The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has published the latest indicators to sound the alarm about labor shortages, estimating the transportation sector lost close to $1.8 billion in business opportunities because of them last year.
Its report – Small Businesses in Canada Hit Hard: The Big Financial Toll of Labour Shortages – notes that 34% of surveyed transportation businesses had turned down sales or contracts because of the shortages, while 16% postponed the timing of existing contracts.
The $1,789,000 in losses within the transportation sector still paled in comparison to the $9,647,000 lost in the construction sector.
“We always knew labor shortages came at a high price to small businesses. Staffing challenges cause employers to work more hours, reduce their hours of operation and decline services and contracts, simply because they can’t find enough staff to fully operate their business,” CFIB economist and report author Laure-Anna Bomal said in a press release.
“In fact, we estimate the business opportunities that small businesses lost in just one year due to labor shortages are worth over $38 billion. While it doesn’t necessarily mean the Canadian economy lost the same amount, it’s still a significant share of revenue that small businesses could have used to invest in automation or growing their business.”
Overall, 53% of surveyed small business owners reported labor shortages are hindering business growth.
The organization is calling for support including a payroll tax holiday for new hires, and a training tax credit that recognizes on-the-job training for SMEs.
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