New data released today – Small business holding breath over changes to passive investment rules in federal budget

February 26, 2018 – On the eve of the federal budget, new survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) show that small business owners remain very concerned about the government’s proposed tax changes. Nearly two-thirds of respondents indicated that the changes have caused them to rethink whether to continue being in business.

According to surveyed business owners, the proposed changes to passive investment rules continue to be a major worry despite the decisions to allow up to $50,000 in passive investment income per year and reduce the small business rate to 9%. Notably, 86% of respondents with passive investments say the proposed changes would have a negative impact on their business and 94% add that it would be harder to keep savings in case of a downturn or to grow the business.

“Small businesses are at the very heart of our economy and the federal government’s role should be to promote an environment which is conducive to their growth and competitiveness,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB president.

Survey results show that business owners who have passive investments use them as a way to:

  • Save for their retirement (71%)
  • Keep their business afloat during difficult economic times (65%)
  • Grow their business (53%)
  • Buy new equipment or technology (46%)

“Small business owners have been clear regarding their concerns, and 94% urge the government to abandon the proposed changes to passive investment rules. We hope they won’t be let down tomorrow,” concluded Kelly.

These preliminary results were pulled from an ongoing survey that has received 3,697 responses from business owners and are statistically accurate within +/- 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. These survey results were collected between February 20 and 23, 2018.  

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Kiara Morrissey, CFIB

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at