Lower taxes, utility relief on the election wish list for Alberta small businesses

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Affordability is one of the top priorities for Alberta small businesses as the province heads into an election next month, says a group that represents many entrepreneurs.

However, small business owners are anxious about those concerns that will not be addressed during the May election campaign.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released the results of a new survey Tuesday showing while 95 per cent of Alberta small business owners intend to vote, just 16 per cent are “confident their concerns and priorities will receive attention.”

The CFIB says small business owners, like all Albertans, are struggling with the high cost of living.

“Small businesses are also struggling with the increased costs of doing business,” said Andrew Sennyah, CFIB Alberta senior policy analyst, in a statement.

“That’s why we’re asking all parties to take a ‘do no harm’ approach in their platforms and commit to putting the needs of small businesses on the forefront.”

The other concerns for small business owners were:

  • Reducing the small business tax burden (74 per cent);
  • Lowering energy costs (70 per cent);
  • Reducing provincial red tape (62 per cent);
  • Paying down provincial debt (56 per cent); and
  • Improving public infrastructure (55 per cent).

Annie Dormuth, the CFIB Alberta’s provincial affairs director, says the new government elected next month “will be the steward of the economy.”

“High inflation, other government costs increase, rising property taxes, and massive COVID debt levels must be considered as the next government sets its policy agenda,” she said in a release.

In order to take on those concerns, the CFIB is looking to the new provincial government to avoid introducing new taxes and fees, continue the suspension of the gas tax and look at new ways to lower utility costs and form a strategy to address Alberta’s labor shortage .

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