With arms open, we urge the new provincial government to look at policy through the lens of small business.
We send our congratulations to Premier John Horgan and his team as the new provincial cabinet is sworn in for 2017.
The new Premier, John Horgan, stated in response to the Our Leaders’ Survey released during the election: “...small businesses that are the backbone of BC’s economy today, the future economic successes of the 21st century will be built with inspiration, perspiration and determination.”
We hope and expect the new premier will follow up those statements with focused action and effort. As there is no longer a small business minister in cabinet, we will be looking directly to him and ministers in key economic roles to become the champions of small business.
We will be championing for small business friendly policies, including:
- Making the tax system more small business friendly (e.g. fix the PST, property tax fairness, and small business income tax cuts);
- Balancing the provincial budget;
- Reducing red tape (e.g. streamline rules, improve government customer service, and preserve the “one-for-one” rule); and
- Getting big money - both corporate and union - out of politics.
Following the election, we asked for your immediate reaction in our BC Post Election Survey 2017.
With a looming sense of pessimism following the provincial election, we will be using this as an opportunity to work with all parties in presenting a vision for a strong British Columbia and a prosperous small business community. As voiced by you and many other of our members, there are several measures we would like to see provincial commitment to. Below is a summary of just some of the policies:
Taxes – Reduce the negative impact of the PST (e.g. completely remove from electricity, machinery & equipment, and/or gradually phase it out on all business inputs). Conduct a comprehensive consultation with British Columbians about moving away from the PST towards a “made-in-BC” value-added tax (VAT). Reduce the small business corporate income tax rate!
Budgets and Finance – Create a plan to balance the provincial budget while reducing the overall provincial debt.
Affordability - Tie all future wage increases to the consumer price index. Work with municipalities to address the property tax imbalance. Refund WorkSafeBC surplus back to employers!
Red Tape Reduction – Legislate the one-for-one rule. Conduct an independent review of Multi-Material BC (now called recycle BC). Offer municipalities resources to establish a feedback mechanism where citizens and business owners can submit their ideas for cutting red tape at city hall.