Layered cost hurting business
For immediate release
In a recent survey, members of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce were asked how their businesses are being impacted on a number of issues and how they are reacting.
90 per cent of Red Deer Chamber members reported either a negative or very negative impact from the cumulative impact of current issues facing their business.
Respondents were asked to assess the impact to their business on a variety of issues that included the increases to the carbon levy, minimum wage, municipal taxes, changes to employment standards, proposed changes to the Canada Pension Plan, the reduction to small business tax provincially from 3% to 2%, regulatory and permitting costs/delays, as well as the impact of local crime, and the overcapacity issues facing the Red Deer Regional Hospital.
“What this survey says is that businesses in Red Deer and Central Alberta are resilient, but are absolutely feeling the pressure of our regulatory environment.”, said Robin Bobocel, CEO of the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce. He went on to say, “It’s unfortunate when government policy hinders the economic success of our business community and the ability of those businesses to be able to provide their employees with greater benefits and higher wages.”
The changes to employment standards, the carbon levy, CPP, and municipal tax increases had the most negative impact of all the issues with 75% of respondents saying they are having a somewhat or very negative impact. 42% said the reduction to the small business tax had a positive or very positive impact while 46% said it had no or negligible impact.
When asked what changes if any they were making in response to the issues, 56% indicated they would be reducing payroll by cutting hours or benefits, 50% raised the prices of goods or services, 65% will see reduced profit, 33% are reducing payroll through layoffs, and 26% are investing in innovative or efficient equipment or staff training.
Over the next 12 months 63% projected their business to stay about the same with the remainder evenly split between projecting their business to expand and contract.
Bobocel summarized, “It is our hope that by sharing the results of this survey, decision-makers from every level of government recognize that there is ultimately only one taxpayer and that the taxpayer is feeling overwhelmed. We would call on our political leaders to take an active role in working to mitigate the cumulative effects of decisions that are made with respect to the business environment and any future tax changes. Business is resilient, but it is not without its breaking point”
Respondents represented a wide range of industry and size of business and included the non-profit sector.
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce strives to enhance business growth and prosperity in the Red Deer region through leadership and innovation. Since its inception in 1894 it has been the vision of the Chamber to help all businesses succeed by fostering the most vibrant community in Canada.
For more information, please contact:
Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce
403 347 4491