The economy and small business recovery are the top election issues for businesses, but most are not confident they will be addressed

Toronto, August 16, 2021 – The economy is the top issue small business owners want addressed in the upcoming federal election (78 per cent), with small business recovery coming in second (74 per cent), but less than a quarter of business owners (24 per cent) are confident that their concerns will receive enough attention, according to a new survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)1. CFIB has launched a new petition business owners can sign at to tell all federal parties what measures they want to see in their platforms.

“Small businesses have been through the wringer over the past 16 months, and many are looking at a long and bumpy road to recovery. They want to see all political parties commit to real measures that can support them now that an election has been called,” said Dan Kelly, President at CFIB.

Canadians also want to see small business issues addressed in the upcoming federal election, according to a separate public opinion poll CFIB conducted among members of the Angus Reid Forum. The economy (59 per cent) and small business recovery (47 per cent) ranked in the top five election issues for Canadians. More than nine in ten Canadians (93 per cent) agreed that small business recovery is crucial for Canada’s economic recovery, with 83 per cent also saying a strong small business platform will be important in this election.

The measures business owners want to see included in federal party platforms include2:

  • A clear, detailed economic recovery plan (81 per cent), including improving COVID-19 relief programs like the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), and wage and rent supports for all small businesses
  • Plans to reduce the overall tax burden on small business (77 per cent)
  • A commitment to control government spending, and a timeframe for balancing the budget (72 per cent)
  • A plan that ensures any future changes to Employment Insurance are made with small business in mind (71 per cent)
  • Policies to address labour and skills shortages (58 per cent)

“It’s imperative for the next government to have a strong and clear vision for small business recovery. CFIB stands ready to work with all parties as they draft their platforms to ensure the needs of small business owners get centre stage,” added Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President of National Affairs at CFIB. 

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

Source for CFIB data
1 Results for Your Voice – July 2021 survey. The online survey was conducted from July 8 – July 31, 2021, n = 4,278. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of +/-1.5%, 19 times out of 20.

2 Preliminary results for Your Voice – August 2021 survey. The online survey started August 5, 2021, n = 2,878. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of +/-1.8%, 19 times out of 20.

Source for public opinion data
These are the findings of a survey conducted by CFIB from August 4, 2021 to August 5, 2021 with a representative sample of 1,556 online Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.

The precision of Angus Reid Forum online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About 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. 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

About the Angus Reid Forum
The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.