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Report ranks BC’s biggest cities on how easy it is to open a local small business

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Identifying municipal red tape and ways cities can perform better is the focus of the report

VANCOUVER, June 25, 2018 – A new CFIB report shows that Port Moody has the highest and Kelowna has the lowest amount of municipal red tape compared to other municipalities across British Columbia when it comes to starting a local business.

The report, Red Tape Detective: How hard is it to start a business in BC’s cities? analyzes processes and customer service to assist prospective businesses in 20 municipalities across the province (Metro Vancouver region, Prince George, Kelowna, and Victoria). 

Using “secret shopper” techniques, CFIB staff posed as an entrepreneur trying to open a business in order to gauge the helpfulness of municipalities’ responses to the business owner’s queries. The 20 municipal governments were compared and graded on three components: Access to Information, Quality of Information, and Regulatory Framework.

“These three areas get to the heart of how red tape affects business owners every day”, said Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta. “Hassles like duplication of processes, needless regulations, nonsensical paperwork, and poor customer service are just some of the types of red tape business owners can face. The presence of these factors increase the cost of doing business in a municipality and put further pressures on the hard-working small business community.”

Protzer added: “When municipal governments put up too many barriers, it can also factor into the decisions that entrepreneurs make about where they locate their business. More red tape and poor customer service mean a municipality is less attractive to entrepreneurs, which may result in losing out on potential jobs and other positive effects small businesses bring to their community.”

Red tape is one of the key issues CFIB will be raising on behalf of its members in advance of the October 20 municipal elections across BC. 

To arrange an interview with Muriel Protzer, Policy Analyst, BC and Alberta, please call 604-684-5325 after 8.30AM PT.

CFIB is Canada’s largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses with 110,000 members across every sector and region, including 10,000 in BC

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Backgrounder:  Best and Worst Performers

The report’s findings show Kelowna, Delta, and the City of Langley, put up the fewest red tape obstacles for new business owners, while Port Moody, New Westminster, and Port Coquitlam are the poorest performers (see table for a full breakdown).