Representatives from the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) of Canada and the Canadian Camping and RV Council (CCRVC) are on Parliament Hill today (April 30) urging the federal government to address critical small business and infrastructure needs.

According to a press release, RVing in Canada has a considerable economic impact as the manufacturing, purchasing, servicing and use of recreation vehicles contributes billions – both directly and indirectly – to the Canadian economy each year. In fact, in 2011, the total economic activity associated with the Canadian recreational vehicle industry reached $14.5 billion. There are over 3,000 independently owned and operated campgrounds across Canada, each offering a unique experience for Canadians and international visitors.

Today, the RVDA of Canada is asking the federal government for a taxation exemption on transferring businesses to children. “Currently, if a parent wishes to transfer ownership of their RV dealership to their child, the family will carry a significant tax penalty,” said RVDA Chairman George Goodrick. “This creates significant financial hardship when passing on a successful family business as this extra cost can have catastrophic effect on the overall health of the business.”

Given that the lifetime capital gains exemption for the sale of small businesses is currently $800,000 in addition to overall capital, the sale of an RV dealership significantly exceeds the current exemption, RVDA of Canada recommends the government introduce a tax free transfer of a small business from a parent to a child. This will assist in the succession planning of the company ensuring that an already successful dealership continues to be profitable.

Canadian campgrounds also need the assistance of federal decision makers to help access financing for infrastructure improvement projects. The majority of CCRVC members are seasonal businesses who experience significant challenges in accessing financing through traditional means. Campgrounds are required by regulation to make infrastructure upgrades, i.e. septic systems, and while these represent significant investments, financial institutions are reluctant to consider them as collateral for loans.   Campground owners in all parts of Canada need assistance in accessing long-term financing for infrastructure projects specifically aimed at meeting provincial and federal regulations.

The CCRVC recommends that the federal government work with the campground industry to develop loan assistance programs that work. This assistance will ensure that 4,200 campgrounds across the country can continue to operate successful businesses and contribute to the health of their local economies.

Together, the RV and campground industries play an important role in the health of Canada’s tourism sector and make a significant contribution to Canada’s economy.  In order to keep this momentum going, dedicated investment in small business and infrastructure policies to support the RV and campground industry is urgently needed.