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Business owners offer money-saving tips to finance minister

Nova Scotia’s finance minister is getting the provincial budget ready – and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says hundreds of small business owners want Graham Steele to get tough.

The Federation gathered written suggestions from members on ways for the province to save money and forwarded them to the minister.

The input included recommendations to reduce the size of the public sector and not shying away from cuts to health and education.

CFIB Atlantic vice-president Leanne Hachey tells the Rick Howe Show her members understand the problems facing the province and are willing to adapt.

“We had comments that said that it should only be the essentials right now,” she said. “We shouldn’t be looking at, wouldn’t it be nice, wouldn’t it be great. We shouldn’t be looking at being the best or offering the best of this or that, because we simply can’t afford it.”

The province has said it will balance the books by the end of its term, but Hachey says business owners want that to happen sooner – and are willing to do whatever it takes.

“Small business owners have internalized it to say, ‘Bring it on,'” she said. “We need to bring this province back to balance. We need sustainable spending and we need to stop the spending sprees that we’ve seen over the past decade, at least.” 

Hachey says if the province lives within its means, Nova Scotia’s economy will grow slowly but steadily, making it more competitive.

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