Dispute between the Quebec government and students - Losses estimated at approximately $12,600 per affected business

MONTREAL, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Preliminary results of a survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal that many small businesses in Quebec have been hit hard by the ongoing consequences of the dispute between the government and student representatives. In fact, 11 percent of survey respondents state that, since the beginning of the conflict, they have faced losses that, on average, are estimated to be $12,565 per business.

"For affected businesses, $12,600 is a large sum of money. These are losses that small business owners will have to cover out of their own pockets. This also means lost job creation, lost hours of work and delayed investments," said Martine Hébert, CFIB's Quebec vice-president.

Negotiations must resume…

About 62 percent of survey respondents say that the government and student representatives should resume negotiations while one-third of respondents disagree. Asked whether an independent mediator should be brought in to reach an agreement, results are mixed: 51 percent of respondents agree, while 41 percent disagree.

In addition, 77 percent of small business owners agree with the government's modified proposal to raise university tuition fees gradually from $2,168 to $3,946 annually in seven years while improving scholarships and loans programs to maintain access to education. As well, 61 percent of respondents state that student representatives should make more concessions, whereas 30 percent believe that both students and the government have a role to play in reaching a solution.

"Many small businesses are hurting right now. We hope the students and the government will be able to reach an agreement, and that it will put an end to the street protests and the economic disruptions," concluded Hébert.

These preliminary results are based on a survey conducted between June 1 and 5 in which a total of 1,207 responses were received from Quebec-based SME owners. The responses are accurate within plus/minus 2.82 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

To view the preliminary results of the survey: http://www.cfib-fcei.ca/cfib-documents/qc1051en.pdf

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) represents the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises at all levels of government. With 109 000 small business members, of which 24 000 are in Quebec, CFIB is a non-partisan organization that is financed solely through membership dues. (www.cfib.ca)

SOURCE CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

To schedule an interview with Martine Hébert, please contact:
Caroline Emmanuel, Legislative Affairs Coordinator
Telephone: (514) 861-3234 / Cell: (514) 817-0228

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CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

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