B.C. Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston (right) introduces small business task force members, Cybel Negris, CEO of Webnames.ca, Shahraz Kassam, owner and CEO of Shamin Diamonds and Michael Hwang, founder of Amicus Lawyers, May 2, 2018. (B.C. government)

B.C. Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston (right) introduces small business task force members, Cybel Negris, CEO of Webnames.ca, Shahraz Kassam, owner and CEO of Shamin Diamonds and Michael Hwang, founder of Amicus Lawyers, May 2, 2018. (B.C. government)

Taxes, housing pressures measured in B.C. small business survey

Minister Bruce Ralston seeks input from business owners during June

Is collecting sales tax a burden on your small business, or is the tax you have to pay the problem?

Those are among the questions being asked by the B.C. government’s new small business task force, touring the province during June.

The three-member panel begins its tour in Surrey June 6, moving to Nanaimo June 8, Terrace June 13, Prince George June 14, Richmond June 20, Cranbrook June 26 and Kelowna June 28, with details provided to small business owners via local chambers of commerce and other business groups.

An online survey is also open until June 29 at engage.gov.bc.ca/smallbusiness/ to collect feedback for the task force’s recommendations to government. Submissions can also be mailed to the task force at PO Box 9822, St. Provincial Govt., Victoria B.C. V8W 9N3.

One survey question asks business owners to pick their biggest challenge: real estate costs, housing for workers, utility costs, minimum wages, taxes or other costs. Another seeks suggestions to support hiring of women, seniors, Indigenous people and those with disabilities.

The survey also seeks suggestions on how government can assist in skills training, and how to help startups and small businesses in rural and remote locations.

The task force is chaired by Michael Hwang, founder of Amicus Lawyers, with Cybel Negris, CEO of Webnames.ca and Shahraz Kassam, owner and CEO of Shamin Diamonds. Their report to Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston is expected this fall.

BC legislatureSmall Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kiah Thiessen-Clark and Kate Thiessen-Clark from W.L. McLeod Elementary won third place in their grade during the science fair held by School District 91. (SD91/website)
SD91 District holds Science Fair; announces 2021 finalists

Several finalists were from EBUS Academy and W.L. McLeod Elementary

(Photo - Pixabay)
NVSS Queer Alliance group in Vanderhoof launch “Share the Love” campaign

Sense of community, empowerment and positivity are the visions of the NVSS group

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Murder charge laid in February 2020 stabbing death of Smithers man

Michael Egenolf is charged with the second-degree murder of Brodie Cumiskey

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Local Canfor workers among those taking government-sponsored early retirement.  (Black Press file photo)
Local workers take up government retirement offer

Program to buffer forest industry closures

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Most Read