Small business confidence dropping; Ontario election must focus on jobs and the economy

Business Barometer ®

TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - As the provincial election "officially" gets underway today, the latest read on business confidence in Ontario provides a clear picture of what is at stake in this campaign: creating jobs and growing the economy.

The results of the monthly Business Barometer® from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows confidence among the province's job creating sector dropped to its lowest level since September 2010; down eight points to 60.1 from 68.1 the month before. The endless stream of bad economic news from around the globe, including spiralling debt conditions in the U.S. and in Europe nearly garnered Ontario the distinction of the least-optimistic-province-in-Canada.

"While small business owners don't expect their governments to control what goes on elsewhere, they do expect them not to make matters worse," said Satinder Chera, CFIB's Ontario vice president. With 71 per cent of small business owners citing fuel and energy costs as major cost concerns, followed closely by taxes and regulatory costs at 59 per cent, "the province does have skin in the game."

During this election campaign, CFIB will press the party leaders to address the following small business concerns to support the future livelihood of all Ontarians:

  • Relief from job-killing payroll taxes;
  • Reduction of unnecessary government red tape and regulations;
  • Fair/balanced labour laws; and, reforming the broken workers compensation system (WSIB)

Beyond the current state of the small business community, the other big takeaway from these results for the politicians is obvious: "The economy will heavily influence how Ontario's job creators vote on October 6," concluded Chera.

Measured on a scale between 0 and 100,  an index level above 50 means owners expecting their businesses' performance to be stronger in the next year outnumber those expecting weaker performance. According to past results, index levels normally range between 65 and 75 when the economy is growing.  The August 2011 findings are based on 513 responses in Ontario, collected from a stratified random sample of CFIB members, to a controlled-access web survey. Findings are statistically accurate to +/- 4.3 per cent 19 times in 20.

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 108,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.


For further information:

or to arrange an interview with Satinder Chera, contact Gisele Lumsden or Meghan Carrington at 416 222-8022 or email 

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Ontario Election 2011

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