Never Before Has Government Had This Significant Of An Impact On Business…
Posted on August 1, 2018 in Front Lines
Never before has government had this significant of an impact on business. I am paraphrasing a statement made by a man whose opinion I respect a great deal. He is in his 80’s now with a sharp mind and he says this in admiration of the current generation as we collectively struggle to align our businesses down a path of opportunity. Certainly, it would be easy for him to lament on how it was harder to run a business in the old days – you know… walking uphill both ways…but he doesn’t see it that way. I think he is seeing the constant change and inconsistency of government actions from all levels and wonders how do you plan for business strategy in this environment?
We have the Federal government imposing additional direct costs on businesses (and individuals) with a carbon tax, increasing the financial risks for entrepreneurs by changing the tax implications for small businesses and “helping” the pipeline industry by nationalizing the company after they failed to fully support the industry in the first place. Then we look at municipal government changing the cost of business licenses arbitrarily, prioritizing a bus rapid transit with suspect value to majority of businesses in the City, and pursuing bike lanes despite a vast majority of cyclists and non-cyclists are not in favour. International issues then come into play with tariffs, trade wars, and various foreign government policies that make anyone importing or exporting concerned about what the future holds.
In running a business, you are forced to either ignore these or learn what you can and guess where the governments may be on these topics in years to come. Of course, when there is risk, there are lots of opportunities to be had in this level of uncertainty depending on your tolerance to risk. There are, however, many challenges that force businesses to try and plan for whatever the uncertainty may bring and to be competitive with global companies that operate with much different tax, environmental, labour and financial policy conditions.
The NSBA exists to be your voice when you are having a challenge getting your voice heard. We express your concerns as a collective voice of business and we get results without having to put you or your business in the spotlight. We have been working diligently on pushing for regulatory stability, for changes to policy that unnecessarily restrict NSBA members from growing their business or increasing their costs and for opportunities for NSBA members. In this world where government has such a significant impact on business consider asking us how the NSBA can assist you. In this regard we have already submitted to the Federal government our recommendations for budget areas of focus and have begun to review the City of Saskatoon’s budget and process.
The NSBA also knows that we need to work with other associations that are dealing with similar issues and we partnered with a number of other groups to bring Professor Mark Rosentraub to Saskatoon to speak about “How Sports Arenas, Entertainment & Culture Can Recentralize Economic Activity”. A timely topic as the City considers the future of SaskTel Center. In addition, we partnered with others to hear from the Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance, the Honourable Pierre Poilievre in a round table offered to NSBA members.
It was a hot day and a hot ticket! A sold-out crowd came out to our annual NSBA cookout on July 10th and we appreciate the support. We all had a chance to hear from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a new sponsor, about the work they are doing to help move our oil to more markets. More markets mean more opportunities for wealth creation by NSBA members working directly or indirectly in that industry.
In a meeting with some folks from the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association it became clear that the limited availability of oil pipelines is a significant problem for farmers as grain shipments compete head to head with transporting oil by rail. Whether you know it or not, regulatory instability and government policy on oil pipelines are affecting you in one way or another.
I am very excited about our upcoming Popcorn & Entrepreneurship Series event – Driven – The Ken Achs Story. This sold out event will be our 4th annual and the video is awesome and inspiring.
If you missed getting in on the tickets for previous events then keep an eye open for some very exciting speakers we have lined up for this fall!
As always, watch for further and continued action on a number of fronts by your NSBA and please don’t hesitate to contact any of the NSBA staff or Board should you have even a small business concern – you may be surprised with how effective the NSBA is in advocating on your behalf.
Alan Migneault, NSBA Board Chair