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Party leaders challenged to make small business their big focus of the 2019 Manitoba Election

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CFIB’s Small Business Platform includes new research on personal income taxes, school property taxes, payroll taxes, statutory holiday closures, and minimum wage

Winnipeg, August 19, 2019 – Today, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released its Manitoba Election 2019: Small Business Platform, and is challenging party leaders to make small business their big focus of the 2019 Manitoba Election. CFIB, as a non-partisan organization, sent all political parties its Leaders’ Survey asking for specific commitments on key small business issues. 

The Small Business Platform addresses four priority areas and includes new research. The Platform makes recommendations that political parties should adopt as part of their election commitments: delivering needed tax relief; spending like a small business; reducing red tape; and, balancing labour laws and enhancing training programs.

“Manitoba’s small businesses have been hit with a barrage of cost increases from all levels of government over the last two years,” said Jonathan Alward, CFIB’s director of provincial affairs in Manitoba. “It is essential that the next provincial government addresses key cost concerns for small businesses by increasing the Basic Personal Exemption amount, reducing the unfair school tax burden, and ending the job killing payroll tax.”

Highlights of CFIB’s new research include:

  • Basic Personal Exemption (BPE) amount:Manitoba’s exemption currently ranks the lowest west of Prince Edward Island and is $2,420 lower than the national average
  • School property taxes:Spending per student is increasing much faster than inflation, and businesses are paying 3.9 times more than residents on school property taxes
  • Payroll taxes: Manitoba now has the fourth highest payroll tax burden in the country. This is largely because of the Health and Post Secondary Education Tax Levy
  • Spending: Spending and revenue forecasts reveal the province is on track to balanced budgets before 2024, but the debt-to-GDP ratio has ballooned from 2007 to 2019 (21.2% to 34.4%)
  • Minimum wage:Increasing the minimum wage from $11.35 per hour (current) to $15.00 per hour would cost a business with 10 full-time employees $81,977 annually 
  • Statutory holidays: The majority of small business owners believe that all Manitoba businesses should have the choice to remain open during statutory holidays.

“This platform outlines dozens of actions that the next provincial government can take to make it easier for small businesses to grow and create jobs,” added Alward. “We look forward to working with all parties to make this happen for Manitoba.”

Findings of the Leaders’ Survey will be released publicly, unedited, before the September 10th election. Learn more by visiting CFIB’s Manitoba Election 2019 webpage.

To arrange an interview with Jonathan Alward, Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba, please call 204-982-0817 or email [email protected]. You can also follow CFIB Manitoba on Twitter @cfibMB.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members (4,800 in Manitoba) 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.