Media Advisory - CFIB Available for budget reaction



    TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ - Senior representatives of the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) will be available to respond to the
federal budget in Room 253-D on Parliament Hill and in their Toronto office
today.
    "With this budget, the government has an opportunity to introduce
measures that will really improve Canada's overall productivity," said CFIB
president Catherine Swift. "CFIB research shows more than 80 per cent of small
firms are eager to grow and invest in human and productive capital. Almost
half of business owners want to expand their business and more than one in
four want to diversify their business."
    To do so, Swift said CFIB's members will be looking for the budget to
deliver a plan to help small business gain competitive advantage. The plan
must include: tax measures, red tape and paper burden reduction measures,
recommendations to deal with growing skilled labour shortages, changes to the
EI regime, and measures to assist small firm owners with succession planning.
    "The government budget has a huge role to play in the choices small and
medium sized business make. Monday's budget can create an environment that
will better enable SMEs to grow and become more competitive, ultimately
positioning Canada as a highly desirable place to live, work and do business
in an increasingly competitive world," said Swift.
    Swift will be joined in Ottawa by executive vice-president Garth Whyte,
and Richard Fahey, the Federation's vice-president for Quebec. Ted Mallett,
CFIB's vice-president of research, will be responding from Toronto.

    CFIB represents over 105,000 small- and medium-sized business owners
across Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Marie-danielle Davis in Ottawa at (613)
235-2373; or Gisele Lumsden in Toronto at (416) 222-8022; On budget night,
Catherine Swift and Garth Whyte can be reached by calling Holly Bennett at
(416) 816-3956 (cell); Call Marie Vaillant at (514) 919-9535 (cell) to reach
Richard Fahey


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