Speed bumps in way of business

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On the one hand governments love to plug small businesses as the engine driving our economy. On the other, they still manage to put speed bumps in the way.

Nova Scotia, unfortunately, is no exception for red tape. As reported in an article Tuesday by The Canadian Press, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has given our provincial government a grade of D in this regard.

What’s extra sad is that federation spokeswoman Jennifer English says the province was recognized as a leader in cutting red tape only two years ago. Looks like some backsliding.

In ngnews.ca online comments following a recent story about this area and its bad rap in MoneySense magazine, although somewhat unrelated, one post talked about setting up business in the area and finding government time and again with hand out for more fees.

It’s not just the money – small business owners work hard enough without the overburden of paperwork.

Service Nova Scotia Minister John MacDonell says the government has been making strides, having lowered the small business tax rate for three consecutive years.

Unfortunately, it’s often not just one level of government at fault. Many business people complain about multiple levels and the duplication of certain roles and demands. That would suggest a need to co-operate more to streamline regulations.

Is this a problem – which shows up in many instances – of being over-governed? It’s easy to float that phrase, but think about it.

If governments made things simpler, they’d be less in demand when it comes to revising legislation. No point working yourself out of a job.

Likewise, if the administrative branch of government recommended ways to streamline they too would be in danger of looking less busy.

Bureaucratic red tape is so part and parcel of the system it’s not going to get better unless business owners – preferably with the support of their customer base – get angry and demand it. Look at provinces getting passing grades for some tips.

Organizations: Canadian Press, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, MoneySense magazine

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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  • Johnny smoke
    January 24, 2013 - 10:34

    Do you suppose that the increase of some 5000 public servants in this province since the N.D.P. took over would have anything to do with the increase in red tape? Shame on me for even thinking this way, suspicious minds will do that. Counseling is required to over come this affliction.