Labor shortages and inflation are top concerns for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) ahead of the upcoming Quebec provincial election, the organization said Monday at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Day.

• Read also: Quebec needs its SMEs

“If the next government wants to promote a flourishing economy, the action plan cannot be done without SMEs. It is simply unthinkable. This is why we are unveiling our electoral platform which takes up the issues of the hour for SMEs,” declared François Vincent, vice-president for Quebec at the CFIB.

All areas are affected by the labor shortage, mainly SMEs. A large number of entrepreneurs are therefore forced to work more hours (63%) or to refuse sales or contracts (39%), estimates the CFIB.

In addition, inflation and rising prices add to the burden of SMEs, as more than 85% of business leaders admitted that inflation “has a negative impact on their business”.

“If the Government of Quebec wants to ensure strong economic growth, it must respond to the major obstacles to the success of SMEs, namely the shortage of labor and the increase in prices. After crossing Everest during the pandemic, now SMEs are in front of Kilimanjaro and Mont-Blanc,” explained François Vincent.

The CFIB also points out that the tax rules are much less advantageous in Quebec than in the other provinces because of the tax rate. Not to mention that payroll taxes are the highest in the country.

“Taxes and taxes must be reduced and tax injustice must be stopped, because it harms our entrepreneurs, employees and the economy. A reduction in the tax burden would enable 72% of SMEs to increase the remuneration of their employees, 48% to invest in the acquisition of machinery and tools, and help 47% of them to hire new employees!”, mentioned Mr. Vincent.