Toronto, September 17, 2020 – Small businesses are looking for next week’s Throne Speech to signal support through the recovery period, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).
“Business owners have endured a lot over the past six months, from closures to devastatingly low sales and new costs, and now they’re facing a long and uncertain winter. They need to know the government is behind them with policies that will support their survival, not just in the short term, but long term as well,” said Laura Jones, Executive Vice-President at CFIB.
According to CFIB’s latest survey, small business owners’ priorities for the Throne Speech are:
- Creating a more competitive tax environment (74 per cent)
- A broad-based recovery plan that promotes economic growth across the economy (69 per cent)
- Keeping government spending under control (65 per cent)
- Reducing red tape (53 per cent)
Some concrete steps government can take to create the conditions for small business success include delaying all planned federal tax increases (i.e. CPP and carbon tax), not making any temporary changes to Employment Insurance permanent before consulting small business owners, keeping non-COVID related government spending in check and ramping up a focus on red tape reduction.
“Small businesses understand the need to have larger than normal deficits to deal with COVID-19 but don’t want to see extra spending outside of that. They want a strong focus on economic recovery, which includes keeping today’s and tomorrow’s taxes reasonable. Now is not the time to put in place costly new programs that will result in tax hikes down the road,” added Jones.
CFIB has estimated that one in seven businesses is currently at risk of permanent closure, on top of closures that have already happened. To bridge more businesses back to recovery, CFIB has asked government to expand the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) to $60,000, with a 50 per cent forgivable portion, and overhaul rent assistance, making funds available directly to tenants, rather than relying on landlord participation.
“I can’t stress enough how difficult the fall will be for small firms who continue to face low revenues and worries about a second wave. A Throne Speech with a strong focus on small business priorities will give them some much needed reassurance that government will continue to be there to help,” concluded Jones.
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, 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. 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.