NS: How will proposed electricity rate increases impact your business?

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By Staff, The Daily Business Buzz

CFIB wants to know

Leanne Hachey of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. — Eric Bourque photo

[HALIFAX, NS] – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is asking small business owners to share how proposed electricity rate increases will affect their businesses – and is launching a Facebook campaign to give them a forum to share their stories.

This fall, Nova Scotia's Utility and Review Board (URB) is set to review Nova Scotia Power's application to increase rates by three per cent in each of the next two years. If the application goes through, this will be the eighth rate hike in 11 years.

CFIB will once again be an informal intervener and wants to bring small business owners' stories to the hearings.

"We have all of the hard data we need: we know how many small business owners are affected by rate hikes, we know how many have taken measures to reduce their energy consumption to reduce their costs. And we'll be sharing this information at the hearings," says Leanne Hachey, CFIB's vice president, Atlantic. "What we're looking for are stories to make sense of those numbers – so we can all better understand the cause-and-effect of rate hikes on our job makers."

CFIB is working closely with Small Business Advocate Nelson Blackburn to put small business issues forward during the hearing. CFIB fought for this role because for too long, small business owners had no formal voice at the hearings. Without a voice, many small business owners were stuck paying a larger share of the costs than what is fair.

"Slowly, we're making that change" Hachey says, adding, "and we hope to make further progress by connecting the dots for the decision-makers on what these latest rounds of hikes will have on our small business community."

If your business will be affected by yet another electricity rate hike, share your story at Facebook.com and search CFIB or go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CFIB/142739089079987

Organizations: Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Utility and Review Board, Nova Scotia Power

Geographic location: Nova Scotia

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