Winnipeg Small Business Owners Confidence Falls for 5th Straight Month in August

Winnipeg’s small business owners are a gloomy bunch these days — second most pessimistic in the country — and the PST hike is certainly to blame, according to Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

The federation said its latest monthly member survey showed confidence levels among all of Manitoba’s small business owners fell for the fifth straight month in August, with the Business Barometer index dropping to 57.6.

Canada’s index, on the other hand, took another upward surge following a healthy jump in July. It’s now more than eight percentage points higher than all of Manitoba’s index, at 65.9.!

"While most other provinces saw improving optimism, it is extremely disappointing to see Manitoba’s index continue to slide... ," said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB’s vice-president, Prairie and Agri-business.

"Hiring plans also declined for the fourth-consecutive month," Braun-Pollon said. "It is pretty evident the PST hike continues to hammer Manitoba’s job creators. We hope the Manitoba government comes to its senses by withdrawing Bill 20 and begins focusing on getting its fiscal house in order."

Fifty-three per cent of the Manitoba survey respondents cited tax and regulatory costs as the biggest constraint on their small businesses, with fuel and energy costs a close second, at 51 per cent. And a shortage of skilled labor was once again the most frequently cited limitation on sales or production growth at 28 per cent.

The CFIB said Saskatchewan entrepreneurs are the most optimistic in Canada, with index of 70.7. Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta aren’t far behind, at 70.4 and 69.5 respectively.

Manitoba Residents Flock to Online Sellers in other Provinces to Save the PST...

Additionally, another unforeseen consequence of raising Manitoba's PST has been an increase in out-of-Province purchases made online.

Many local small business owners are seeing their devoted Manitoba customers bypassing the local stores to do more shopping on-line -  especially for computer products, and many home & personal care products.

When purchases are made from various online businesses based in other Provinces such as; Ontario or B.C. - Manitoban's pay NO SALES TAX so long as the online business does not have a store location within the Province of Manitoba. When combined with other online incentives, (like's Super-Saver Shipping and other 10% online order discounts), the benefit of shopping online has never been better.

Ordering online from a business in another Province creates an instant 8% savings for Manitoban's... and with many online businesses offereing a further discount or even free shipping, the savings becomes significant. Unfortunately this comes at big-loss to our local business owners who are already struggling to make ends meet in one of the most highly taxed Provinces in Canada.

Winnipeg Report


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