Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. You should have a slide presentation in front of you that I'd like to walk you through over the next few minutes.
CFIB is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization representing more than 110,000 small and medium-size businesses across Canada. Our members collectively employ more than 1.25 million Canadians. Small businesses across Canada account for $75 billion or nearly half of the GDP. They represent all sectors of the economy and are found in every region of the country.
As you may be aware, CFIB takes our direction solely from our members through a variety of surveys, which makes us a bit different from other organizations. We don't have a board of directors that gives us our mandate. We get our information solely from our membership. We are a one member, one vote organization.
We know that business owners are often too busy to come to committees such as these, so we go directly to them for their feedback through the survey process as well as through our field force of 220 district managers across Canada. These district managers knock on approximately 4,000 small business doors each week, and this provides us with an opportunity to understand the realities of running a small business at the grass roots level.
I'd like to set the stage of my presentation by having a bit of a look at the state of the economy.
One of the surveys CFIB conducts is our monthly business barometer. Our latest barometer from the month of November shows that small business confidence remains muted. Ideally, we want to see this index between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its full potential, and it's at 61.2 this month, up only slightly from the last few months.
Small business owners are also facing increased costs in January, starting with the CPP payroll taxes increasing. In many provinces across Canada, we are now looking at carbon pricing starting in April for federal backstop provinces, in addition to those provinces that have already begun their own carbon pricing.
I'd like to highlight that CFIB is supportive of reconciliation efforts, and we count several indigenous business owners among our membership. However, the introduction of a new statutory holiday will have costs for the economy and for small businesses in particular.
We have polled our members over the years on this issue, not particular to an indigenous statutory holiday but to statutory holidays overall. Approximately two-thirds of our membership do not support additional statutory holidays. These tend to have a negative impact on the finances and productivity of a business. On slide 5, you'll see the reasons for this in more detail.
When asked about the impact of a new statutory holiday on their business, over half of business owner members identified lost sales and revenue, while 46% cited higher than average wage costs to stay open during the holiday.
Over a third of entrepreneurs themselves will have to work longer hours, while another third identified increased employee morale as an outcome of an additional stat holiday. Twenty-nine per cent had concerns about lost production; their business would have to operate longer hours to make up the shortfall of time lost.
On slide 6, you'll see that we're giving you a flavour of the comments our members have shared with us as the outcome of additional statutory holidays on their business. I won't read them in detail to you, but you'll see that their concerns have led them to calculate the cost and plan for the financial consequences of a closed production day.
In some areas of the country where they rely on natural resources and fisheries to run their businesses, for example, they cannot create another day of the week to have their production facilities up and running. In some instances, they highlight that the holiday would end up coming out of planned wage increases that business owners already had in place.
When calculating the cost to the economy, we turn to Statistics Canada to get a sense of the daily production value of the Canadian economy. I know this caused some discussion amongst members at prior hearings, so I'll just be very careful in citing that the information that was in our letter that we sent to committee was from Statistics Canada.
You'll see that, overall, this business sector creates just shy of $3.6 billion a day in business and closing down an extra day would, of course, lead to costs to the economy. You can see here, of course, the costs of federally regulated industries as well as goods-producing businesses. These are chunks of this $3.6 billion. Just to be clear, they're not additional costs on that chart.
I will conclude by citing again that we are supportive of reconciliation efforts and that we count indigenous business owners among our membership. However, the introduction of a new statutory holiday would have major costs for the economy and for businesses, which will have an additional impact on small businesses in particular given the recent evolution of the Canadian business environment.
If the government is to go ahead with an additional statutory holiday, we suggest that it look at ways to help business mitigate or offset these additional costs or that it consider renaming a currently existing statutory holiday.
This concludes my presentation. If we do have time for questions, I'll just note that I can answer them également en français ou en anglais.