McIntosh Seeks Second Term on Meaford Council

James McIntosh - Meaford Council Candidate

James McIntosh – Meaford Council Candidate

First of all, tell us a little about your background and overall platform in 100 words or less.

I am a 34 year old entrepreneur with 3 small businesses in various stages of operation.  I am running to be re-elected for my second term as Councillor for the Municipality of Meaford.  I firmly believe that our community’s future prosperity is dependent upon our ability to attract outside investment and to leverage our economic strengths in creating a much more diverse value added export stream for agricultural goods and tourism experiences that lend themselves to those new sources of investment revenue.  Succinctly my platform is:

  • Strive to maximize value to the taxpayer for every tax dollar.
  • Keep tax bills consistent and predictable
  • Reduce spending by better prioritization
  • Continue to advocate for increased rural road maintenance
  • Continue important work on Economic Development initiatives

I firmly believe that our community’s future prosperity is dependent upon our ability to attract outside investment and to leverage our economic strengthsWhat do you see as the major issue(s) facing business-owners in Grey-Bruce?

Business owners face a myriad of challenges.  Foremost shifting consumer demands and preferences and higher price sensitivities are driving the business landscape in Grey-Bruce and making it much harder for start-ups and independents to survive.  It is hard for our businesses to find and retain employees that possess the initiative and work ethic to help businesses succeed.  Combine this with somewhat restricted access to capital and our business environment is in need of assistance in the form of a regional strategic plan to build market share, garner interest in relocating and investing in our area, and addressing emerging opportunities in the marketplace.

Do you feel economic growth should focus on:

A) Bringing in new business developments, or

B) Encouraging small businesses presently in operations?

Encouraging and supporting current businesses and local business owners is the most effective way to kick start change, however there are limits.  If a local business economy is successful in reforming itself to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities then new business developments and investments will occur more naturally.

Do you think local business taxes should be:

A) Increased

B) Decreased

C) Maintained at current level

Business tax rates should be maintained at the current level.  I say this because 91% of Meaford’s tax revenue is levied upon home owners.  To lower business taxes would mean much more of the burden would fall to residents.  To raise business taxes would deter from our efforts to encourage investment.  Meaford Council did approve the removal of area rating for our Police services which had the effect of lowering taxes on our commercial core.

Should there be any changes in the services offered to local businesses?

I believe there needs to be more communication between local government and local business.  We’re doing what we can from our perspective, but it is always a good thing to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

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Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Basics of Bookkeeping (Three part workshop)
Tuesday September 19th and 26th and Tuesday October 3rd, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room $95 (HST included)
Facilitator: Jane Gallagher
This three part Bookkeeping Workshop will allow you to use the tools and information to confidently understand your financial statements and your own books. Class size is limited to 8 to allow a hands-on, individual learning opportunity for everyone.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

How to “Really” Start a Business
Wednesday September 20th, 9:00 am – 11:30 am, Bayshore Community Centre
FREE – Pre-registration is required
Facilitator: Cliff Bilyea
Discover the basic steps involved in starting a business, evaluating your idea, determining your market and basic rules and regulations. Attending the is workshop is mandatory for anyone applying to the Starter Company Plus Program.

Business Enterprise Centre Workshops

Introduction to Quick Books (Two part workshop)
Tuesday October 17th and 24th, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Business Enterprise Centre Training Room, $80 (HST Included)
Instructor: Jane Gallagher
The first session of Quick Books provides participants with an overview and access to a trial version of the program. The second session will be questions and answers to address specific issues. Knowledge of basic bookkeeping principles is required. Limited to 8, you must bring your own laptop. (This workshop does not cover the online version of Quick Books)

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