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Small businesses call on provincial government to help lower costs

By Caitlin Snow Jan 5, 2024 | 12:19 PM

Small businesses want to start the year off right.

They are calling on the provincial government to lower costs with tax relief, by lowering the small business tax rate and expanding the small business tax threshold.

“Small businesses are looking to make the most of the new year. Hopefully, provincial governments in Atlantic Canada will take positive New Year’s resolutions. Addressing the cost of doing business should be on top of their list,” said Duncan Robertson, Senior Policy Analyst at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

According to a recent survey by The Canadian Federation of Independant Business (CFIB), rising costs have impacted over 80 percent of small business in Atlantic Canda.

Owners say taxes, fuel, wages, occupancy, insurance and borrowing costs cause difficulties, but also a recent increase in Employment Insurance (EI) and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

CFIB says these latest hikes increased payroll taxes for employers by up to $366 per employee, and up to $348 for workers. This year, total employer contributions for CPP and EI alone could amount to $5,524 per employee.

Over half of small business say they would use tax relief to improve wages and benefits or pay down debt.

“With increased costs and soft domestic demand putting pressure on Atlantic Canada’s small businesses, it is no wonder their optimism is low,” said Robertson.