introducing BizPaL, a free online service with one-stop shopping for permits and licences for all three levels of government changing the Companies Act to make it quicker and easier for businesses to incorporate, amalgamate or convert to an unlimited company 10-day service standards for government to issue business permits and licences. The province has met its goal of cutting red tape to business by 20 per cent, making it quicker and easier for Nova Scotia business owners to deal with the government. By offering more services online, making it easier to incorporate or renew a business, and offering businesses information from all three levels of government in one spot, the province has achieved goals set five years ago in its Better Regulation Initiative. “Business owners don’t want to spend their time filling out forms or standing in line to submit them,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “They want to focus on building new markets, improving service and employing more Nova Scotians, which is what we want too. The more successful the province’s businesses are, the more successful the province is overall.” The Canadian Federation of Independent Business has designated today, Jan. 10, to Friday, Jan. 14, as Red Tape Awareness Week. The premier spoke to members of the federation at a meeting in Halifax today. He said Nova Scotia businesses spend an estimated 615,000 hours completing paperwork for provincial departments. A 20 per cent cut means businesses are now spending 123,000 fewer hours per year filling out government forms. “We’re always looking for ways to make it easier, and more convenient, for businesses to interact with government,” said Ramona Jennex, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. “Business and government have worked together on this important issue, and I am very pleased with the results.” Some examples of ways the province has streamlined operations to make things easier for business are: “We’re so pleased that government did what it said it would do: measure, reduce and publicly report its progress on tackling red tape,” said Leanne Hachey, CFIB’s vice-president, Atlantic. “Nova Scotia is now viewed as one of a few go-to provinces for other jurisdictions looking for ways to reduce red tape. This work has laid the foundation for ongoing progress — all of which makes it easier to do business in Nova Scotia.” A CFIB survey found that business owners across the country wanted to see government administrative burdens reduced by 10 to 25 per cent.