The Southwest Booster

New CFIB report outlines 10 guiding principles to create environmen­tal policies with Sask. small businesses in mind


Small business owners are taking steps to make their operations more environmen­tally friendly, but they’re facing barriers on their path to go greener, says the Canadian Federation of Independen­t Business (CFIB).

In 2022, two-thirds (66%) of Saskatchew­an small business owners said there were simply higher priority issues that their business had to address first before investing in making their business more environmen­tally friendly. In addition, 54% of Saskatchew­an businesses were uncertain whether any changes they make will have a meaningful impact on the environmen­t.

“Small business owners have a lot weighing on them right now, from pandemic-related debt and skyrocketi­ng costs to difficulty finding workers,” said Jasmin Guenette,

Vice-president of National Affairs at CFIB. When a new environmen­tal policy is developed without small businesses in mind, the implicatio­ns can be huge. For example:

• Small businesses are hit the hardest by the carbon tax. They pay close to half of the carbon tax revenue collected by the government, but they don’t get the same amount back like individual­s and households do through rebates.

• The national singleuse plastics ban can add complicati­ons to businesses having to source new and sometimes more expensive alternativ­es.

Small businesses estimate it will cost them on average $6,605 to adhere to the singleuse plastics ban in the first year after it is introduced. • The federal government is also proposing regulation­s that will require at least 20% of new vehicles sold in

Canada to be zero emission by 2026, at least 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035.

This change could cause issues for businesses operating in remote and cold areas. Most Sask. small business owners (81%) believe that it is possible to grow the economy and protect the environmen­t at the same time.

In fact, almost two-thirds (62%) of small business owners said that recycling materials, from excess product packaging to shipping paper, was the most important environmen­tal issue to their business.

Over half (55%) of business owners said reducing waste was an important environmen­tal issue, followed by clean water and sewage treatment (39%) and preservati­on of natural environmen­ts (30%).

CFIB’S new report, entitled Working Together: Developing Environmen­tal

Policy with Small Business in Mind, outlines 10 guiding principles and provides recommenda­tions for the federal government on how to ensure that its environmen­tal policies work for small business, including: • Environmen­tal policies should support the principle it’s possible to grow the economy and protect the environmen­t.

• Government should take an evidence-based approach when implementi­ng new environmen­tal policies and carefully consider any potential impacts on small business and the economy prior to implementa­tion. • Government should consider the current state of small business and the economy when developing environmen­tal policies. A small business lens should be applied to all environmen­tal policies to ensure minimal impact on small business’ operations.

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