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.

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

Two Vernon robberies in two hours, one suspect arrested

Kelowna man facing numerous charges in connection with pair of robberies and flight from police

Okanagan air quality at a high health risk

The north, central and south Okanagan are all listed at a nine on AQHI

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

Ministry of Transportation says it plans to have the road open before the start of the school year

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

South Okanagan powwow celebrates young leaders

Penticton Between the Lakes powwow continuing to grow

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Most Read