VICTORIA – By helping companies registered with the provincial government’s venture capital programs to provide tax credit certificates quickly and efficiently, the Province is taking another step to encourage innovation and reward investors in B.C.’s dynamic small business sector, Technology, Trade and Economic Development Minister Ida Chong announced today.

“Venture capital keeps British Columbia’s vibrant technology companies competitive and strong,” said Chong. “The Province has already streamlined its processes to reduce the amount of time that clients registered in these programs spend filling out and completing forms. Now the ministry has introduced a web-based system that will simplify and speed up the process of applying for and distributing the tax credit certificates, making it easier for eligible investors to claim their 30 per cent tax credit.”

The electronic Tax Credit Application (eTCA) is a system that allows eligible companies to submit investment data to the provincial government on-line and retrieve tax credit certificates quickly for their investors.

 “The introduction of this new on-line system will not only reduce the administrative burden for technology companies, but also accelerate the process and shorten the time to access money, which is often critical,” said Pascal Spothelfer, president of the BC Technology Industry Association.

 Before eTCA, companies sent their investor information to the British Columbia Ministry of Technology, Trade and Economic Development’s Investment Capital Branch in Victoria. Ministry staff entered the information into a computer system, then printed and mailed the tax credit certificates to individual investors. Now companies can submit data on their capital investment intake to government and get back tax credit verification electronically right away for their investors, saving time and processing costs.

 The Province provides a 30 per cent tax credit to British Columbia residents when they purchase shares directly in a venture capital corporation or eligible business corporation registered with the provincial government.

 Eligible British Columbia businesses have enjoyed steady success in raising venture capital: $18 million in 2004, $22 million in 2005, $43 million in 2006, $80 million in 2007 and an anticipated $83 million for 2008. These investments help employ British Columbians and enable B.C. companies to thrive and grow, providing critically important seed capital for emerging small businesses across the province.

Venture capital companies and eligible business corporations must be registered with the provincial government in order to utilize eTCA to serve their investors.

More information on the investment capital programs is available on the Ministry of Technology, Trade and Economic Development’s website at www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev