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New survey results show impact on small business from minimum wage hikes

One in three small business owners make less than $15 an hour

VANCOUVER, September 15, 2016 – To coincide with today’s 40 cent increase in the minimum wage by the BC government, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released new survey results that clearly show the negative effects on small business growth and employment from hiking the floor on wages.

  • As a result of minimum wage increases in the past, one-third of BC business owners reported reduced profits (34 per cent), nearly one-fifth delayed expansion plans (19 per cent), and another one-third were forced to raise their prices (33 per cent).
  • Minimum wage hikes affected employment, with 16 per cent reducing the number of employees, 18 per cent cutting hours for staff, and 26 per cent reduced hiring of youth and/or inexperienced workers.  The results are even more significant if only those employers with entry-level positions are included.
  • Seventy-nine per cent of BC business owners think the government should be required to conduct and publicly release the results of a thorough employment and economic impact analysis for proposed minimum wage increases.

“Many business owners, especially those in the service sector, operate in highly competitive markets and on razor-thin profit margins. Obviously, they will have to make lots of adjustments inside the business, including cutting jobs and hours, in order to accommodate such a large jump in payroll costs”, stated Richard Truscott, vice-president of BC and Alberta.

Recent CFIB analysis of Statistics Canada data shows approximately one-in-three business owners effectively earn $15 an hour or less, compared to one-in-five paid employees. The incomes of business owners in the hospitality and retail sectors were even more modest.

“The knee-jerk impulse to force employers to pay higher wages for entry-level jobs may make the politicians feel like they are doing something, but it may actually do more harm thangood.,” added Truscott. “When you add that to a potential CPP payroll tax increase, it’s easy to see why many small businesses are seriously worried.”        

CFIB recommends the provincial government help working Canadians move into better paying jobs through access to education, more effective training programs, and useful information about where higher paying jobs exist.

To arrange a media interview with Richard Truscott, please contact 604-684-5325 or [email protected]. More information about CFIB is available at

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in B.C.

September 16, 2016

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