About 11 percent say the additional costs would weaken their business to the point where they would consider closing.

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One small business in three would have no choice but to raise prices if Quebec goes ahead with a 33 percent minimum wage increase, according to a new survey.

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The main unions, including the Quebec Labor Federation, have urged the provincial government to increase the minimum wage to $ 18 an hour from $ 13.50. That’s the only way to lift the poorest workers out of poverty, the collective said last month.

Nine out of 10 Quebec small businesses would be weakened by a minimum wage increase at a time when many have yet to return to pre-pandemic income levels, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said in a report. new member poll released Thursday . Raising the minimum wage to $ 18 an hour would represent additional annual costs of $ 10,806 per employee, CFIB said.

Among other findings, 30 percent of those surveyed in the CFIB survey said the pay increase would have a ripple effect on all wages, including those currently above $ 13.50 an hour. About 11 percent of the owners surveyed said they would reduce their workforce and work longer hours as a result, while another 11 percent said the additional costs would weaken their business to the point where they would consider closing.

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“You really need pink glasses to think that a drastic increase in the minimum wage will have no impact on companies,” François Vincent, vice president of CFIB in Quebec, said in a telephone interview. “We believe that specific measures, such as the cost of living allowances announced by the Finance Minister last week, are much more effective. These are the kinds of steps that can really help people who are dealing with poverty without putting additional pressure on small businesses. Otherwise, inflationary pressures will just get stronger, hurting everyone. “

The government of Prime Minister François Legault has already ruled out a further increase, at $ 20 an hour. Cogeco CEO Louis Audet had called for the increase last month as a “social justice” measure to reduce the pay gap. Labor Minister Jean Boulet warned that the decision would create a “significant economic impact.”

If Quebec decided to proceed with a minimum wage increase independently, 79 percent of small businesses said they would seek a reduction in the overall tax burden, with 73 percent targeting a reduction in payroll taxes and 49 percent. cent advocating for additional tax credits.

CFIB surveyed 424 of its members online from September 9 to 24. The results are considered to be accurate to 4.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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