CFIB’s 12 things small businesses will be watching out for in 2018
At the start of the new year, you can forgive business owners for feeling a little beaten down.
Across the country, 2017 was an unusually tough year. Businesses in several provinces were faced with the spectre of minimum wage increases. Many municipalities imposed giant property-tax hikes on commercial buildings. The good news about free trade with Europe, and within Canada, was tempered by political uncertainty about our biggest trade agreement, NAFTA.
I describe 2017 as the year many of our governments began to drop any pretense about caring for small business. We spent much of the last half of the year battling the federal government’s sweeping tax reform proposals and the associated rhetoric accusing small business owners of being tax cheats.
So what’s in store for 2018 for small business owners?
Sharing business income with family members.
Passive investment rules, coming soon.
Payroll taxes going up and up (and up).
New substances to regulate.
Competition from America.
NAFTA and international trade.
Borrowing to get more expensive.
Blurring provincial borders.
Corporate tax relief.
Carbon taxation or pricing.
Looking at the list above, while there is potential for progress on a few files, small firms are facing more obstacles than encouragement from their governments. I’m glad I had a few days of R&R over the holidays – it looks like the boxing gloves will be back on in 2018. Who’s with me?
Dan Kelly is president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and lead spokesman and advocate for the views of CFIB’s 109,000 small and medium-sized member businesses across Canada.