Business owners are awaiting tomorrow’s federal budget with bated breath.

That’s because nearly two-thirds of small business owners say the government’s proposed tax changes have caused them to rethink whether to continue being in business, finds a survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Read: Problems with Finance’s passive investing proposals

Specifically, surveyed business owners say proposed changes to passive investment rules continue to be a major worry, despite the feds’ decision to allow up to $50,000 in passive investment income per year and to reduce the small business rate to 9%.


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Notably, 86% of survey respondents with passive investments say the proposed changes would have a negative impact on their businesses; and 94% say savings will be more difficult to keep in case of a downturn, and that business growth will be a challenge.

Survey results show that business owners who have passive investments use them as a way to:

  • save for their retirements (71%),
  • keep their businesses afloat during difficult economic times (65%);
  • grow their businesses (53%) and
  • buy new equipment or technology (46%).

“Small business owners have been clear regarding their concerns, and 94% urge the government to abandon the proposed changes to passive investment rules. We hope they won’t be let down tomorrow,” says Dan Kelly, CFIB president, in a release.

About the survey: Preliminary results were pulled from an ongoing survey that has received 3,697 responses from business owners and are statistically accurate within +/- 1.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. These survey results were collected between Feb. 20 and 23, 2018. 

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