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CFIB Statement on Ontario Budget

Toronto, November 5, 2020 - There is positive news in today’s budget that answers several CFIB pre-budget asks for small business owners. The government’s focus on lowering profit-insensitive taxes like the Employer Health Tax and Business Education Tax is a helpful approach to recovery as small business revenues remain low, and frees up cash for small businesses to spend on other priorities. 
-Ryan Mallough, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

Employer Health Tax (EHT) Savings Continue
CFIB thanks the government for responding to a long-time CFIB recommendation and making the $1 million EHT threshold permanent. Payroll taxes like the EHT are profit-insensitive and particularly punitive during times of slow revenue recovery.
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

Business Education Tax (BET) and Potential Property Tax Reductions
CFIB applauds the government for lowering the BET on most business properties across the province and allowing municipalities to lower small business property taxes by creating an optional subclass. We’re also pleased that the province will incentivize municipalities by providing a corresponding BET reduction for those municipalities that create the subclass and lower small business property taxes. We look forward to working with municipalities on implementation details. 
-Ryan Mallough, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario
 
Lower Energy Bills for Higher Energy Users
CFIB welcomes the news that the government will cut energy costs for businesses with the Global Adjustment on their bills by an average of 14-16 per cent. This will bring much-needed relief to many medium-sized manufacturers and high energy users who have fallen between existing program cracks and have been struggling with uncompetitive energy costs for many years. 
-Ryan Mallough, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

Extending Ontario’s Commercial Eviction Ban
Small businesses are relieved that the province will extend the commercial eviction ban, a move that is particularly needed now as businesses await the start of the new federal rent relief program. We urge the government to use remaining money from the federal/provincial rent program (CECRA) to provide retroactive funding to commercial tenants shut out of that program because their landlords did not apply.  
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

More Direct Funding Still Required 
While CFIB appreciates the government’s actions in today’s budget to position Ontario for a strong recovery, greater direct support is still needed. Many small businesses can’t yet plan for the future,  and must instead focus on surviving the present. We can’t get to the other side of COVID-19 without first dealing with the here and now, so we will continue to press the government to significantly expand direct support programs, including broader access to the $300 million relief program. 
-Julie Kwiecinski, Director of Provincial Affairs, Ontario

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB
647-464-2814
[email protected]

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, including 42,000 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 cfib.ca.