Thank you for the question. It's an excellent question.
I can start off by saying that small business is implicit throughout the entire budget. I've made the statement time and again that it's important that we recognize that middle-class Canadians are small business owners and are the people who work for them.
The commitment and investments we are making within the nation actually all help small businesses. We say they are the backbone of the economy, and this goes to prove that point. No matter who it is, everyone either knows a small business owner or knows someone who is related to a small business owner. We all have that in common.
As for what defines a small business, a small business is defined as having fewer than 100 paid employees. Medium-sized would be the next step up, having fewer than 500 paid employees.
My mandate clearly states that it's important that we help these small businesses grow through innovation and trade. We need them to be more productive. We need it to be easier for them to grow and be successful. I've said on several occasions that the success of small business is the success of the nation, and I wholeheartedly believe that.
Within the budget, there are many different places I can point to. I will start off, and Minister Bains may choose to step in as well.
The innovation agenda actually will be driving our economy forward. A healthy economy is good for small business.
If I can touch on the middle-class tax cut, the middle-class tax cut puts more money into the pockets of Canadians. One thing I hear time and again is that small businesses want to sell their products and services. How do we help make that happen? We help make it happen by allowing consumers to be strengthened. One way to do that is by allowing them to have more dollars in their pockets.
The Canada child benefit helps those same families who end up buying from local businesses. Anywhere I've had the opportunity to travel across this nation, I try to stay at a small business and I try to shop at a small business, because I know this not only helps them and their families but helps their community. It helps them create jobs within those communities. That is what will strengthen our nation.
If I can continue, not only will the historic infrastructure investment grow our nation but it will also support small businesses, because it allows us to get to work. A few weeks ago, I was in a riding and visited a market. At that market the number one complaint was that their trucks get stuck on the highway. Fresh produce can't get to their stores, they can't sell those goods, and they therefore sometimes lose the products or are not able to provide that service.
The $500 million for broadband in rural and remote areas is a big deal. I do not believe you should not be able to do business because of where you live. We need our small and medium-sized businesses to be successful. We need all communities to be able to consider international markets. That commitment to broadband, in rural and remote areas especially, will be quite beneficial.
The industrial research assistance program has received very good news: the $50 million in the IRAP program. It is an additional commitment, which allows us to invest into more businesses that need that support.
The $4 million for Canadian technology accelerator initiatives will take us forward. It speaks to that innovation and commitment that we're making long term. We are not only trying to grow the economy for today but are trying to create jobs for tomorrow. That's part of it as well.
The list could go on, and I'm sure you probably have other questions, but if you'd like me to go on, I can.