CFIB calls on Manitoba government to reduce tax burden, address healthcare challenges, and pay down debt in upcoming budget

Winnipeg, February 27, 2023 - On behalf of over 4,000 small businesses in Manitoba, CFIB is calling on the provincial government to make economic recovery and affordability measures for small businesses a priority in the upcoming 2023-24 provincial budget.

According to a recent CFIB survey, in 2023 Manitoba small business owners would like to see the provincial government:

  • Address the rising costs of doing business by reducing the overall tax burden (92%);
  • Ensure labour policies are reasonable for employers (89%);
  • Address healthcare challenges (87%); and
  • Introduce plans to balance the government budget/pay down government debt (80%).

CFIB’s latest Small Business Recovery Dashboard indicates nearly half (44%) of Manitoba small businesses have yet to return to normal sales levels and an alarming 20% are actively considering closing.

“The fact that business owners are thinking about closing is not surprising, considering many have been forced to work longer hours and take on staggering debt loads just to stay afloat,” said Brianna Solberg, CFIB director of provincial affairs. “The average small business owner in Manitoba is still staring down roughly $80,000 in pandemic-related debt. With these challenges in mind, the Manitoba government needs to ensure business owners are not burdened with additional costs and provided with some relief,” added Solberg.

CFIB appreciates the actions already taken by the province to help relieve some cost pressures for businesses. In addition to Education Property Tax Rebates, small business owners have also benefited from measures such as:

  • The increases to the minimum threshold for the Health and Education Tax Levy;
  • The introduction the Small Business Minimum Wage Adjustment Program; and
  • The establishment of a Tax Competitiveness Working Group to help ensure Manitoba remains competitive with its neighbours.

We would be encouraged to see the government continue to build upon these measures in this year’s budget. To that end, CFIB has provided a pre-budget submission to the finance minister, outlining our recommendations to help support businesses through these challenging times. CFIB also presented these recommendations to the government in a speech at a public pre-budget engagement session on February 13.

Some examples of our recommendations include:

  • Raising the small business corporate tax threshold from $500,000 to $600,000;
  • Extending the Small Business Minimum Wage Adjustment Program beyond Mar.31; and
  • Reducing the complexity, red tape, and costs associated with hiring new Canadians.

“While it was good to see a much lower deficit forecast in the Mid-Year fiscal update, driven largely by higher-than-expected income tax revenues, the province needs to clearly outline a plan to better balance its fiscal position,” said Jairo Yunis, CFIB economist for Western Canada. “For every $100 in revenue, $5 are going to servicing the debt, that’s $1.2 billion that could be used to provide much-needed cost-relief for households and businesses.”

“CFIB is calling on the Manitoba government to take a ‘do no harm’ approach in this year’s budget in order to give small businesses the chance to get back on track,” concluded Yunis.

Click here to read CFIB’s pre-budget submission.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Brianna Solberg
CFIB provincial affairs director

About CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members (4,000 in MB) across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at