Much is written and debated about lagging productivity or innovation within Canada. During its current mandate, the Harper government reduced the corporate tax rate to 15% from 22%, in hopes of igniting corporate investment in capital equipment, new hires, market expansion, or research and development.
But, as Mr. Carney, our soon-to-depart Bank of Canada governor eloquently put it, “the dead money” has instead remained firmly in cash positions for most corporations, leading to our current malaise. Any strength in economic performance we exhibited since 2008, is better explained by the relative poor performance of our G8 partners, than any particular growth by Canada.
One can argue that true, paradigm-shifting innovation, and not the diluted version generally accepted today, more often happens at the small business level, where entrepreneurs not beholden to stockholders nor preemptive processes, are willing to take risks with ideas. Ideas that require capital. Capital that our risk-averse banks do not lend to small business, never mind their talk about Small Business initiatives. Capital that venture capitalists generally refuse to invest in early start-ups.
What if we could divert some of the monies from tax cuts or credits or grants that the federal government hands to corporations, into a new, secure Canadian crowd-funding web site developed by the Harper government, for Canadian small business.