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France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici presents France's 2013 budget during a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, Sept. 28, 2012. (JOHN SCHULTS/REUTERS)
France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici presents France's 2013 budget during a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, Sept. 28, 2012. (JOHN SCHULTS/REUTERS)

Small Business Briefing

France signals retreat on tax hikes after small-business uproar Add to ...

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Entrepreneurs revolt against budget raising capital-gains tax on business sales that would hit them hard

France’s government indicated that it would retreat on plans to raise taxes on capital gains in its 2013 budget after it caused an uproar among small businesses and entrepreneurs, according to a variety of reporting, including this from Reuters, this from AFP, this at CNBC and this on Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

President Francois Hollande’s government last week unveiled a package of tax hikes and spending cuts aimed at saving €30-billion next year. Among the proposed measures were increases in capital gains tax on equity sales that would hit entrepreneurs hard. Entrepreneurs who sell their businessses would pay capital gains tax at a significantly higher rate.

Small businesses were incensed, saying it would discourage investment, business creation and innovation. A group calling itself “Les Pigeons” – French slang for ‘suckers’ – turned to social media to campaign against the hikes.

“We will probably have to change it,” Reuters quoted Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici as having told France Inter Radio.

“If there are measures that will have a shock or dissuade investment in new, innovative companies, then we’ll have to look at it again,” AFP quoted Mr. Moscovici as having said on France Inter Radio.

Things are looking up for small business

There’s more proof of positive thinking among Canadian small businesses: A new survey from Bank of Montreal finds that nearly three-quarters – 72 per cent – of small businesses are confident in their businesses’ prospects and the state of the economy, and the majority expect 2013 will be better than 2012.

The BMO index results come a day after the release of the latest business barometer index from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which showed optimism on the upswing last month after five consecutive months of dropping.

BMO’s inaugural small business confidence report, aimed at producing an annual ‘pulse check’ index measuring confidence among small business owners, also found that 71 per cent characterized their performance this year as good to excellent, 56 per cent said they believe the economy will be better next year, and 50 per cent expected their business to grow in 2013. BMO said that, as a “single-figure snapshot,” the index score for this year would register at 63 out of 100.

"With an uncertain global economy, Canadian small business owners continue to focus on what matters most: their own customers and markets, plus growing their business," said Steve Murphy, senior vice-president of commercial banking at BMO, in the release about the survey, based on responses from 500 Canadian small-business owners.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Toronto Board of Trade holds SMB Exchange event

The Toronto Board of Trade will hold an SMB Exchange event on Oct. 9. The all-day event features keynote speeches by Peter Oliver, a partner in Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, and Rick Segal, founder and CEO of Fixmo Inc., along with facilitated networking sessions and case study discussions led by a dozen small-business leaders. For more information, click here

Small Business Week

With Small Business Week running from Oct. 14 to Oct. 20, there will be numerous events around the theme held across the country. For an entry point to begin checking out what’s going on, click into the Business Development Bank of Canada’s site here for events calendars, which will be updated.

EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Jumping from solo act to employer is a big step

Making the leap from solo act to employer is a big step for entrepreneurs – and one they should not take lightly, say business and human resource experts.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Growing from a one-man operation

Dan Yurman is one entrepreneur who faced the leap from flying solo. For five years, he ran his company all by himself. But after working 18-hour days, the founder of Page 7 Copwriting felt it was time to get some help. In a Challenge that was presented in October, 2011, he sought advice on whether to take on a partner or hire his first employee.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com

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