Only 25% of small businesses are confident their concerns will receive attention during Manitoba’s election campaign

Reducing the tax burden and improving public infrastructure are among the top election priorities for Manitoba small businesses.

Winnipeg, September 6, 2023 – A dismal 25% of Manitoba small businesses are confident their concerns and priorities will receive attention during the campaign leading up to the October 3 election, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)’s Manitoba pre-election survey.

Reducing the small business tax burden is the top priority for 72% of businesses, followed by improving public infrastructure (61%), reducing personal income taxes (56%), reducing energy costs (52%), and addressing social concerns (49%).

“Affordability is the top priority for small business owners at this time,” said SeoRhin Yoo, CFIB’s policy analyst. “On top of decreased revenues, sky-high interest rates and mounting debt, small businesses are struggling with increased costs of doing business post-pandemic. That’s why we’re asking all parties to commit to putting the needs of small businesses at the forefront and adopt policies that will provide cost relief and predictability.”

The survey also reveals that 99% of Manitoba small business owners plan to vote in the upcoming election – 58% have decided who they will vote for, while 41% have not.

“The next provincial government has the opportunity to either help, or hinder small business recovery,” said Brianna Solberg, CFIB Director of Provincial Affairs. “High inflation, other government cost increases, labour shortages, and COVID debt levels must be considered as the next government sets its policy agenda.”

Among other recommendations detailed in CFIB’s Manitoba small business election platform, small business owners are calling on the next government to:

  • Avoid introducing any new costs (tax increases, new fees, etc.) for small businesses;
  • Increase the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy (HE Levy) exemption threshold to $2.5 million;
  • Increase the small business corporate income tax rate threshold to $600,000;
  • Keep the commitment to eliminate education property taxes, and ensure commercial property owners aren’t paying more than their fair share in the meantime;
  • Consider suspending the provincial fuel tax and identify ways to lower energy and utility costs;
  • Work with municipalities to lower property taxes and help address other issues like crime & safety, housing, etc.; and
  • Continue to take action to address labour shortages.

CFIB’s election tracker website has information on different party platforms and other resources for business owners in preparation for election day.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

About CFIB

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members across every industry and region, including 4,000 in Manitoba. 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