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Morneau announces plans to work with angel investors in Waterloo

Twitter/@BardishKW

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is defending his party’s small business tax reforms, and assuring the local tech sector there will be capital available to get their startups off the ground.

The Liberals announced several changes this week to its controversial tax-reform plan first introduced back in July, following a consultation period that invoked anger from small business owners, farmers, and even other Liberal MPs. Morneau was in Waterloo Region, Friday, to promote and discuss the scaled back proposals at the Communitech Data Hub.

“We heard from people that we needed to get that right and so what I want to do today is to make sure that people understand that we will maintain incentives for people to be angel investors, helping startup businesses to get going,” he said. “We’ll maintain the opportunity for venture capital to play an important role in our economy and we’re going to get that right.”

The announcement also includes cutting the small business tax rate to nine per cent by 2019, ditching the capital gains proposals — which would have made it harder for family businesses to be passed onto the next generation — and tweaking passive-investment rules to allow middle-class entrepreneurs to invest in one another.

“We know that in 2016 alone, over $3-billion in venture capital was invested in innovative companies, and there was hundreds of millions invested right here in this area,” said Morneau. “I guess what I can say here is what’s good for Waterloo is good for the whole country.”