Governments take notice: 96 per cent of Canadians say small business is important to Canada’s future

Toronto, November 13, 2019 – More than nine in 10 Canadians say that small businesses are vital to their communities, according to a new public opinion poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). This is why CFIB encourages the new federal government to put small business at the centre of its agenda and support entrepreneurship in Canada.

“Canadians value entrepreneurs and the contributions they make to their communities. One in two are even considering starting a business one day,” said Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB’s senior vice-president of national affairs. “We should be supporting small business owners and encouraging those who are thinking of making the leap. Eight out of 10 Canadians say that governments undervalue the contributions of entrepreneurs. As they prepare their agenda for the new Parliament, the incoming government needs to recognise that most Canadians stand firmly behind small businesses and see them as vital to their communities.”

Canadians rate farmers and small business owners as some of the groups they respect the most, ahead of government, unions and large companies. The survey, which was conducted among a representative sample of Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, also found that:

  • The top ways small businesses are seen as contributing to their communities include employing locally (84 per cent), increasing their economic vibrancy (66 per cent) and providing great places to shop (56 per cent).
  • 86 per cent of respondents disagreed with the idea that it is easy to start or run a small business
  • 88 per cent of respondents say that small businesses should be subjected to a lower tax rate than larger businesses.

What does the future of small business look like?
During the recent election campaign, CFIB created a Small Business Platform with policy recommendations based on what entrepreneurs said they needed from government in order to succeed. CFIB was gratified to see many of its recommendations adopted by every party ahead of the election and hopes they can work together to support small businesses by: 

  • Making it easier for small business owners to transfer or sell their business to their children
  • Finding new ways to reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses, such as working closely with provinces on improving free trade within Canada
  • Monitoring and addressing the impacts of credit card fees on small merchants

“The government has the opportunity to start fresh with the small business community and show them that they hear their concerns,” added Pohlmann. “We saw some great ideas come out of every party’s platform so we’re excited to work with all MPs to put in place policies that support small businesses.”

Read the full public opinion poll results for more details.

The public opinion survey was conducted by CFIB from September 11 to 13, 2019 with a representative sample of n=1,510 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 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

About the Angus Reid Forum
The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.