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Small businesses don’t think their municipality prioritizes local stores: CFIB

By Regis Phillips Oct 31, 2023 | 12:12 PM

Three in five Atlantic small businesses don’t think their municipality prioritizes small business needs and issues.

That is according to the First Atlantic Municipal Report released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

It challenges Atlantic municipal governments to establish policies that make it easier for business owners.

“Small businesses are facing an uphill battle as they struggle with rising cost pressures, labour shortages, and pandemic debt. Business owners want policies that will allow them to focus on operating, innovating, and growing their business instead of spending time on unnecessary paperwork and time-consuming application processes,” said Duncan Robertson, CFIB’s policy analyst.

CFIB said the biggest challenge is the cost of sidewalk patios. The average patio costs an Atlantic business $995, which they said is heavily overpriced compared to $458 for a Toronto patio.

The CFIB provides several recommendations to each provincial government:

  • Reduce the tax burden on businesses
  • Make permit process timelines publicly available to allow businesses and residents to plan accordingly
  • Reduce the cost of sidewalk patios for businesses
  • Implement a compensation program for cases where construction harms small businesses

“While some good work has been done, municipalities can do so much more to support businesses within their community. Small businesses in Atlantic Canada are the backbone of our economy and communities. When they thrive, we all thrive,” Robertson concluded.

The full CFIB report can be found by clicking here.