Red Tape continues to be a $30.5 billion liability for businesses - smaller
firms hit hardest

Kicking Off Red Tape Awareness Week

TORONTO, Jan. 11 /CNW/ - To kick-off the country's first ever Red Tape Awareness Week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has released a report revealing that the annual costs associated with red tape totals an estimated $30.5 billion. While this amount is a slight improvement on CFIB's 2005 estimate of $30.9 billion, the message to government remains clear across the country - regulatory costs are still far too high.

"The majority of business owners believe that a 10 to 25 per cent reduction in the regulatory burden would be possible without sacrificing the public interest goals of regulation such as business and consumer protection," explained CFIB president, Catherine Swift. "Imagine the productivity, jobs, higher wages and lowered prices that would result, especially as we emerge from a recession," she added.

According to CFIB's report, the smaller the firm, the harder they are being hit by their annual regulatory costs. Whereas businesses with more than 100 employees spend a yearly average of $1,117 per employee to comply with regulations, the cost per employee rises sharply as the number of employees decrease. At the opposite extreme, companies with 0 to 4 employees pay an average of $5,825 per employee on regulation.

"When over a quarter (26 per cent) of business owners express that they might not have gone into business had they known the burden of regulation, it becomes clear that Canada is over-regulating," added CFIB's vice-president of western Canada and lead author of the report, Laura Jones. "The work done thus far has not gone unnoticed, but governments need to get much more serious about being accountable for regulatory costs," Jones concluded.

In order to assist governments in their reduction of red tape, CFIB has put forth a ten-point plan for Effective Regulatory Reform. Included in these recommendations are:

    
    -   Measure the regulatory burden
    -   Legislate the measure by reporting it regularly to the public
    -   Make regulatory accountability a political priority and appoint a
        minister responsible
    

To view Prosperity Restricted by Red Tape in full, please visit cfib.ca.

The CFIB survey on regulation was conducted from November 2008 to February 2009. A total of 10,566 small- and medium-sized business owners across Canada participated, corresponding to a margin of error of 0.95 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Independent Business

For further information: For further information: To arrange an interview, contact Adam Miller or Meghan Carrington at (416) 222-8022


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