Small Biz Task Force Incorporates Chamber’s Recommendations

The provincial government’s Small Business Task Force recently released their engagement summary paper on how to reduce potential barriers to success and support opportunities for growth in the small business sector. The summary paper highlights what the Task Force heard from small businesses around the province throughout June 2018. The Task Force hosted engagement sessions in seven communities across British Columbia, and an online questionnaire to collect additional input from small businesses and other stakeholder organizations in the province.

The Tri-Cities Chamber took this opportunity to speak out on behalf of our members and their concerns. We attended the Task Force’s engagement session in Richmond and provided the Task Force with a recommendation package outlining the major concerns our membership has communicated to us. The Chamber’s input is clearly visible in the recently released report in the areas of tax, the cost of doing business, affordability issues, and funding support for business. The Tri-Cities Chamber presented the following to the Small Business Task Force:

  • Presented Chamber policy survey results highlighting taxes, cost of doing business, and affordability issues as main member concerns.

  • Emphasized the damage being done to businesses in transition areas due to spikes in property taxes, and recommended that the province explore the possibility of split property assessments.

  • Reaffirmed our support for the need to use a combination of demand and supply side measures to address the current housing crisis. On the supply side, we recommended a reduction in taxes associated with the development and construction of new housing supply.

  • Recommended four adjustments to the Employer Health Tax to avoid undue negative impacts of the tax on business. The adjustments are endorsed by the BC Chamber of Commerce.

  • Stressed the importance of stable and predictable minimum wage increases. Also recommended that the province explore indexing minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index. This recommendation is also endorsed by the BC Chamber of Commerce.


From now until August 7, 2018 at 4 pm, you have the opportunity to comment on the Task Force’s Engagement Summary report. All feedback from this public engagement will be used to develop a final report with recommendations to the Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology Bruce Ralston.

We want to thank everyone who has participated in our member surveys and connected with us on issues facing your businesses. It is through this engagement that we are able to present a clear and focused picture of what the business community in the Tri-Cities needs to grow and thrive.

Click HERE to provide your comments (open until Tuesday, August 7).

View the Engagement Summary Paper HERE.