4imprint, LLC

To hire or not to hire: What the new tax breaks mean for you?

Last year, the federal government unveiled two new additions to complement the existing Job Creation Tax Credit initiative: the Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) and the Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG). These cash grants serve to encourage Canadian businesses to hire more skilled trade workers and increase wages. The programs are part of a larger effort to spark a rosier trend in current unemployment rates throughout the country.Under the AIG, businesses can receive up to $2,000 in tax credits for every additional new apprentice that they hire. Most recently, members of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet have said that job creation is their top priority, and they are expected to announce more tax incentives for small businesses to hire in the coming months.

Should these further tax credits be set in motion, your small business faces a decision: To hire or not to hire?

The answer might actually come in the form of another question: Do you need to?

While the potential and existing tax credits may sound appealing, if your small business is comfortably meeting demand or the current work load of employees is manageable, your business might not stand to benefit from the push to hire more workers. Don’t fix something that isn’t broken. Instead, consider focusing on maintaining and growing your customer base. In your next mailing, offer an incentive to keep your business top of mind by including a logo’d Note Paper Mouse Pad or a Jar Opener.

However, if you were considering hiring this year anyway, this could be your incentive to seriously think about doing so. If you see your small business growing in the near future, now may be the time to take things to the next level. Take advantage of serendipity.

Get the word out that your small business is hiring. Be sure to post any position on your website. Consider also advertising online through reputable job boards, university career pages and even newspaper classifieds. Try utilizing social media tools. such as LinkedInTM, FacebookTM and TwitterTM to spread the word. Reach out to your current staff and clients for referrals by sending them a note asking for referrals, a fun tie-in like a Bendy Pen with a brand-able top for helping find your next hire, or a Laser Pointer USB Flash Drive for pointing out a great candidate.

Once people are aware that you’re hiring, no doubt the applications will start to pour in. Hire the hungry, not the starving—applicants with relevant work experience who come in genuinely eager to work for you may be more likely to stick around than over-qualified, antsy job seekers who might bolt with the next opportunity. Use interviewing best practices by ensuring you are asking the same questions of all candidates. Conduct reference checks of those candidates that rise to the top.

And then, bring that new person on with fanfare. Deck out his or her new space with logo’d office accessories to show your excitement. Don’t forget to be gracious and thank all applicants for their interest with a letter. Consider going the extra mile for top candidates with a thoughtful thank-you, such as the Chocolate Greeting Card. It builds goodwill and may allow for you to tap those excellent applicants in the future.

Now’s the time to think about expanding your employee base. Maybe with some added incentive it will make those decisions about whether to hire or not to hire a little easier. We certainly hope you experience growth and are looking forward to a prosperous 2010!

Canada. Canada Business. Canada Revenue Agency. Canada Business. Government of Canada. Web. 26 Feb. 2010.

Akin, David. “Harper cabinet makes job creation top priority.” Financial Post. Canada.com, 03 Feb. 2010. Web. 26 Feb. 2010.

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