Small Business Looks for Answers from BC Political Parties
Prince George, B.C. – The countdown to the Provincial Election is well underway with just 48 days to go before the May 9th ballot, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says many small business owners still don’t know how they will cast their ballot.
Over the past months, CFIB has conducted two pre-election surveys of its members to get the perspective of small businesses in BC. Some of the key highlights of the member surveys are:
- 96 per cent of BC small businesses surveyed intend to vote. Of those, 40 per cent remain undecided on who they will vote for
- The indecision is likely due to the fact that 61 per cent are not confident their concerns will receive sufficient attention during the election campaign
- Affordability for small businesses has become a major issue. In the past three years, 79 per cent of BC small businesses say running their business has become less affordable. Eighty-three per cent expect the issue to get worse in the years to come
The CFIB has sent a survey to the major political parties in the province asking questions based on the priorities noted in the recent CFIB survey of its members.
The questions include ask if the Party Leaders at committed to such things as::
- Maintaining a balanced budget and reducing provincial debt
- Providing tax relief, such as:
- Removing PST on some business inputs
- Reducing the small business tax rate (currently 2.5 per cent)
- Tax credits to support small business hiring/training employees
- Making the property tax system more fair (businesses in 2016 paid on average 2.6 times more than residents on the same assessed property value)
- Reducing red tape
- Having an independent review of Multi Materials BC and the former program through a lens of the economy, the environment, and competitiveness
“Affordability has become more important than ever for entrepreneurs in BC. It is essential for party leaders to address small business concerns,” said Richard Truscott, Vice-President, BC and Alberta. “As 98 per cent of all businesses in BC are small and they are responsible for more than half of the private sector jobs, it is critical the political parties do what they can to allow small business to do what do best, which is growing the economy and creating jobs.”
CFIB is asking all party leaders to respond to the CFIB Party Leaders Survey by April 21st. The results will be made public and directly communicated to CFIB members.