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Small business group calls for relief at pumps amid high fuel costs

Canadian Federation of Independent Business wants government to pause planned hikes to carbon taxes

A Canadian small business group is calling on the federal and provincial governments to temporarily eliminate or lower fuel taxes.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says record gas prices, supply chain snarls and labour shortages have pushed the cost of doing business through the roof.

It says higher transportation and fuel costs have driven 92 per cent of small businesses to increase prices in the past 12 months.

The business group says governments should make doing business in Canada more affordable by also pausing planned hikes to carbon taxes.

It’s also asking for the small business deduction threshold to be raised to $600,000 from $500,000, as is now the case is Saskatchewan, and index the threshold to inflation annually.

The request comes as Canada’s premiers gather at the 2022 Council of Federation meeting in Victoria.

“Every cent counts for small businesses, especially as they navigate skyrocketing input costs and labour and product shortages,” Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB’s senior vice-president of national affairs, said in a statement.

“Three provinces — Ontario, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador — have provided temporary relief at the pumps. Now the federal and other provincial governments need to follow their lead.”

She added that more than half of small businesses in Canada have yet to return to normal revenue levels, and that premiers should make small business recovery a top priority.

As of May, 460,060 Canadian businesses received the Canada emergency wage subsidy, with the total dollar value of subsidies exceeding $100 billion.

—The Canadian Press

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