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Pushing your priorities with BC’s Small Business Minister during Small Business Week

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One of the many ways we use the surveys you answer is to provide government with a better understanding of how policies, regulations, and ongoing issues impact your business.

In October, we met with Honorable Bruce Ralston, the Minister responsible for Small Business issues to discuss your priorities and present some of our newest survey data.

The ministry touches on many small business priorities, so there was a lot of groundwork to cover.

BC CFIB advocacy meeting with Minister Bruce Ralston October 2019

Pictured: CFIB Policy Analyst, BC Minister Bruce Ralston, CFIB Director, CFIB Western Economist

Payroll Taxes

BC has the second highest payroll tax burden in the country, making it increasingly difficult and costly to hire new workers. This is largely because of the new Employer Health Tax. We continue to raise your stories and difficulties with this new tax every time we meet with the Minister, and have suggested both short-term ideas to lessen the burden and long-term proposals to phase out the tax entirely.

Property Taxes

Rapidly developing areas have unfortunately come at a huge cost to local businesses – Metro Vancouver businesses have especially seen massive increases to their property tax bills as a result of this coupled with an archaic tax system. Survey data shows 55% of our members in Metro Vancouver has considered moving their business or closing down due to property taxes and/or lease costs. The Minister confirmed this issue is not going unnoticed, and insisted the government is working to find solutions. We know that action is needed now, which is why we continue to be very vocal and urge policy makers to find solutions that will bring relief before businesses like yours are pushed out of our communities!

Shortage of Labour

Over the last five years, survey results and call-ins from businesses like yours have confirmed that BC is facing a shortage of qualified labour. We shared some of our data with the Minister confirming this growing issue, and are planning a new survey to go deeper into the issue and understand how shortage of qualified labour is impacting your business! Be on the lookout for a new survey coming soon.

If you have any thoughts on any of these issues, helps us fuel the fight and effectively deliver your voice to government officials. Submit your stories at [email protected] to have your voice heard!