The next federal election is set for October 21, and political leaders across the country are already ramping up their campaigns. As the parties draft their electoral platforms, we want to make sure that the issues important to your business stay front and centre. Political leaders need to remember that in addition to being a business owner, you are also a voter.
How we are fighting for your business this election
With increased costs to your business, like the CPP hikes, and economic uncertainties on the horizon, all parties must commit to implementing policies that will ensure your business’ success now and into the future.
Based on feedback from business owners like you, CFIB has created a small business platform, Small Business is Everyone’s Business, with recommendations on what those policies should be.
We want all parties to understand that to ensure the success of the country’s small businesses, they need to go back to basics by focusing on three key elements: affordability, financing and skilled labour. While policy-makers in Ottawa focus on competitiveness, innovation and reaching global markets, they often forget to address the basic foundations needed to operate a successful business.
Our platform sets out recommendations that aim to set your business up for success by ensuring political leaders commit to addressing each of these three elements.
Affordability: the foundation of running a small business
- Slow down or halt planned CPP increases.
- Implement an EI credit, effectively lowering the premiums for your businesses.
- Ensure that it is as easy to sell or transfer your businesses to a family member as it is to a third party.
- In the provinces where it applies, repeal the federal carbon backstop, which puts too much of the cost – and not enough of the rebates – on the shoulder of small businesses. Instead, the government should work with the provinces on customized approaches to climate change that will minimize the negative impacts on small business.
- Cut red tape in policies, guidelines and legislation to ease your regulatory burden.
- Balance the budget within the next five years so you’re not saddled with high taxes for years to come.
- Support family-run small businesses by exempting spouses from the new income-splitting rules.
Financing: the key to starting or growing your business
- End credit card processing fees on taxes, prepaid cards and returns.
- Bring your credit card rates in line with the lower ones available to large corporations.
- Ensure that when you have an issue with your financial institution, the dispute resolution system is fair and transparent, and has the authority to resolve your complaints.
Labour: having the right people for the job
- Introduce a training tax credit which recognizes the investments small business make in both formal and informal, on-the-job training.
- Make it easier for your business to hire and retain foreign workers at all skill levels by creating a pathway to permanent residency for Temporary Foreign Workers such as CFIB’s “Introduction to Canada Visa”.
- Ensure that your business can hire students through internships, co-ops and apprenticeships by ensuring your voice is heard in the development of a national Work Integrated Learning strategy.