Strengthening Free Trade in Canada

Canada Federal Government Internal Free TradeThe Federal Government is continuing to assess barriers to inter-provincial/territorial trade to determine what influences a business’s ability to trade outside of their province or territory. In an earlier article on Canadian internal trade, we highlighted industries, goods, and job roles that were impacted by inconsistent regulation and legislation. This inconsistent policy framework limits Canadian small businesses in their ability to grow as it leads to increased costs and logistics concerns. Small businesses may be required to fill for certification or regulatory approval for products or goods in different provinces and territories which takes time and costs money. In some cases, businesses may be forced to limit their ability to grow and respond to demanding markets across Canada. With these concerns in mind, the government has committed to updating the Internal Trade Agreement to develop a policy framework that is consistent across all regions.

Understanding Barriers to Growth

In an effort to better understand barriers to internal trade, the Federal Government has contracted Ernst & Young to develop an Internal Trade Barriers Index. James Moore, Minister of Industry, highlighted the importance of the Index:

“The Internal Trade Barriers Index is an important step forward as we work to liberalize trade within Canada. The index will generate valuable information about trade barriers that affect every region across Canada. I look forward to working with my provincial and territorial colleagues to free trade within Canada.”
– James Moore, Ministry of Industry

The Index will provide valuable feedback and identify specific gaps and areas for improvement. Trent Henry, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young LLP, hopes that the survey and data collection process will provide Ernst & Young with valuable feedback from small businesses to “…gain a strong understanding of the barriers that hinder their progress and choice.”

Mitigating Barriers

One of the main barriers to expanding into new provincial and territorial markets that Canadian small businesses face is cash flow. Market expansion comes with increased costs from, among other areas, shipping, logistics, marketing, and new staff. Small businesses may not have the internal capacity or readily available cash to support these initiatives, but government funding and business support programs can help reduce these barriers.

Leveraging Canadian Government Funding to Support National Growth

Small businesses can take advantage of several funding opportunities to support national growth. Programs support a range on initiatives, from capacity planning to business expansion to hiring. Businesses can also leverage support and advice from a range of ministry programs including tax credits, advisory services, and toolkits.

Register for Free Business Funding Events

Mentor Works helps small businesses identify funding opportunities to support their growth initiatives. Small businesses can attend one of our free events to learn more about how funding can help fuel growth. Sign up for our Canadian government funding weekly e-newsletter to receive weekly updates delivered to your inbox.

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