The Case for Basic Income for Small Businesses


A new "Case" presented by the Ontario Basic Income Network (OBIN):

The Case for Basic Income for Small Businesses

It is often said that small businesses are the backbone of the economy. But behind all small businesses are the communities that build a truly strong Canadian economy. By enabling all Canadians to meet their basic needs, a permanent Basic Income program could boost consumer spending and encourage people to shop local. OBIN believes that that's something that all Main Streets can get behind. For more information on the case for basic income and small businesses, see the articles below.


10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Canadian SMEs

Small business is big in Canada: 98.2% of all businesses have fewer than 100 employees. When you add in medium-sized businesses (100 to 499 employees), the percentage rises to 99.8%. They are the engine of the economy and their success is vital to Canada’s prosperity.

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their impact on Canada’s economy.

  1. There are almost 1.1 million SMEs in Canada.
  2. More than half (55%) have fewer than 4 employees.
  3. Only 1.6% are medium-sized businesses.
  4. Small businesses employed almost 69.7% of private sector workers in 2012, or 7.7 million people across the country.
  5. In the 2002 to 2012 period, small businesses were responsible for 77.7% of all jobs created in the private sector. Small businesses created around 100,000 jobs each year on average.
  6. SMEs represent 54.2% of the economic output produced by the business sector (in 2005).
  7. 90% of exporting companies have fewer than 100 employees, but produce 25% of the total value of Canadian exports.
  8. The largest number of SMEs are in the wholesale trade and retail sector (18.8%).
  9. Fewer than one out of four Canadian SMEs invest in research and development (R&D).
  10. Only half of new firms (51%) survive their fifth year of operation.

Source: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


The Future of Small Business Enterprises in Canada

Article from Ontario Basic Income Network - 15 July 2020

OBIN Members have noted the crisis in the Small Business community. Small Businesses are rewarding in many ways. Not only the employees but also the owners live, work, and contribute to our social and economic well being. They are an essential part of our communities.  

*** Read the article here.

Written by Joe Foster, OBIN C-Team Facilitator in collaboration with Ron Hikel (Co-Coordinator, Special Programs) and Saul Bottcher (Small Business owner and Team Advisor)


WEBINAR REPLAY - Basic Income: Business Perspectives

Tamarack Community

Calls for Basic Income have been gaining ground on both sides of the political spectrum over the last several months due to COVID-19.

In this webinar Bianca Caramento (Hamilton Chamber of Commerce), Floyd Marinescu (C4Media), Sameer Nurmohamed (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP), and Tom Cooper (Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction discuss their perspectives as long-time Basic Income advocates. They also explore what a Canadian Basic Income would mean for businesses, the economy, and society.

View replay, show notes and links to BI activities here.


Ontario's Basic Income Program Is/Was Helping This Family Business Thrive

Medium - September 2018

Excerpt from Medium article:

Prior to receiving basic income, Luis and Leanna Segura were small business owners with four kids. Creating a new business while balancing a family together was a real challenge. With basic income, the stress of covering bills at home was lifted, enabling them to grow their business with less worry. They also noticed an uptick in customers and what customers were spending due to their customers also being part of the basic income experiment and having more money to spend.

photo of Luis Segura at his Fresh Fuell business

Luis Segura at his business, Fresh Fuell

Watch the video (link below) of the Seguras sharing their experience of growing their fresh prepared food business while participating in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Program.

*** Watch the HuffPost video here.

Doug Ford's government cancelled the Pilot Program one year into a three year commitment. Wondering how the Segura's business is doing today? Visit their website.


Payment Guaranteed: How Would Universal Basic Income Affect Business?

Article from Business News Daily - May 2020

Excerpt from article:

UBI's potential business impact - Hypothetically, what would UBI mean for business? Supporters have predicted elevated consumer spending, new business startups and increased investment in existing businesses. Chris Yoko, CEO of Yoko Co., has spent significant time studying UBI in trying to create a higher purpose for his company, he said. A basic income would democratize the small business landscape, Yoko said.

*** Read article here.


Small business would benefit under Basic Income - Sylvain Henry

Article from Basic Income Canada Network - March 2016

Excerpt from article:

Small businesses would benefit quickly from such a new system. According to Dr. Bart Nooteboom, Research director at the Research Institute for Small and Medium-sized Business, Zoetermeer, Netherlands. UBI would be “an incentive for start-ups…an alternative for ineffective subsidies for small businesses …and a deterrent for unfair competition from the underground economy.”

*** Read article here.