CFIB highlights key legislative priorities for PEI ahead of return to the legislative assembly

Charlottetown, PEI, February 26, 2024— Following a detailed survey of its small business members, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has outlined key priorities for the Prince Edward Island government to address in its 2024-2025 budget. 

The survey results indicate specific areas where PEI's entrepreneurs are seeking action, aligned with broader Atlantic Canada and national concerns.  Amongst the priorities shared by small business owners, 95% want government to commit to reduce unnecessary rules and regulations, 89% want improvements to the tax system so it is fairer to small businesses, and 89% state they need more help with chronic labour shortages. Almost 3 out of 4 small business owners indicated the need for government to consider the pandemic (CEBA and other) debt level they have incurred in their budgetary and legislative decisions.  

"Entrepreneurs in PEI, now numbering 3,700 businesses carrying the weight of CEBA loan debt until 2026, are calling for the government to take meaningful action to alleviate this financial strain," highlighted Frederic Gionet, Senior Policy Analyst for PEI/Atlantic at CFIB. "Even those businesses that have managed to clear their CEBA debt did so at a significant cost, diverting precious resources away from potential expansion, hiring, and wage increases. This financial burden is compounded by rising operational costs and suppressed sales, as consumers are increasingly cautious about their spending. It's critical for the PEI Government to cultivate a supportive and attractive environment for starting and operating a small business, ensuring the right conditions and supports are in place for business growth."

In light of these priorities, CFIB recommends:

•    Reduction of the Tax Burden: Progressively raising the small business tax threshold from $500,000 to $700,000, with a clear path towards $1 million, and commit revaluate it every 5 years based on inflation. It has remained the same since 2009.

•    Property Tax: Including small businesses in any property tax relief initiatives aimed at residents.

•    Pause on new costs and taxes: Adopting a “do no harm” stance on policies affecting SMEs, to avoid imposing new costs under the current economic strain.

•    Labor: 

  • Enhancing assistance for small businesses to tackle labor shortages.
  • Delaying the implementation of mandatory paid sick leave until at least 2025, with consideration to further delay it until after the CEBA debt repayment deadline (Dec 31, 2026).

•    Regulatory Burden: Re-committing resources to formally reduce regulatory requirements as it did in the past. 

•    Energy: Ensure small businesses are represented in all aspects of decisions related to energy transition, and future cost forecasts are transparent

•    Transportation Costs/Competitiveness: Eliminating or considerably lowering Confederation Bridge tolls to boost business competitiveness. 

The CFIB continues to engage with the PEI government, advocating for a budget that reflects the needs of small businesses and fosters a robust economic environment.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Frederic Gionet

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, with 900 in PEI and 10,200 in Atlantic Canada. 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