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Small business concerned about St. John’s 2019 Budget

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Need an “outside-the-box” approach

St. John’s, October 1, 2018 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned about the prospect of tax increases in St. John’s in 2019. Small business owners in the city remember quite vividly the effect the 2016 Budget had on their operations. They want City Council to focus on reducing spending rather than coming to them for more money. The economy in St. John’s is stagnant and the municipal, provincial and federal governments have made it more difficult for businesses in the last few years. CFIB has presented City Council with suggestions on program areas where the City may be able to save money without having an adverse effect on service delivery.

“Many small business owners in the City are concerned about what the 2019 Budget may mean for them,” said Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador for CFIB. “If the City focuses on core municipal service delivery, like water and sewer, it is possible to save money and ensure quality services are provided to residents and business owners.”

The City is experiencing cost pressure related to staffing as it expects an additional $1.6M in salary and employer payroll costs in 2019. Further, it expects its workforce to grow for the second year in a row, despite finding staff reductions as part of the 2016-17 program review. CFIB is recommending the City implement an attrition plan and a salary freeze similar to the one adopted for management employees in 2017.

“Small business owners have taken it on the chin in the last number of years and it may only get worse with the City’s budget,” added Hammond. “This is why we are challenging conventional thinking on how the City delivers public services and asking for an “outside-the-box” approach.”

Read CFIB’s letter to St. John’s City Council here

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs, CFIB
709-753-7764
[email protected] 

About CFIB
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region. Learn more at cfib.ca.