Two-thirds of small businesses say the cost of fuel is a major concern: April 1 carbon tax increase will only make this worse

Toronto, March 17, 2022 – The price of fuel has become the biggest cost concern for 64% of small businesses, according to the latest Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Business Barometer®. CFIB is calling on the federal government to freeze the carbon tax, which is set to increase on April 1, to avoid exacerbating the situation at a time when many small businesses can’t absorb any more cost increases.

“Despite the rapidly rising cost of fuel, and that only a third of small businesses have regained their pre-pandemic sales levels, the federal government seems determined to move forward with increasing the federal carbon tax,” said Corinne Pohlmann, Senior Vice-President of National Affairs at CFIB. “Small businesses need a chance to regain their breath and pay down their debt. This is not the time to be adding any new costs to struggling small businesses.”

Nearly two thirds (62%) of businesses said rising prices, such as fuel, food, or insurance, were having a significant impact on their business, with another 27% saying the impact was moderate, in another CFIB survey. 

CFIB urges the federal government to announce a freeze in the carbon tax and work to immediately reduce energy costs for small business owners. The government can also help businesses address affordability by:

  • Halting all current and future tax increases, including the alcohol excise tax, Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums
  • Extending the Canada Recovery Hiring Program for six months (to September 2022) and expanding eligibility to new businesses
  • Accelerating plans to reduce credit card processing fees for small businesses

“Small businesses may be on their way out of the pandemic, but it will be a slow and difficult climb,” added Pohlmann. “The federal government has the opportunity to show them that it’s listening to them and cares about their recovery by freezing the carbon tax instead of increasing it.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

This press release presents findings from the following recent CFIB surveys:

  • February 2022 Business Barometer®: Findings are based on 835 responses from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Data reflect responses received from February 1 to the 11. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 3.4 per cent 19 times in 20. 
  • Your Voice – February 2022: An online survey completed by 4,001 CFIB members between February 9-25, 2022. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of ±1.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

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