A proposed elimination of the small business tax by the Alberta NDP could be great news for Strathmore businesses.

With potential savings of up to $10 000, Zegil Automotive and Transmission Owner Shannon Zegil said the money saved would be a big boost to their business.

"It could just go to so many different things that would be so helpful, like having more employees or being able to pay employees better. It is rough to run a business, but right now in our industry, it's really hard to find any employees," she said. 

Beyond the challenge of finding employees in general, Zegil added it's hard to find workers "with value," so having the additional funds to either retain their workers and/or attract other talented mechanics with higher salaries would go a long way towards addressing this issue. 

This proposed tax elimination was done with a specific focus on helping businesses that may be struggling from the reduced business from covid and the rising prices that have come as a result of it. Zegil said when covid initially hit she actually stayed busy which was nice, but ironically it's been more difficult now despite the fact restrictions haven't been around for a long time.

"I think that was just people using their holiday money on their vehicles so that sort of area of it has dried up a bit and things are getting much tighter for people, and the cost increase of everything is skyrocketing, so I think that's just making it really tough for people. The repairs we're doing now compared to the repairs we were doing during covid, it's just a different scope." 

Additionally, Zegil's key issue of struggling to find workers could also be a covid consequence, as she believes the lockdowns at the time prevented potentially great workers from entering the field.

"I think people had other opportunities and went in other directions, and a lot of people want to stay home now to work, so that's not good for the field that we're in because we can't get anybody to come to work. You can't do this job from home."

"I think COVID has affected it in a lot of ways and none good."

This proposed tax cut would impact approximately 100 000 small businesses and would result in an estimated $150 million loss in revenue for the provincial government. The NDP believes long-term, this lost revenue would pay for itself, as they say eliminating this tax would support local economies across the province which would spur economic growth.

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