The Alberta government isn’t doing enough to support entrepreneurs, according to a new study.
The study from the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) found 94 per cent of small business owners are pessimistic about the province’s plan to support entrepreneurs.
The CFIB said only six per cent indicated they were ‘somewhat confident’.
The survey comes as the province tries to sell its new jobs plan, which includes a tax cut for small businesses, among other initiatives.
The province said earlier this month that Alberta added 25,000 new jobs between Aug.1 and Oct. 31.
“Despite these encouraging numbers — the sharp and sustained drop in world oil prices is hurting Alberta’s economy,” said Jean-Marc Provost, press secretary for the ministry of economic development and trade, on Tuesday. ” That’s why we cut the small business tax by 33%, are proposing investment tax credits other provinces have enjoyed for decades, and [have] increased access to capital through ATB and AIMCo.”
Calgary’s unemployment rate still hovers at 10 per cent.
“There is a growing disconnect between the government’s so-called job creation policies and the entrepreneurs they are meant to support,” said Amber Ruddy, the CFIB’s Alberta director.
“Initiatives like the investor tax credit, or access to financing programs are too modest and restrictive in scope compared to the widespread and enduring pain of punitive carbon taxes and job-killing minimum wage hikes.”
In October, the CFIB said its monthly business barometer indicated a record 40 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses in Alberta may resort to layoffs in the next three months.
“Hiring plans have never been in a more dismal state. Proclaiming the Alberta jobs plan is working, is completely removed from the current economic reality,” Ruddy said. “The fact that so few business owners are confident in the Alberta government’s vision for entrepreneurs says it all.”
The CFIB is asking the government to postpone the carbon tax and future minimum wage hikes until the economy recovers.