Small business platform outlines make-or-break issues for small firms in upcoming federal election

Toronto, June 5, 2019 – Small business owners are speaking out about the issues that matter most to them in the upcoming federal election and asking all parties to commit to policies that support business growth. To help guide parties as they draft their electoral platforms, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released its own Federal Small Business Platform.

“Small businesses employ more than half of Canada’s private sector workers and account for 52 per cent of the business-sector GDP,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “That’s huge for our economy. Unfortunately, governments haven’t always done a great job of understanding the reality of running a small business and how to support small business owners to create jobs and grow the economy. The upcoming election is an opportunity for all parties to approach the small business community with platforms that address their concerns.”

Based on extensive consultation with small business owners, CFIB has put forward key measures to address their most pressing concerns by going back to basics. While policymakers focus on helping small businesses reach global markets or become more innovative, they often forget that these things cannot be done without having a solid foundation in place consisting of affordability, financing, and skilled labour.

Some key recommendations to address these issues include:

  • Halting or slowing down additional CPP increases after 2019.
  • Rolling back recent small business tax reforms, including allowing income-splitting with spouses and scrapping new passive investment rules.
  • Ensuring that sales or transfers of small businesses to family members are not taxed more heavily than those to a third party.
  • Putting in place a plan to balance the budget within the next five years.
  • Closing the gap between the credit card rates small businesses pay and those available to large firms.
  • Measuring and cutting red tape in policies, guidelines and legislation.
  • Introducing an EI reduction or training tax credit which recognizes the investments made by SMEs in both formal and informal, on-the-job training.
  • Creating a pathway to permanent residency for Temporary Foreign Workers, such as CFIB’s “Introduction to Canada Visa.” 

“We hope the parties are listening. Small business owners are not just employers and economic drivers, they are voters and engaged members of their communities,” added Kelly. “They are looking for real solutions to their challenges this fall.”

CFIB will be seeking meetings with all party leaders and other key candidates ahead of the election to bring small business concerns and priorities to their attention. Read the full Federal Small Business Platform for more details.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Milena Stanoeva, CFIB

About 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