Small businesses have 'one thing' to ask for

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Small businesses are set to ask government for one thing to help them celebrate the holiday.

HALIFAX – Small business owners know government can’t do it all. So, they’ve disciplined themselves to ask government for just one thing to help them celebrate the holiday. The most common request: lower taxes, please.

CFIB started its ‘One Thing’ postcard campaign at the end of the summer. The goal was to reflect the understanding that government can’t fix all of the province’s problems at one time. So, to help government focus on the priorities of the critical small business community, we asked small business owners to write out their ‘one thing’ on the postcard.

“Government is constantly inundated with requests from citizens and stakeholder groups,” said Leanne Hachey, CFIB’s Atlantic vice president. “Our hope is this campaign will help government focus its attention to areas where it can most help small businesses.”

To date, hundreds of postcards have been collected from communities throughout the province. While business owners flagged issues such as fuel and energy costs, red tape and workers’ compensation, the most common request is lower taxes.

“The HST is highlighted, corporate taxes, personal income taxes, fuel taxes – you name it,” Hachey said, “and for good reason, our tax picture is pretty bleak with Nova Scotia ranking at or near the top of just about every tax category.”

High taxes affect small businesses’ ability to succeed, making it more difficult to invest and grow and compete with businesses in lower taxed jurisdictions. It also makes it difficult to increase employee wages.

“We’ve heard a lot lately about the lagging wages of Nova Scotians,” Hachey said. “High taxes not only make it harder for businesses to increase wages but employees feel the pain through lower take-home income.”

CFIB recently updated its “Shameful Tax Facts” information piece, which details where Nova Scotia stands relative to other provinces. It can be found at www.cfib.ca/ns.

When the campaign wraps up in mid 2013 CFIB will share the suggestions with Premier Dexter.

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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