Federal election: small business owners will take substance over style

Survey shows entrepreneurs will vote for best policies 

Toronto – With Election Day just over the horizon, Canada’s small business owners will be looking to policy over personality when it comes time to cast their ballots. According to a CFIB survey conducted this week, a majority of small business owners said the party platform was the most influential factor determining their vote. 

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of small business owners chose the party’s platform as the factor that would most affect their choice; 20 per cent said the party leader had the most influence; while 12 per cent said it was the local party candidate who most informed their vote. 

“Small business owners know as well as anyone that policies are what really matter in this campaign, given some of the key differences in approach among the various platforms,” said CFIB president Dan Kelly. “These results suggest that most small businesses are rightfully paying very close attention to the more substantial issues in the election campaign.” 

“It’s terrific to see that the length of the campaign has offered the opportunity for real discussion on concrete issues that matter to Canadians,” added Kelly. “For small business owners, issues like small business tax rates, CPP/QPP expansion, red tape and employment insurance top the list of small business concerns.” 

As a non-partisan organization, CFIB never suggests how members should vote, but does share unedited responses from all party leaders on these and other topics on CFIB’s Canada Votes page. 

Other survey results showed that the election is a topic of workplace discussion at many small businesses: close to 80 per cent surveyed said it generated at least some discussion in their workplace. 

The survey also found that of those who watch the federal leaders’ debates, more than half said the debates influence their vote.

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

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