Lobby groups can make for interesting articles, but you typically have to take what they say with a grain of salt.
After all, they have their agendas that they’re trying to push, and they often have a knack for expressing half-truths, hyperbole, or leaving out important details.
And, of course, some people will believe anything when it fits their agenda, and will be quick to share information from lobby groups and think tanks they support.
But there are some lobby groups that do have credibility, and are worth taking seriously. One of those is the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Yes, they have their agenda, and they have to represent their membership.
But when you consider the impact of small and medium-sized businesses to our country, you realize the value of CFIB. And in the end, most of what CFIB says is reasonable and credible.
This week marks CFIB’s Red Tape Awareness Week. It’s a time in which CFIB calls on governments to slash red tape and bureaucracy and make life easier for small businesses to operate.
Worth noting is that CFIB had high praise for Saskatchewan’s government, giving them an A for their efforts to reduce red tape. At a time in which Saskatchewan is no longer in the economic boom, and now finds itself in a new normal, it’s imperative for government to make life as easy as possible for hopeful and existing entrepreneurs.
(Too bad our neighbours and competitors to the east, Manitoba, also received an A in the study).
CFIB also hands out awards this week. One is the Golden Scissors Award for making life easier for small businesses. It’s an award all municipalities should strive to win.
The other is the Paperweight Award, and it’s not one that you want. The City of Moose Jaw wound up on the hit list, thanks to the botched work on High Street West that became a province-wide punchline and a hindrance for businesses in that city.
And if you’re with the City of Smithers, B.C., you might not be happy to be on the list for the third straight year.
The federal government is back on the list this year, thanks to its website, which CFIB doesn’t regard as user friendly. (We can vouch for that).
The federal government didn’t draw the ire of business owners like they did in 2017, with their baffling legislation that targeted small business owners and, among other things made it more difficult for businesses to transfer their business to the next generation, but the federal government always finds ways to make life more difficult for entrepreneurs.
We’ve said it countless times: small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of our country. While the big businesses capture headlines and generate the big revenues, the bulk of our businesses in Canada are small and medium-sized companies. They’re often the ones who generate the most employment, sponsor community events and donate to organizations, while providing diversity to our business communities.
And they make dreams happen. So many people dream of owning their own business. It’s the Canadian dream. There’s something noble about going into business for yourself, providing a valuable service to the community, and being your own boss.
It’s incumbent that governments at all levels – municipal, provincial and federal – make it as easy as possible for businesses to thrive.
Yes, there are regulations that needs to be in place. But the easier it is for people to follow their dreams of owning their own business, and succeeding in business, the better off we’ll be.