On March 28, 2017, Carlos Leitao unveiled Quebec’s 2017-2018 budget, which Premier Philippe Couillard described as the “budget of hope”. The Quebec government achieved a $2.3-billion surplus in 2016-2017 and submitted a balanced budget for a third consecutive year. The purse strings are likely to loosen up, with more spending on the horizon. Here are some key points that may impact your business’ development.  

Encouraging innovation

Aligned with the federal budget tabled last week, Couillard’s government is banking on innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation was already at the heart of the government’s priorities in 2016-2017. This year, the government is offering $125 million to innovative manufacturers. During her tour of Quebec manufacturers, the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, Dominique Anglade, inevitably noticed manufacturers’ desperate need to train their employees. Quebec also set aside $44 million in its 2017-2018 budget to support companies in managing personnel and integrating new immigrants. To accelerate manufacturer’s digital shift, Quebec is offering an additional 35% capital cost allowance for companies that acquire modern equipment and cutting-edge software. 

On the entrepreneurship side, $60 million has been attributed to financing growing businesses and fostering entrepreneurship in young people. 

Help for the forestry sector

Due to the ongoing dispute between Canada and the US regarding the forestry sector, Quebec is planning to offer help for value-added products: $46 million have been set aside for this very issue. $19 million will be given to FPInnovation and Cecobois. Cecobois has been a Larouche MC client for nearly 10 years. Leitao’s budget did not provide any details on guaranteed loans for forestry companies, which may be affected due to the dispute. 

A focus on regions 

An investment of over $520 million is planned for over five years—$310 million of which will be used to create a fund to help highlight Quebec’s regions. This fund is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs to seize to grow their businesses and expand their sales both locally and provincially. 

Vitalizing the agri-food sector 

The agri-food sector plays a critical role in Quebec’s economy as it is one of the main employers in the manufacturing industry. Food processing companies must constantly innovate to penetrate new markets; this is especially the case for SMEs and businesses that produce alcoholic beverages. The Quebec government is providing an additional $5 million in 2017-2018, $7.5 million in 2018-2019, and $10 million annually for three more years to support innovative agriculture and food processing methods. 

In sum, businesses are coming out as one of the main winners of Quebec’s 2017-2018 budget. Companies looking to innovate and invest in modern equipment have more backing than ever before from Couillard’s government, which is focusing on modernizing businesses and helping them in their digital transformation in order for Quebec to prosper. Take advantage of the government’s investment to promote your business, increase its notoriety, stimulate production and expand to new markets. 

Sources

La Presse Canadienne. Budget Leitao : impôts à la baisse, dépenses à la hausse. Le Nouvelliste. http://www.lapresse.ca/le-nouvelliste/actualites/201703/28/01-5083109-budget-leitao-impots-a-la-baisse-depenses-a-la-hausse.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_vous_suggere_5083111_article_POS2. 28 mars 2017.

La Presse Canadienne. Budget Leitao : les gagnants et les perdants. La Presse. http://www.lapresse.ca/la-tribune/actualites/201703/28/01-5083111-budget-leitao-les-gagnants-et-les-perdants.php. 28 mars 2017.

David, Michel. La fin des vaches maigres : Leitao augmente les dépenses et allège le fardeau fiscal des contribuables. Le Devoir. p. A3-A5. 29 mars 2017 .

CTAQ. Budget 2017-18 : un virage pour l’industrie de la transformation alimentaire. CNW Telbec. 28 mars 2017.

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