B.C. businesses brace for strike impact: survey

43 per cent of CFIB members expect lost sales, disruption

Nearly half of B.C. small business operators fear the B.C. teachers strike will take a bite out of their profits, according to a Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey of its members.

The survey, conducted online from Aug. 19 to Sept. 9, found 43 per cent expect a negative impact on business if the strike continues, while 47 per cent predicted no effect, four per cent said it would be positive and six per cent said they didn’t know.

CFIB executive vice-president Laura Jones said top concerns are lost sales, employees with children having to stay home and owners having to work longer hours.

“A full-on teachers strike is disruptive for everyone, including entrepreneurs,” Jones said. “Business owners are worried about their own businesses as well as the broader consequences of putting B.C.’s budget balance at risk.”

Two-thirds of those surveyed said a new contract for teachers should be in line with deals for other public sector unions, 13 per cent said there should be no increase at all, five per cent backed the teachers union’s demands and 14 per cent had other responses.