CFIB review of 2010
Posted By: Steve MacLellan (blk-137-86-42.eastlink.ca)
Date: Wednesday, 15 December 2010, at 5:42 a.m.
I am a member of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). I received a letter from Catherine Swift,President and CEO of the CFIB. I will post a copy of it here so anyone thinking of joining can see what we accomplished this year.
Looking back on 2010, it has certainly been a lively year with its share of challenges. The year started off with a bang as CFIB launched its first ever Red Tape Awareness Week. This was a smash hit in terms of media coverage and the involvement of governments. In fact, a number of provincial governments immediately jumped on the bandwagon and committed to measuring as well as reducing the regulatory burden debilitating small businesses. We are so encouraged with this success that we are all set to unveil our second annual Red Tape Awareness Week in January 2011, so stay tuned for an airing of more red tape nightmares faced by small businesses, with the intent that we will spur more positive action on the part of governments. As all jurisdictions are currently facing significant deficits, a focus on reducing the burden of red tape is a cost-effective way for them to boost the all-important small business sector and enhance productivity in our economy overall.
Speaking of the economy, it is encouraging to see that economic recovery is underway, as shown in our own Business Barometer results as well as in economic data from Statistics Canada and others. Although growth has not been strong as yet, it is widely acknowledged that Canada weathered the recent recession better than pretty much all other developed countries. One of the key reasons for this stellar performance is that Canada's small- and medium-sized business sector was very resilient right through the recession and continued to retain existing employees and create new jobs despite economic hurdles that continue to baffle many a big business.
CFIB has a long history of fighting all threats to small business whether they come from the government, big business or elsewhere. Over the past couple of years, MasterCard and VISA hatched plans that would have seen merchant fees for credit and debit transactions skyrocket. After much work on this issue, we were very pleased to see the government adopt a Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit card industry earlier this year. This final Code was based primarily on a draft Code of Conduct proposed by CFIB in July 2009. We have since been closely monitoring the activities of the credit and debit card industry to ensure that the rules are being followed and so far, so good.
In recent months, plans were afoot by the federal government to ratchet up EI premiums by 21 cents per $100 for employers and 15 cents for employees. After an involved campaign, in which our members participated extensively, we were successful in reducing by two-thirds (increases will now be 7 and 5 cents, respectively) the amount EI premiums will increase in 2011, and limiting EI premium increases in future years. There is still a great deal to fix in our EI system, but this was at least a significant improvement over what would have otherwise taken place.
During 2010, CFIB also published several research reports this year on issues you have told us are priorities: red tape, pensions, banking, EI, and cross-border trade, among others. Some of our future research will focus on minimum wage, workers' compensation and government spending. Our in-house research capability is one reason for CFIB's credibility with governments, banks and others. We recognize that this research wouldn't be possible without your valuable input and I hope you will continue taking an active part in our surveys and other initiatives. I can assure you from long experience that it really does make a positive difference.
This coming year, we'll be celebrating another milestone: in 2011, we will have been fighting bad government policy for FORTY long years! We are currently working out the details of our 40th anniversary celebrations, and we very much plan to include our members in whatever special events we roll out next year to celebrate our 40th birthday, so we'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, on behalf of my colleagues at CFIB, I would like to thank you once again for your continuing participation and support and wish you and your loved ones Merry Christmas, healthy and happy holidays, and every success in 2011!
President and CEO
As you can see, we have been busy. If you are a Canadian business owner and would like to learn more about this organization, please click the link below.
- CFIB review of 2010
Steve MacLellan (blk-137-86-42.eastlink.ca) -- Wednesday, 15 December 2010, at 5:42 a.m.