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Entrepreneurs disappointed by policy-makers’ performance over the past year
VANCOUVER, July 18, 2018 – With today marking the one-year anniversary of the new BC government having been sworn into office, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released new survey results. Most notably, entrepreneurs have given the government a poor grade on addressing small business issues during its first year.
Of the 833 survey responses collected late June, 36 per cent award the Government an “F” grade, 32 per cent “D”, 21 per cent “C”, 8 per cent “B”, 2 per cent “A”, and 1 percent were unsure. In aggregate, the Government receives a “D” grade for their first year in office.
The survey also shows 65 per cent of business owners feel “pessimistic” about the Government’s performance over the past year, and that policy changes have hurt their business.
“Clearly, the D grade spells disappointment for business owners across the province. The government has under-performed and under-delivered in terms of creating policies that reflect the priorities of small and medium-sized businesses”, says Richard Truscott, CFIB Vice President, BC and Alberta.
The survey also asks business owners which specific government policies they support or oppose. Results indicate strong support for the half point reduction in the small business income tax rate and eliminating the PST on electricity, both measures that were followed through on by the new government in its February budget.
Conversely, entrepreneurs oppose more policy changes in the last year than they support. Business owners strongly oppose the proposed Employer Health Tax, the speculation tax on real estate, raising the carbon tax by $5 a year until 2021, the BC Government’s position on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, and hiking the minimum wage to $15.20 an hour by 2021.
Truscott continues: “It’s not too late to turn things around. The BC Government must take some remedial steps to get on a better path toward creating policy that both supports independent business and recognizes the important contribution entrepreneurs make to our economy and our communities. Doing so will improve their grade in the second year,” concluded Truscott.
The findings are based on 833 responses collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflects responses received from June 13 to June 26, 2018. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 10,000 members in BC and 110,000 members across the country in every sector and region.