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Small Business Briefing

Taxman gets poor grades from small business: survey Add to ...

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Survey part of launch of CFIB's Red Tape Awareness Week

Most small business owners and tax practitioners gave the Canada Revenue Agency a grade of C or lower for its overall service, shows a survey done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business as part of its launch of its third annual Red Tape Awareness Week. The week aims to raise awareness about the effects of excessive regulations and red tape on small businesses and push for changes.

Asked to rate CRA's overall service to small business owners, 44 per cent of small businesses and 43 per cent of accountants, tax lawyers and the like surveyed gave it a grade of C; 29 per cent of owners and 31 per cent of practitioners gave it a D; and 8 per cent of each group rated it with a failing grade of F.

Just 13 per cent of owners and 19 per cent of practitioners scored the CRA with a B, and 1 per cent of owners and no practitioners gave it an A, according to the survey of 10,096 small businesses and 465 tax practitioners.

What's behind the score? The survey found that more than a third -- 36 per cent -- of small business owners felt that the CRA does not treat them with respect; 54 per cent felt they were treated as if they'd done something wrong; and 57 per cent felt intimidated. For more detailed results from the survey, click here.

Other highlights of the start of the week: The CFIB also announced finalists for its inaugural Golden Scissors Award, recognizing an individual who has had an impact on cutting red tape for small business (The winner will be announced on Thursday). For the finalist list and reason for selection, click here.

The CFIB is also releasing its " Red Tape Digital Diaries," with member small businesses telling about their own experiences with red tape. Coming up: The CFIB will release its provincial red tape report card, rating each province on their progress fighting red tape.

What entrepreneurs can learn from Tim Tebow

Even Tim Tebow could not save the Denver Broncos from defeat of almost biblical proportions this past weekend, but entrepreneurs still could learn a thing or two from the soft-spoken devout Christian quarterback, says this posting. The religious player "inspires through faith, hope, love, and charity, as well as by showing some muscle and demonstrating optimism in the face of adversity. These are qualities that are important for any entrepreneur," says the posting, calling him a "great role model" for small business owners, who need to demonstrate such qualities.

An MBA or an incubator?

Sure, if you want to work for big companies, an MBA might come in handy. But if you want to start your own business, suggests this piece in Forbes, you might be better to bypass business school and head straight for a startup incubator. The piece offers eight reasons why incubators might be a better bet than business school.

Separately, two Manning School of Business professors studying why some startups flourish and others flounder recently found that incubators can be a "gateway" to funding sources, industry connections, business expertise and other resources. Their research showed that incubators "played a critical role" in heling emerging companies make such connections.

Time-management secrets

A time crunch is one of the banes of entrepreneurs. So how do those who have been at the game better manage their time? At Entrepreneur.com, five business owners share their time-management secrets to be more productive and find more balance.


Voting deadline for Canadian startup awards

You have until tomorrow at midnight to cast your vote in the first annual Canadian Startup Awards presented by KPMG. There are six categories of finalists in the awards focused on technology entrepreneurship. For more details, click here.

Help for young entrepreneurs

Between the ages of 18 and 34 and aiming to start a business? You might want to check out a seminar being held this Thurs. Jan. 19, by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Small Business BC to offer tips on how to create a business plan, establish good credit ratings, look at cash flow and apply for financing and mentorship through the CYBF. The seminar takes place in Vancouver and delivered elsewhere by videoconference. For more infomation,click here.


Manufacturers wave maple leaf to marketing advantage

Some savvy companies that have chosen to stick to a “ made in Canada” approach are finding it can be a successful marketing strategy.


Red tape awareness: a year ago

For a look back at last year's Red Tape Awareness Week, check out this Q&A with Laura Jones, CFIB’s vice-president for Western Canada, who spearheaded the lobbying effort.

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