Tuesday’s fall economic update includes a tax cut for small businesses as an offset for a minimum wage that will rise to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, and $15 an hour the following year. Some highlights:
• The corporate income tax rate for small businesses will drop to 3.5 per cent from 4.5 per cent Jan. 1.
• Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that hire young workers (aged 15 to 29) will get incentives of $1,000 and another $1,000 for retaining that worker for six months.
• Producers of locally grown fruits and vegetables will get $60 million in supports.
• An apprenticeship training tax credit will be turned into a grant, giving employers $2,500 upon an apprentice’s completion of both level one and level two, $3,500 for completion of levels three and four, and $4,700 when the apprentice gets certification.
• The government will put $85 million toward mercury remediation in the English-Wabigoon River system, which has affected the Grassy Narrows community for decades.
• Real GDP growth is forecasted to be 2.8 per cent this year, up from the 2.3 per cent projected in the spring budget.