CFIB response to Ontario’s Fall Economic Statement

Toronto, November 2, 2023 – On behalf of our 38,000 small- and medium-sized members in all sectors across the province, we applaud the provincial government for extending its gas and fuel tax cuts for another six months, providing much-needed certainty and relief as small business owners look ahead to the new year. Fuel and energy costs continue to rank as a top cost constraint for Ontario small businesses.

While deficits are higher than previously projected, we’re encouraged that the government is on pace to balance the budget by 2025/26.

The government’s heightened focus on infrastructure highlights the urgent need for a comprehensive provincial construction mitigation policy that includes direct compensation to small businesses for lengthy, disruptive builds. While everyone loves a finished project, the construction process can often be so disruptive that small businesses are forced to close before they can benefit. Construction mitigation measures and funds should be required for all provincially-funded construction projects moving forward. 

Heading into pre-budget season, we will continue to urge the Ontario government to focus on reducing the cost of doing business in the province. The government should consider measures including reducing the Small Business Tax Rate (SBTR), increasing the exemption thresholds for the SBTR and Employer Health Tax, and indexing these thresholds to inflation annually. 

We look forward to reviewing the full Fall Economic Statement and actively participating in 2024 pre-budget consultations in the weeks and months ahead.

-Ryan Mallough, Vice President, Legislative Affairs (Ontario)
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs (Ontario)
-Riley Locke, Policy Analyst (Ontario) 
For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Maud Larivière, 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 38,000 in Ontario. 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