Forty per cent of BC small business owners are undecided voters

A large portion of small business owners surveyed remain unsure who they will vote for

VANCOUVER– With the election less than two months away, a large portion of small business owners surveyed remain unsure who they will vote for and say there is more effort needed by party leaders to support small business in order to win their vote.

Over the past months, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (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

Just like for BC residents, 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

Today, CFIB is sending its Party Leaders’ Survey to major BC political parties asking questions mainly based on the priorities outlined by business owners in the two CFIB member surveys.

The Party Leaders’ Survey questions aim to determine each parties’ vision on how best to support entrepreneurs in BC.

Some of the key themes are:

Maintaining a balanced budget and reducing provincial debt

Providing tax relief, such as:

• Remove PST on some business inputs

• Reduce the small business tax rate (currently 2.5 per cent)

• Tax credits to support small business hiring/training employees

• Make 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

“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.

Subsequently, the results will be publicly disclosed and directly communicated to CFIB members.