April 10, 2018

2018-19 Budget Creates Opportunities for Trade, Investment and Job Creation

The 2018-19 Budget keeps Saskatchewan’s economy on track by creating opportunities for increased trade, business investment and job creation.

“Over the past decade of growth, Saskatchewan’s expanded exports and new business investments here at home have given our province the second-fastest rate of job creation and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “This year’s budget will help to ensure Saskatchewan’s economy stays on track as we begin another decade of growth.”

Saskatchewan has the highest goods exported per capita of all Canadian provinces and Saskatchewan’s total exports have grown by 50 per cent over the past decade.  The Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) is responsible for increasing Saskatchewan's exports to existing markets and expanding into new markets by initiating sales, contracts and projects for Saskatchewan exporters.

As part of the 2018-19 Budget, an additional $250,000 is being allocated to STEP, which will be targeted to programs that directly support Saskatchewan exporters’ efforts to increase activity in both new and existing markets.  This will create new jobs and further expand Saskatchewan’s access to export markets around the world.
New business incentives in the 2018-19 Budget include the Saskatchewan Value-Added Agriculture Incentive under the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, and the Saskatchewan Tech Start-up Incentive under Innovation Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan Value-Added Agriculture Incentive (SVAI)

Government is introducing the Saskatchewan Value-Added Agriculture Incentive to foster a competitive business environment in our province and improve investment attraction and retention outcomes in Saskatchewan’s value-added agriculture sector.

  • The SVAI creates a 15 per cent non-refundable and non-transferable tax credit for new or existing value-added agriculture facilities that make a minimum capital investment of $10 million to expand productive capacity.
  • To be eligible, a project must demonstrate that capital expenditures were made for the purpose of creating new productive capacity, or increasing existing, productive capacity.
  • Redemption of the benefits is limited to 20 per cent in year one after the facility enters operation, 30 per cent in year two, and 50 per cent in year three.

Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive (STSI)

Targeted to create the conditions for the continued rapid growth and success of newly emerging technology companies, this incentive will further strengthen the province’s innovation strategy by helping to retain technology start-ups in Saskatchewan.

  • This two-year pilot program will offer a 45 per cent non-refundable tax credit for individual and corporate equity investments in eligible technology start-up businesses (ESBs) capped at a maximum annual benefit of $140,000 per investor.
  • To be eligible, ESBs must be early stage technology-based companies located in Saskatchewan, with 50 employees or fewer and at least 50 per cent of those employees being in the province.
  • Each ESB must successfully complete a technology assessment in order to be considered eligible, with more details to be provided when the program is launched later this year.

“The Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive creates an entrepreneurial ecosystem where Saskatchewan people can build their futures in a dynamic and innovative economy,” Minister responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “This new incentive will continue to attract leading edge innovation and high-quality, high tech jobs to Saskatchewan.”