Well, it happened: Donald Trump was announced as the President-Elect of the United States yesterday. This is not a politically aligned blog, so we won’t go into an analysis or appraisal of Mr. Trump or his candidacy, but one thing that did stand out during last night’s election coverage was a report that the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website crashed due to surging traffic brought on by distraught Americans looking for ways to go about moving to Canada.
Unfortunately, as American political comedian Hari Kondabolu once humorously put it, “I’m sorry, but Canada doesn’t have a special visa” for those seeking to divorce themselves from American politics. However, it does have an unique program designed to help startups and small businesses transition to doing business across the border.
Canada’s Start-up Visa Program targets immigrant entrepreneurs with the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale.
What do international startups stand to gain from moving to Canada? For starters, corporate tax rates are lower by almost 20 percent. Though red tape and regulation are still issues that need to be addressed in the Canadian small business landscape, they are less restrictive to the development and funding of small enterprises.
More and more tech companies and web startups are Canada bound as the nation’s talent pool expands. Likewise, fast food franchises, collection agencies, and accounting companies have found expansion in Canada beneficial to their small businesses. Canadian businesses are forming (and dissolving) at a rapid rate: in 2013, the total number of SME births was 78,430.
Canada was not battered as significantly by the 2008 recession, thanks largely to the composition of its banking industry revolving around five “big banks” – around which a large number of financial technology and alternative financing providers are currently developing to service the needs of small businesses.
In short: there’s no wall preventing business expansion north of the 49th Parallel.