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Halifax, June 12, 2018 – An overwhelming majority of small- and medium-size businesses (SMEs) in Atlantic Canada (96 per cent) support provincial governments working together on finding solutions and cost savings in areas of shared concern. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), released these survey* findings in The Rising Tide, A small business perspective on interprovincial cooperation in Atlantic Canada.
“This research is adding the small business perspective to a growing body of work endorsing greater cooperation between the Atlantic Provinces to address serious economic challenges,” said Jordi Morgan, Vice-President, Atlantic for CFIB. “Momentum is building around cooperation but governments have to put their shoulder to the wheel now to break down barriers, share resources, and communicate information to reduce spending, lower taxes, cut red tape and improve the efficiency of government service delivery.”
The report identifies rising business costs, a heavy tax burden and the shortage of qualified labour as the greatest challenges facing SMEs in the region. With a shrinking and aging population, the Atlantic Provinces are finding it increasingly difficult to generate sufficient revenue and to keep spending under control. Small business owners see cooperation on big ticket items such as healthcare and education as vital, but they also point to more work being necessary among the Atlantic Provinces on economic development and trade.
“We’re seeing some encouraging progress, but unless all of the Atlantic provinces step up equally, we risk losing this very important opportunity to reshape our economy,” Morgan added. “We’re explicitly asking government for equal levels of political leadership, equitable resources, clear goals, a well-defined structure, public reporting, measurement and a commitment to get the job done. It’s a lot to ask, but there’s a lot at stake.”
Read the full report attached.
*The CFIB survey, Atlantic Governments Working Together, was conducted from September 15th to October 29th across Atlantic Canada. A total of 713 owners of small- and medium-sized independent businesses participated, which corresponds to an overall margin of error of ±3.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
To arrange an interview with Jordi Morgan, please contact Ryan Richard at 902-420-1997 or [email protected].
CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members, including 5,200 members in Nova Scotia, 5,000 in New Brunswick, 2,000 in Newfoundland and Labrador and 1,000 in Prince Edward Island operating in all sectors.