Business federation calls for compensation program over construction impact

While all levels of government have been spending billions of dollars on improving infrastructure, a new report says not enough is being done to help the small businesses affected by the construction that ensues.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says that while they support the end result of infrastructure projects, thousands of small businesses have had to borrow money, relocate or even close their doors during the construction.

Their report says that 65,000 businesses across the country have been impacted by loss of sales and added stress over the past five years. 

"Construction has a significant impact on small businesses," says Ryan Mallough, senior policy analyst at the CFIB. "You're talking about 65,000 individual locations, all of whom employ people."

The organization is calling on municipalities to launch a compensation program for affected businesses moving forward.

"Whether that's direct funding, or maybe something more indirect like providing a grace period on property tax payments or rent payments," Mallough says.

The CFIB is also calling for an improved contracting process to avoid project delays, and a dedicated business liaison officer in local government to enhance communication.

"We're all for infrastructure upgrades, but I think when we're focused on the shiny, new streetcar that's coming in, we forget what happens while that's being built." ​