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Monday, April 15, 2024
Home News Early results of local survey find cost pressures due to taxation a concern for small businesses

Early results of local survey find cost pressures due to taxation a concern for small businesses

Early results of local survey find cost pressures due to taxation a concern for small businesses
Herald File Photo.

A new report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) claims that 70 per cent of small business owners in western Canada think their municipal government does not understand the cost pressures they face, and early results from a survey being conducted by the Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce found similar concerns from local businesses.

“The results that we’re seeing so far is there is a concern in regards to the municipal level, as well as their taxation,” said Chamber CEO Patty Hughes.

She said the Chamber is currently working with the City to remind them that the business sector is an important part of their revenue and to consider how it will impact them, as well as the future of the City’s business development.

“They have to be very aware of those before decisions are made,” added Hughes.

Following a final review, the Chamber of Commerce’s survey results will be made available to the public in March.

The CFIB’s Municipal Business Report covered eight major municipalities in Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Three major cost and regulatory performance categories were examined, including revenue and expenditures, red tape reduction and small business friendliness policies.

“Small businesses are struggling with a challenging economic climate that is exacerbated by increasing property taxes, rising inflation, ongoing labour shortages, and pandemic-related debt. They are unable to shoulder additional costs from their municipal governments at this time,” said Emily Boston at CFIB. “CFIB asks that elected municipal leaders consider the needs of their local businesses when determining their budgets, spending and taxation levels.”

To keep costs down and reduce the burden on local businesses, the CFIB is recommending that municipal policymakers should consider:

• Halting cost increases for small businesses (property taxes, utility fees, permit costs, etc.).

• Offer permanent and inter-municipal business licenses.

• Implement a permanent public feedback mechanism for businesses and citizens to report their regulatory frustrations and red tape irritants.

• Make target timelines (and their actual processing times) for licensing and permitting processing publicly available.

• Create or improve dedicated pages for small business information with updated contact information.

• Increase the accessibility of budget consultation processes to include small business owners.

• Adopt a construction mitigation policy for public projects.

The Herald attempted to contact Mayor Greg Dionne for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.