of Canadians and Canadian business owners across the country," said Minister of State Bernier. "We are responding with our plan for low taxes, reduced red tape and targeted measures for small business entrepreneurs-our big job creators."

During the event, the Minister of State highlighted SME-specific initiatives included in 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.

"Economic Action Plan 2013 focuses on our government's top priority - jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister of State Bernier. "We are working to create the best possible business environment for entrepreneurs so they can do what they do best: create jobs and wealth for Canadians."

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