Keeping costs down and promoting local shopping are top priorities for municipal economic recovery

Municipal candidates must make small business recovery a priority in this municipal election

Calgary, September 23, 2021 – Not imposing new or increasing existing costs, promoting shop local campaigns and reducing red tape are the top priorities for economic recovery Alberta small businesses want to see addressed in the upcoming municipal election on October 18. Over seven in ten (73%) Alberta small businesses also say lowering property taxes will help their business succeed. CFIB has launched a new petition business owners can sign at to tell municipal candidates what they want to see in their platforms.
“Alberta small businesses have been through a lot over the past 18 months, and many face a long uphill battle to economic recovery. They want to see their future municipal governments make small business recovery a priority,” said Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director. 
Over two thirds (68%) of Alberta small businesses have seen a property tax increase over the last four years which has led nearly two in five (37%) of business owners to consider relocating altogether. Of the measures to address property taxes, Alberta small businesses want the provincial government to work with municipalities (90%), reduce overall local government costs (72%) by finding internal efficiencies, such as a hiring freeze in non-essential areas of local government (54%). 

The measures Alberta business owners want to see municipal candidates address in their platforms include:

  • Prioritize economic recovery by not imposing new costs or increasing existing taxes
  • Reduce non-residential property taxes and set a long-term goal for property tax fairness
  • Engage in sustainable spending practices by reducing overall local government costs and find internal efficiencies
  • Create or promote existing shop local campaigns to encourage everyone to support the small businesses in their communities
  • Make a commitment to reduce red tape at the municipal level and keep the best of COVID-19 changes such as accelerated patio permitting
  • Implement a construction mitigation plan that compensates businesses for disruptions caused by municipal construction projects and ensure businesses have fair warning so they can properly prepare

“More than three quarters (78%) of Alberta small businesses feel issues related to their businesses have been largely ignored by their local government. This election is an opportunity for all municipal candidates to change that perception and focus on ensuring small businesses recover and thrive in their local communities,” concluded Dormuth. 
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Annie Dormuth
Alberta provincial affairs director