“Many business owners indicated that their industry was going to turn upside down,” Infanti said. Of the survey respondents, 82% said their industry is on the verge of a major transformation, and that they will need government support to invest in emerging or disruptive technologies.
Against this backdrop, business leaders at 91% of Canadian medium-sized businesses believe that more tax incentives and credits should be available for businesses to spend investing in innovation, digital transformation and research and development. They argue that such measures will be important in migration to e-commerce platforms, manufacturing or purchasing enterprise software, investing in automation, developing patents and other activities.
However, the same 91% of the respondents expressed concern that the government would impose higher taxes on businesses to pay off the deficit and the national debt. 92 percent, meanwhile, were concerned that governments would raise personal and business taxes, effectively straining consumer demand, wealth creation and economic growth.
“Business owners are wary that potentially higher taxes will affect their ability to allocate capital to invest in equipment, technology and people,” Infanti said. “Despite the challenges in the broader economy and their industry, 95% of the business leaders we selected said they were very confident in the growth prospects of their business.”
Shortly after the survey was released, the federal government announced plans to allocate $4 billion over four years to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up their efforts in digitization. Under the Canadian Digital Adoption Program, 160,000 business owners will be given access to loans and grants that will allow them to invest in e-commerce platforms, technologies to increase operational efficiency, and other tech initiatives.