Entrepreneurs put Saskatchewan on top; Quebec, Manitoba lagging way behind
TORONTO, Feb. 19, 2014 /CNW/ - New survey results from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reveal dramatic differences in how confident small businesses are that their provincial governments have a vision to support entrepreneurship and small business.
Respondents in Saskatchewan were by far the most confident that their provincial government has a vision that supports entrepreneurship and small business (72 per cent). The other "new west" provinces of British Columbia and Alberta ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively in terms of confidence with 48 and 40 per cent. Quebec and Manitoba (tied for last in the rankings), had only eight per cent of respondents expressing confidence in their government's vision to create a small businesses friendly climate.
In the middle of the pack, Newfoundland and Labrador was 4th (27 per cent); Prince Edward Island 5th (21 per cent); New Brunswick 6th (19 per cent); Ontario 7th (15 per cent); and Nova Scotia 8th (12 per cent). It should be noted that the survey was conducted before the recent Nova Scotia election.
"Many provincial governments talk the talk when it comes to making small business a priority, but very few consistently walk the walk," said Laura Jones, CFIB's executive vice-president. "Each and every premier in Canada has stood at a podium and spoken about the importance of entrepreneurship, but Canada's entrepreneurs are not always seeing that talk turned into action."
Results on the question of vision correlate closely with whether respondents would recommend starting a business in their province. On this question again, Saskatchewan ranked #1, with Manitoba finishing last. The report also ranked provincial governments in specific policy areas like taxation, red tape and labour laws. Overall, 44 per cent of small business owners would recommend starting a business in their provinces.
"Everyone should be worried about these less-than-stellar results. When small business thrives, so too does the middle class. Creating the conditions for small business success should be a top priority for all governments across Canada," said Jones.
CFIB intends to make this an annual report that policymakers can use as a benchmark. With budget season in full swing across the country, this report provides provinces with a perfect opportunity to respond quickly to the concerns of entrepreneurs.
The key recommendations to provincial governments from this year's report are to focus on keeping taxes reasonable, controlling government spending, reducing red tape, balancing labour laws and balancing budgets.
To view the full report, Wanted: Government vision for small business, please visit www.cfib.ca.
CFIB is Canada's largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 109,000 members across every sector and region.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Independent Business
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