The Progressive Conservatives are promising to decrease red tape for small businesses and help them have better access to funding by consolidating all government lending agencies.
PC Leader Olive Crane was in Georgetown this morning to announce a number of initiatives to help support businesses on P.E.I.
One of the policies she pledged was a plan to bring together all the various lending agencies of the provincial government into one body, under one department.
“We’ve been hearing from Island businesses, especially the small and medium-sized ones, and right now the way loans or access to supports for small business, you have to go to several different departments,” Crane said.
“It’s confusing, it wastes a lot of time and it’s plagued with a lot of red tape.”
One of the big issues for small businesses is gaining access to capital funds and loans, she said.
That’s why Crane plans to partner the consolidation of provincial lending firms with a new small business capital fund that will respond to local market needs.
“By doing this, it will facilitate the process a lot faster and easier for the small business person and they’ll be able to grow their business.”
In addition, the PC Leader committed to implementing a Blue Ribbon Economic Action Panel to work in collaboration with the business community to find ways of improving and growing P.E.I.’s economy.
"We’re still looking for prosperity, especially in rural P.E.I." - PC Leader Olive Crane
She criticized the Ghiz administration’s Prosperity Strategy and wind plan, calling them merely glossy documents that did little to create new opportunities for Island businesses.
“We’re still looking for prosperity, especially in rural P.E.I.,” Crane said.
She believes her Blue Ribbon Panel would address the needs the Liberal’s strategies have missed. The panel’s mandate would be to provide advice and find development opportunities for businesses on P.E.I. It would also work to identify what programs, policies and services need are needed to support job growth on the Island.
“It’s nice that we can talk about some of the growth in the new sectors,” she said in reference to the Liberals’ prosperity strategy and it’s focus on bioscience, aerospace and information technology.
“But the reality is, across P.E.I., Islanders want jobs and this will be a much more practical approach to help create as many jobs so all Islanders will have a chance to work again.”