BRITISH COLUMBIA – The BC budget provides little for small businesses hoping to see additional supports to bridge to economic recovery, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). Over eight in ten (83 per cent) of BC small businesses think the economy needs to be an urgent focus, but today’s budget did not provide a big vision for post-pandemic economic recovery.
CFIB does appreciate the BC government did not introduce new tax increases or additional costs. However, small businesses will still feel the impacts of rising property taxes, the employers’ health tax and the recent carbon tax increase and the new sugar tax that came into effect on April 1.
Last week the CFIB released the following of what BC small businesses were hoping to see in the budget:
- Not introduce new tax increases or additional costs for small businesses (92 per cent)
- Implement a plan to balance the budget over the long term (58 per cent)
- Focus on red tape reduction efforts (58 per cent) • Extend and expand provincial COVID-19 relief for small businesses, including those that will be forced to close for up to 10 days if 3 or more cases are identified in the workplace (56 per cent)
- Work with municipalities to reduce rising costs of property taxes (99 per cent)
“While the province has managed the pandemic well in terms of allowing businesses to keep open as much as possible, small businesses are still very much in survival mode, said Annie Dormuth, CFIB provincial affairs director. “The budget was a missed opportunity to help businesses through the immediate and current crisis and provide a plan to help them to recover in the long-term.”
It was encouraging to hear the Finance Minister had conversations over the weekend about possible additional supports for those impacted by the current circuit breaker restrictions. However, considering BC small businesses are struggling now the government needed to provide more in the form of extending and expanding additional supports.
“Government debt levels is always concerning to small business because they fear it will lead to future tax increases. However, small businesses do recognize running deficits during this time is unavoidable. We are pleased the government did acknowledge returning to balanced budgets is important and have a plan in place to achieve balance in the next seven years,” concluded Dormuth.
Source for CFIB data
Preliminary results for CFIB’s Your Voice – April 2021, online survey conducted April 8-12, 2021, n=3,283. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of respondents would have a margin of error of +/-1.7 per cent, 19 times out of 20.