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BC's small businesses are worried about the BCTF strike: CFIB

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Nearly half of BC small businesses say the teachers’ strike will have a negative impact on their bottom line, according to a new survey.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business spoke with several BC entrepreneurs and it says some business owners are reporting lost sales, longer hours, and impacts on employees.

“For example I was talking to a doggy daycare this morning who says that their business is down by 75 per cent,” explains Laura Jones with the CFIB. “It feels a little bit like summer out there. It’s not exactly a horror story, but when you’re not getting the foot traffic in that can feel pretty serious, especially when there is uncertainty about when that might end.”

She adds that although most business owners respect the teachers, many believe their demands are out of line with other public and private sector increases. Furthermore, they are concerned with the prospect of putting BC’s budget at risk or it being unbalanced.

Quarterly figures from the BC government indicate a savings of $166 million in education costs since the strike began, money that could be given to parents as a part of their promise to deliver $40 a day to parents of childer under the age of 13. The BCTF would like to see the money go to teachers but when business owners were asked, they were in favour of paying down the provincial debt.

This emphasizes how attentive small business owners are to reducing debt, according to Jones.

“[Business owners] understand that today’s deficits and debts are tomorrow’s taxes, a legacy that isn’t good for our kids,” says Jones.