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Board of Trade Concerned that City is Looking to Businesses & Residents to Ease Rising Costs

St. John’s, NL, December 14, 2023 – The St. John’s Board of Trade is concerned that the City of St. John’s is looking to taxpayers to ease inflationary pressures at a time when business and homeowners are already over-burdened. Inflation costs are impacting everyone, especially small and medium-sized business owners—now is not the time to increase taxes.  
The Board of Trade understands that residents of St. John’s have expectations for programming and service delivery, and just like every business in the province, the City of St. John’s is grappling with increased costs. The Board of Trade is questioning the timing of some of the investments being made and has asked the city to provide information about the budget process, including the analysis and decisions that were made to ensure expenditures were prudent and necessary at this time.

“Our members are making decisions daily about what to forgo this year, how to do more with less, and what cost-saving measures can be introduced to hold the line for now,” said AnnMarie Boudreau, St. John’s Board of Trade CEO. “Business owners understand that everyone is feeling the pressure, and increased costs cannot simply be passed through to the end user, because everyone is over-extended right now.”
Another increase to the operating grant of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment also causes concern. This facility has been operating since 2001, it should no longer require such a significant operating grant from the city.    
The Board of Trade continues to advocate to the City of St. John’s about the importance of supporting business within our city. It is critical for investment attraction and growth that St. John’s enjoy a reputation as a supportive place to do business—increasing taxes in this climate does not support this position and could cause business owners to rethink where they operate, especially when other jurisdictions are avoiding tax increases at this time.
“We need to do everything we can to position St. John’s as a vibrant and supportive place to grow a business,” said Boudreau. “That means recognizing the challenges that everyone is facing and doing your part to think creatively and diligently to minimize our collective burden.”

About the St. John’s Board of Trade:
The St. John's Board of Trade is Newfoundland and Labrador's business advocate. We are a community of 700 members, combining the collective power of industries, sectors, and diverse perspectives. Together, we are a developing a thriving business community in St. John's.

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