Gateway Gazette

Alberta Government Misses the Mark with Advisory Committee on the Economy

 

Job creators fed up with government’s lack of small business focus

CALGARY – Following Premier Notley’s announcement she is appointing an Advisory Committee on the Economy, small business owners are concerned about the government’s lack of representation of independent business owners.  Small businesses make up 95 per cent of all businesses in Alberta and their perspective is needed to grow and diversify the economy.  

“Union bosses and big business representatives aren’t in the best position to give advice on how to kick-start the economy.  Now is not the time for tax hikes and lofty new schemes proposed by so-called experts,” said Amber Ruddy, Alberta Director for CFIB. 

When asked, Which of the following are a serious concern to your business?  (Select as many as apply)  Total tax burden (72%), government regulation and paperburden (67%), and government debt/deficit were the top concerns of entrepreneurs.

“The provincial government has been stalling on delivering a vision for small business.  Either they don’t have one or don’t care enough to make it a priority.  Entrepreneurs consistently list taxes, red tape, and government deficits as the top challenges that the government should address,” said Ruddy. 

CFIB has been key proponent of the provincial Small Business Strategy that set out to:

 

1.     Shape government-funded programs and services by focusing the needs of clients to achieve better results.

2.     Make it easier for small business to better understand and comply with regulatory requirements.

3.     Ensure small business has a strong voice in government to enhance the business climate and inform policy direction.

4.     Enhance and accelerate entrepreneurship. 

“It is not yet clear if this government plans to continue to build on the great work of the Small Business Strategy or abandon it altogether,” concluded Ruddy. 

Findings are based on 1,934 responses in Alberta, collected from CFIB members in a controlled-access web survey.  Data reflect responses received January to June 2015. 

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in Alberta.

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