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Party Leaders outline plans to help small businesses recover; mixed bag of commitments

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Regina, October 21, 2020 – With the Saskatchewan Election less than one week away, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is releasing the results of its 2020 Leaders’ Survey on Small Business Priorities. Party Leaders responded to important questions on the need for small business tax relief to help economic recovery, sustainable spending, red tape reduction, and improving employment policies and training programs.

“As Saskatchewan’s Election Day nears, it is important for Leaders to directly address the issues most important to Saskatchewan small businesses across the province,” said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Western Canada and Agri-business. “In particular, what is their Party’s plan to help small businesses and the Saskatchewan economy recover, which is especially important as many small businesses continue to struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

CFIB conducted a pre-election survey that found the majority of small business owners (67%) in the province believe it is very important for the next government to provide tax relief to help small businesses recover, even if it delays balancing the budget. “We know there is no economic recovery without a small business recovery. However, the recovery has been slow for most small businesses. While 83 per cent of Saskatchewan small businesses are fully open, only 32 per cent are making normal sales,” added Braun-Pollon. 

The Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Green Party, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party and Saskatchewan Party all provided responses to the survey. No survey responses were received from the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Liberal Party. As a non-partisan organization, CFIB posted the responses, unedited on CFIB’s Saskatchewan Election website to help small business owners make an informed decision on October 26th. 

Some Survey Highlights 
 
Positive Commitments for Small Business:

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan – Will position small business taxes to be the most competitive in Canada by introducing a plan to reduce Saskatchewan’s small business corporate tax rate from two to zero per cent. 
  • Saskatchewan Green Party – Will immediately work to ensure provincial supports for small businesses who are struggling to help get through this temporary period of economic turbulence; work collaboratively with small businesses to design co-op programs that give students free work training and future job opportunities upon graduation. 
  • Saskatchewan NDP – Will remove the PST from construction labour; interested in working with small businesses to reduce red tape by finding improvements and eliminating wasteful processes. 
  • Saskatchewan Party – Will introduce a three year reduction to the small business tax rate from two per cent to zero, beginning Oct 1, 2020; reduce SaskPower bills by 10 per cent for one year for all SaskPower customers; plan to balance the budget by 2024 – without tax increases or reductions in programs and services. 

Concerning Commitments for Small Business:

  • Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan – Supports giving municipalities new taxation powers; no plan to balance the budget. 
  • Saskatchewan Green Party – Will introduce a Guaranteed Livable Income without outlining the significant program costs; no plan to balance the budget. 
  • Saskatchewan NDP – Will increase the minimum wage to $15.00 by the end of its first term while only exempting some small businesses with a new credit; no plan to balance the budget. While not currently considering giving municipalities new taxation powers, concerns remain that this could be considered in the future. 
  • Saskatchewan Party – While not currently considering any expansion of taxation powers for municipalities, concerns remain that this could be considered in the future. 

“We were pleased that the Progressive Conservative Party of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan NDP and the Saskatchewan Party outlined plans to improve high speed internet across Saskatchewan,” added Braun-Pollon. 

Prior to the election, CFIB met with three of Saskatchewan’s political parties (The Saskatchewan Party, Saskatchewan New Democratic Party and the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan) and presented pre-election priorities and urged Party Leaders to commit to small-business friendly policies. Read CFIB’s Saskatchewan Small Business Pre-Election Priorities: Roadmap for the province’s economic recovery on CFIB’s Saskatchewan website.

“We’re encouraging all small business owners to ask their candidates how their party plans to help Saskatchewan’s economy recover,” concluded Braun-Pollon. “Now let’s get out there on October 26th and vote.” 

To arrange an interview with Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Western Canada and Agri-business, please call (306) 539-6302 or email [email protected]. You may follow CFIB Saskatchewan on Twitter at @cfibsk. 

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (5,250 in Saskatchewan) 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.