Philippe Couillard promises $160M for Quebec businesses

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard said a Liberal government would help small and medium businesses by offering a tax credit for travel expenses linked to exports. (CBC)

Quebec Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard says his government would stimulate the province's economy by investing $160 million in small and medium businesses.

"[Small and medium businesses] are vital to the recovery of our economy and the creation of jobs ... Small and medium businesses need to breathe, and the Quebec Liberal Party's plan would give them the oxygen they need," he said.

Couillard unveiled a number of initiatives for the province's business owners, including:

$12 million per year in tax credits (up to 50 per cent) for travel expenses linked to international and interprovincial exports.

Streamlined interaction between the government and small and medium businesses to reduce administrative costs by up to 20 per cent by 2015 .

A $150 million CréativitéQuébec program that would offer financial aid to support innovation and creative projects.

A tax break for salaries in order to facilitate the hiring of specialized employees.

Couillard made the announcement at the École d'entrepreneurship de Beauce, in Saint-Georges this morning.

The Parti Québécois stopped off in Lévis on Thursday to unveil its own plan for Quebec's business owners.

Pauline Marois said a PQ government would implement a program to support a total of 300 small and medium business with high growth potential.

She said her government would also establish an economic development fund for the province and work to ensure that business owners benefit as much as possible from the oil exploration project on Anticosti Island.

Media mogul and Saint-Jérôme candidate Pierre Karl Péladeau joined Marois for the announcement.

"My political engagement is motivated by a desire to contribute to Quebec's prosperity. We must help our businesses to grow, export, to conquer the world," Péladeau said.

"In the world of business, Quebecers must become the best in the world," he added.