Resources to Help Small and Medium Canadian Companies Grow and Succeed at Home and Abroad

Like their larger counterparts, Canadian SMEs need relief from the tax and regulatory systems that have become increasingly complex and dysfunctional over the years. But SMEs also face challenges that are unique to them.

When it comes to trade, just 4% of Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses exported goods in 2017[1]. This is a fraction of the 20%+ of exporting SMEs in other G7 countries. A key reason is that Canada’s SMEs lack the resources of larger companies to access foreign markets. However, the time and effort involved in identifying what federal support programs could help is too much, so they give up. Additionally, the Canada Revenue Agency remains the most challenging federal agency SMEs deal with because its processes and procedures often do not align with the realities of running a small business.

[1] Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada Small Business Branch, Research and Analysis Directorate, Key Small Business Statistics, January 2019, page 19.


We ask all federal parties to commit to:

  • Providing sector-by-sector analyses of free trade agreements (rather than agreement-by-agreement) and communicating them widely. READ FULL RECOMMENDATION

  • Providing high-potential SMEs with access to experts to help them navigate the relevant markets. READ FULL RECOMMENDATION

  • Ensuring federal programs and interactions with business align with and respect small business realities. READ FULL RECOMMENDATION

  • Conducting an independent service delivery audit of the Canada Revenue Agency, targeted at identifying and eliminating the compliance, audit and communication problems small businesses face in dealing with the agency. READ FULL RECOMMENDATION