Regina, June 1, 2022 – As small businesses struggle to make a post-pandemic economic recovery, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is calling on the Saskatchewan government to stop piling new costs on small businesses and provide cost relief by reducing the provincial fuel tax.
“It is no secret that small businesses are facing a long and challenging road to recovery,” said Brianna Solberg, CIFB senior policy analyst. “According to our latest CFIB Small Business Recovery Dashboard, only 42 per cent of Saskatchewan small businesses are back to normal revenues for this time of year and the majority are staring down significant debt, supply chain challenges, and the pressures of inflation.”
At the same time, the cost of doing business is rapidly increasing as a result of government-imposed costs. “The re-introduction of the small business corporate tax, along with increases to minimum wage, WCB premiums, and SaskPower rates are all driving up small business costs,” added Solberg. “Meanwhile, the expansion of the PST to include gym memberships and admission to arts and sports events is going to hurt many businesses that have already been hit the hardest by pandemic restrictions.”
Cost relief is becoming increasingly urgent for small business owners as many are wondering if they will ever be able to recover, or if they should simply close their doors permanently. Nearly two thirds of Saskatchewan small businesses (62 per cent) report taking on COVID-related debt, at an average of $95,188 per business, and one in seven (15 per cent) are actively considering bankruptcy or permanently winding down operations.
The Saskatchewan government could help small businesses by following other provinces that have already provided relief for record-high fuel costs. Alberta stopped collecting provincial fuel taxes as of April 1, lowering costs at the pump by 13 cents a litre, and Newfoundland and Ontario have also announced plans to reduce their provincial fuel taxes.
“In Saskatchewan, inflation has now reached 5.9 per cent, and with the provincial fuel tax at 15 cents per litre, the government has an opportunity to provide some much-needed cost relief,” said Kathleen Cook, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs for Saskatchewan. “Small business owners are struggling with the many cost increases government has already imposed this year, and some relief on fuel costs would help them on the road to recovery.”
Small business owners can add their voice to CFIB’s petition calling on the Saskatchewan government to stop adding new costs for small business owners here.
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region, including 4,300 in Saskatchewan. 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.