B.C.’s small businesses suffering from teachers’ strike: CFIB

Laura Jones | BCBusiness
Canadian Federation of Independent Business executive vice-president Laura Jones.

Small business owners in this province think deficit reduction is preferable to reimbursing teachers or parents for strike-related costs

B.C.’s small business owners want teacher salary savings applied to the provincial debt, according to the results of an online survey of local small business owners published Wednesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
Nearly one half (45 per cent) of respondents, all B.C. members of the CFIB, want the government deficit to take priority over returning savings to parents or teachers, with the number jumping to 87 per cent amongst entrepreneurs in the same survey.
And with the strike rapidly approaching the two-week mark, CFIB executive vice-president Laura Jones told BCBusiness that the results show there “needs to be more than two voices in the strike, not just the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and the government,” adding that while the CFIB had reached out to Victoria, they “had not reached out to us.”
Jones says that while a handful of businesses, like kids’ bookstores, are greatly benefiting from the strike, most are anxious to see it resolved, in particular those that rely on clients directly affected by the dispute. “The reason that we decided to be more public with our concerns is that there are broader issues here at stake,” she explains. “Over half of the government budget is for public sector wages and the government has a duty to its taxpayers who are paying those wages.”
The CFIB’s controlled-access, web-based member survey had 1,092 responses from August 19 to September 9 and findings are statistically accurate by plus or minus three per cent 19 times out of 20.