Rising crime weighs heavy on Manitoba small business owners

Nearly half (45%) say it is a serious concern for their business

Winnipeg, November 1, 2023 – A new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) found more than half (54%) of Manitoba small businesses have been directly or indirectly impacted by crime. Crime & Safety in Western Canada: The Small Business Perspective, brings attention to the impacts crime and community safety are having on small businesses across the province.

“The public does not have to look far to see that crime and safety is a problem in our communities and for businesses. We recognize that these are complex issues without simple solutions, but it is important to highlight the toll these issues are having on our local businesses,” said SeoRhin Yoo, Policy Analyst at CFIB.

Manitoba small businesses report they are struggling to manage property damage, theft, waste and litter, loitering, and public intoxication. Many (78%) are also worried about the safety of their customers and employees.

Small businesses are already implementing measures to better protect their business, customers, and employees, including spending more money on security, adjusting operations, and providing additional safety training for staff. Some report having to pay more to attract and retain employees, further contributing to labour shortage challenges.

To address crime and safety challenges, CFIB provides the following recommendations:

  • Address underlying issues contributing to crime and safety.
  • Improve resources available to small businesses (i.e. funding, response strategies)
  • Use collaborative approach.
  • Improve safety in commercial areas and public spaces.
  • Develop improved approach to recidivism.

“Many small business owners are expected to be their own accountant, HR department, and marketing team. They did not anticipate also having to work as security, social worker, emergency medical provider,” concluded Yoo. “A collaborative approach is needed by all governments, stakeholders, and law enforcement to address these very real challenges.”

Business owners can contact CFIB’s business resources for additional support to manage their community crime and safety concerns.

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. 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 cfib.ca.