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Feb 16, 2016

Canada's Credit Unions - Support for Small Business

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Date ArticleType
2/16/2016 Media Releases
Canada's Credit Unions - Support for Small Business

In Kelowna and right across Canada, over 5 million Canadians trust their local credit union as their partner for day-to-day banking. Cooperatively owned financial institutions rank second in lending to small businesses, and credit unions state that the difference is all about service - to members, their businesses and to communities.

The provincial tax rate for credit unions is set to change in 2016. The credit union preferred tax rate will be phased out, increasing credit union's taxes.

The federal government made the decision to phase out its tax benefit and the province mirrored the action.

This will have a great impact on credit unions, as they cannot access capital markets like banks can, therefore impeding their ability to grow their retained earnings. This impact will be passed on to the clients, members and business communities across Canada as there will be less funds available to lend.

Besides the day-to-day loans issued to help small businesses grow, communities also benefit directly - as more than $17.6 million dollars are provided annually through community and economic projects.1

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, with the support of both the B.C. and Canadian Chambers of Commerce, passed resolutions at their annual conferences calling on the Government of B.C. to rectify an unintended, yet punishing taxation approach, detrimental to the operations of credit unions.

" We commend the provincial government for listening to the concerns raised and we urge them to keep the small business tax rate for credit unions in place permanently. If this benefit is eliminated, an annual tax hike of $20M is too great a burden to place on the institutions and a significant blow to communities " Ken Carmichael, President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. "This opportunity to hear and learn more from our distinguished panel is unparalleled."

The opportunity he references is an event the Kelowna Chamber is hosting on Friday, February 26. Martha Durdin, President and CEO of the Canadian Credit Union Association will be in Kelowna to speak about Canada's Credit Unions and how they are key to helping 'Main Street' prosper. Ms. Durdin is a highly experienced national strategic public affairs leader, and she'll be providing a glimpse into how public strategy is developed.
This breakfast panel presentation will be about what it means to be a financial institution grounded in the prosperity and quality of life of the communities they serve. It will paint the picture of what could become of B.C.'s communities should credit unions be unable to operate as they are currently. She will be joined by Jackie Baron, Sr. V.P. of Governance & Strategy, First West Credit Union; - Shawn Good, CEO, Prospera Credit Union; and Kathy Conway, President & CEO of Interior Savings Credit Union

"This is a unique opportunity to have three competing credit unions share the stage with a national perspective on where credit unions are going and why they are so important to the community," said Caroline Grover, CEO of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

People interested in attending this breakfast can register at KelownaChamber.org/Events or call 250 861-3627.