CFIB response to BC’s minimum wage increase
Vancouver, April 5, 2023 - BC small businesses are feeling the pinch of inflationary pressures, on top of other cost increases from governments. The 6.9% increase to the minimum wage effective June 1 puts small businesses in a difficult position because they don’t have the ability to absorb higher costs. In addition, over half of the province's small businesses are still experiencing below normal sales and are carrying an average of $85,000 in pandemic-related debt.
Cost pressures from government are at an all-time high, including employer paid sick days, the Employer Health Tax, WorkSafeBC premiums, skyrocketing property taxes, rising carbon taxes, and a new statutory holiday. This new 6.9% increase for a small business with 10 minimum wage employees will add nearly $20,000 of additional payroll costs.
It’s time the BC government acts to help businesses manage these costs by increasing the Employer Health Tax's payroll exemption threshold, balancing the cost burden of paid sick days, and rebating some of WorkSafeBC's $3.4 billion surplus back to employers. To address rising affordability challenges without imposing more costs on small businesses, the BC government can use other policy tools in their toolkit. For example, they can raise the province's basic personal amount, which is currently the lowest in Western Canada.
-Annie Dormuth, Director of Provincial Affairs (BC)
-Jairo Yunis, Economist (Western Canada)
-Emily Boston, Policy Analyst (BC)
For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members, including 9,500 in BC, across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca