On trend from 2018, the “cost of doing business” continues to top the list of concerns among business owners in the Tri-Cities for 2019. That’s according to the recently released Collective Perspective Report 2019-2020, whose local data was collected in a partnership between the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce and BC Chamber of Commerce. Almost 4 out of 5 respondents in the report cited a worsening in the overall cost of doing business over the past year.

The labour market was another sore point this year for businesses, with 63% saying the cost of labour had worsened and 52% noting the availability of workers had worsened since last year. The provincial minimum wage increase from $12.65 to $13.85 on June 1st, 2019 certainly played a factor in the increased cost of labour, especially in the food and service industries. However, not to be overlooked is the tightening labour market both locally and provincially.

Property taxes and provincial taxes also remain a challenge for Tri-Cities business owners.  Almost half of the respondents indicate a worsening situation for both of those factors. 

The continuing burden of the Employer Health Tax is likely contributing to the worsening view of the provincial tax situation for businesses. The tax applies to any business with over $500,000 in payroll – or about 11 employees at BC’s 2017 average yearly income of $47,000. Meanwhile, rapidly rising property taxes in some Tri-Cities neighbourhoods over the past years, due to properties being taxed at their “highest and best use,” could be contributing to a poor outlook on the property tax front.

Other Key Insights: 

To access the full report, click here.





















(1) Statistics Canada. “Income of individuals by age group, sex and income source, Canada, provinces and selected census metropolitan areas.” [Geography: select BC] Accessed Jan. 6th, 2019. URL: