The Canadian Federation of Independent Business released its Federal Small Business Platform on Wednesday, outlining issues that matter to the group as the nation heads to a federal election in October.
“Small businesses employ more than half of Canada’s private sector workers and account for 52 per cent of the business-sector GDP,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly in a news release.
“That’s huge for our economy. Unfortunately, governments haven’t always done a great job of understanding the reality of running a small business and how to support small business owners to create jobs and grow the economy. The upcoming election is an opportunity for all parties to approach the small business community with platforms that address their concerns.”
Some key recommendations include:
- halting or slowing down additional Canada Pension Plan increases after 2019;
- rolling back recent small business tax reforms, including allowing income-splitting with spouses and scrapping new passive investment rules;
- ensuring that sales or transfers of small businesses to family members are not taxed more heavily than those to a third party;
- putting in place a plan to balance the federal government budget within the next five years;
- closing the gap between the credit card rates small businesses pay and those available to large firms;
- measuring and cutting red tape in policies, guidelines and legislation;
- introducing an Employment Insurance reduction or training tax credit that recognizes the investments made by small and medium enterprises in both formal and informal on-the-job training;
- creating a pathway to permanent residency for temporary foreign workers, such as CFIB’s Introduction to Canada Visa.
“We hope the parties are listening. Small business owners are not just employers and economic drivers, they are voters and engaged members of their communities,“ said Kelly. “They are looking for real solutions to their challenges this fall.”
– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business