Small Business Perspective not Reflected in AB Minimum Wage Hike


Only 4% of business owners say it will help with attraction/retention of employees

CALGARY, June 30, 2015 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) today released the findings of a minimum wage survey conducted with small business owners across Alberta.  When asked: What impact would an increase in the minimum wage from $10.20 to $15 per hour have on your business?

  • Half (48 per cent) said they would increase prices
  • Forty-three per cent said they would have to increase wages throughout their business
  • A third (33 per cent) would be forced to put future hiring plans on hold
  • Thirty per cent would cut back on employee perks (i.e. free lunches, parking etc.)
  • Twenty-nine per cent would cut back on the current number of employees
  • Twenty-seven per cent will postpone investments in the business (i.e. employee training, new equipment etc.)
  • A quarter (25 per cent) would reduce hours for current employees
  • Sixteen per cent will consider purchasing more technology to replace workers

“It is astounding that the government is charging full speed ahead with the $15 minimum wage policy, without even studying the impact.  The unintended consequences include everything from reducing valuable investments in training and to shrinking the size of the workforce in some businesses.” said Amber Ruddy, CFIB’s Senior Policy Analyst.

A third (32 per cent) of small and medium sized businesses report the minimum wage increase would have no impact on their business. Only four per cent report the minimum wage increase will have the positive effect of increasing employee attraction and retention.

“Independently owned and operated businesses are a natural partner for this new government yet their experience and advice is being completely ignored. The government must rethink the minimum wage hike immediately.  Inflicting bad policy on hard working Albertan businesses will not alleviate poverty.” said Ruddy.

Twelve per cent of businesses surveyed have employees at the current minimum wage level and 40 per cent have employees that earn between $10.20 and $15 per hour. Yet the overwhelming majority (seventy-nine per cent) of entrepreneurs oppose this policy.

Findings are based on 973 responses, collected from CFIB members in a controlled-access web survey.  Data reflect responses received June 19-29.

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