BC budget provides little relief for struggling small businesses

Vancouver, February 22, 2022 – The BC budget provides little for small businesses hoping to see measures to reduce costs and help with recovery, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). CFIB appreciates the BC government did not introduce new tax increases or additional costs. However, small businesses are still feeling cost increases in the form of employer paid sick days, rising property taxes, the employers' health tax, carbon tax increases and inflation.  

“CFIB recognizes the province has managed the pandemic well by allowing businesses to keep open as much as possible, but small businesses are still very much in survival mode,” said Annie Dormuth, CFIB provincial affairs director. “We are coming up to two years of the pandemic and only 35% of BC small businesses are back to normal sales and have accumulated $129,000 in COVID-19 related debt. The budget was a missed opportunity to help businesses through the immediate and current crisis with cost relief measures and a plan to help them to recover in the long-term."

Over nine in ten (91%) BC small businesses feel the government isn’t doing a good enough job at lowering costs to help their business recover. Further CFIB survey results show what challenges BC small businesses face heading into 2022: 

  • Rising prices (fuel, food, insurance and etc.) (83%)
  • Government increasing costs (CPP premiums, paid sick days, taxes, minimum wage) (80%)
  • Supply chain challenges (increased time and effort to access the products) (78%) 
  • Labour shortages (60%)
  • Health impacts (myself, staff or others) (44%)

“It was encouraging to see the government’s economic plan StrongerBC: A Plan for Today, a Vision for Tomorrow reference the importance of small businesses to the overall provincial economy. However, if the government wants to ensure “small business is big business” they need to recognize the fragile state of small businesses and not impose policy changes that have major cost implications,” concluded Dormuth. 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Annie Dormuth
Provincial affairs director 

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members (9,000 in BC) 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 cfib.ca.