Only 16% of small businesses are confident their concerns will receive attention during Alberta’s election

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Reducing taxes and energy costs are the top election priorities for Alberta small businesses

Calgary, April 18, 2023 – Despite a majority (95%) of Alberta small business owners intending to vote on May 29th, a dismal 16% are confident their concerns and priorities will receive attention during the election campaign, according to a new survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

“Affordability is the top priority for small business owners during this campaign,” said Andrew Sennyah, Alberta senior policy analyst. “Just as Albertans are coping with the increased cost of living, small businesses are also struggling with the increased costs of doing business. 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.”

According to the survey, reducing the small business tax burden is the top priority for 74% of businesses, followed by lowering energy costs (70%), reducing provincial red tape (62%), paying down provincial debt (56%) and improving public infrastructure (55%).

“The next provincial government will be the steward of the economy,” said Annie Dormuth, Alberta provincial affairs director. “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.”

Among other recommendations detailed in CFIB’s Alberta small business election platform, CFIB is calling on the next government to:

  • Avoid introducing any new costs (tax increases, new fees, etc.) for small businesses
  • Index the Small Business Tax Rate threshold to inflation annually and deliver a plan to gradually reduce to 0%
  • Continue the suspension of the gas tax and identify ways to lower energy and utility costs
  • Focus on red tape accountability and reduction measures, including eliminating internal trade barriers
  • Work with municipalities to lower property taxes and help address other issues such as crime prevention and affordable housing
  • Review municipal building permit processes and adopt a comprehensive construction mitigation package
  • Adopt policies to address Alberta’s labor shortages

CFIB’s election tracker website has information on our platform policies and information for business owners in preparation for election day.

For media inquiries or interviews, please contact:
Andrew Sennya
Alberta senior policy analyst
(587) 437-5005
Andrew. [email protected]

Methodology
CFIB, Alberta Pre-Election survey: An online survey completed by 748 CFIB members in Alberta between March 22 and April 4, 2023. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of ±3.6 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The results obtained are final.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 (10,000 in Alberta) 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 cfib.ca.

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