Competitiveness Economic Strategy Productivity

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters: Government Assistance to Help SMEs Go Online is a Great First Step, but More Measures Needed to Grow Companies and Boost Exports

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 3, 2020 – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) welcomes the announcement made today by the federal government, unveiling new measures to help Canadian small businesses access global markets during COVID-19. However, further action remains necessary to help SMEs in the manufacturing sector grow and be able to export.

“SME’s struggled with exporting before the pandemic, and the crisis has only made things worse, as cancellations of business travel and events has forced all business development to take place in the virtual space. More specifically, dedicating resources to help exporters develop online platforms will be an important leg-up; it is what our members expect, given the sharp raise in online commerce, and is something CME has called for.” says Dennis Darby, President & CEO of CME.

“A robust online presence enables companies to export more and reap the benefits of international trade; it’s a great way to stay ahead of larger competitors from other countries, and therefore acts as a great equalizer for SMEs.”

“Because trade barriers still exist, and are always cropping up, exporters are glad to see the federal government take the lead by assisting SMEs with the financial burden imposed by new international market certifications and standards,” added Darby.

Still, more needs to be done to help exporters navigate government programs and exporting in general. Trade associations like CME are uniquely positioned to assist SMEs on this score. Recommendations from CME’s “Manufacturing Our Future” report released earlier this year calls to broaden Canada’s Export Concierge Program to simplify access to government support programs, as well as expand export mentorship peer councils by at least fourfold to improve the free exchange of information and know-how within the private sector. Another helpful measure would be the introduction of an export tax incentive that lowers corporate tax rates on export sales to encourage exports.

“Many SME’s in our sector have the will to export but many lack the expertise and knowledge to develop in that direction, and that’s where we offer to support them. Exporting is one of the biggest challenges for small companies; we must help them grow so that they can export more. Scale is one key to being competitive on the global stage,” he concluded.

About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Since 1871, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters has been helping manufacturers grow at home and, compete around the world. Our focus is to ensure manufacturers are recognized as engines for growth in the economy, with Canada acknowledged as both a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing and a global leader in exporting. CME is a member-driven association that directly represents more than 2,500 leading companies who account for an estimated 82 per cent of manufacturing output and 90 per cent of Canada’s exports.

For more information

Ady Stefan Calin
Manager, Communications & Branding
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
(514) 293-3765
ady.calin@cme-mec.ca