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Affordability Crunch: Boosting BC Small Businesses

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Small businesses are facing a challenging economic climate, as the lack of affordability in BC continues to be major constraint for them to operate.  Generally, the issue is viewed purely from an individual citizen’s viewpoint. However, the issue is equally applicable for the small business community.

In order to provide the government of BC with information on difficulties facing small business and ways to help in the upcoming budget, CFIB surveyed nearly 800 members in September, 2016. The results show the impact the rising cost of operating in BC has had on small business:

  • 71 per cent of small businesses find it difficult to find qualified labour due to the high cost of living;
  • 87 per cent find it difficult to cope with new or additional costs from government; and
  • 79 per cent find it less affordable to operate their business today than three years ago.

It is clear small businesses are feeling the impact of skyrocketing costs in the province. To help improve the environment for small business, our recommendations to the BC government for the budget are as follow:

  1. Continue to balance budgets and reduce debt;
  2. Gradually implement a tax credit on all business inputs or implement the Tax Panel’s Recommendation on business inputs;
  3. Commit to reviewing administrative burdens of the PST and revamp the Taxpayer Fairness and Service Code to include service standard times and the original “get-it-in-writing” policy;
  4. Legislate the one-for-one rule to control red tape;
  5. Take the lead creating a fair property tax ratio between residents and businesses by adjusting the school tax rate for businesses;
  6. Reduce the small business corporate income tax rate to 1.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent; and
  7. Continue to support the development of the LNG industry.