Holiday costs small business

On May 29, the British Columbia Legislature debated Bill 53, enabling the creation of BC’s new Family Day holiday.

On May 29, the British Columbia Legislature debated Bill 53, enabling the creation of BC’s new Family Day holiday.

While many are happily anticipating the arrival of an extra holiday next February, little has been said about the costs that will be borne by B.C.’s small business sector.

Small business accounts for 98 per cent of all business in B.C., providing close to 60 per cent of all private sector jobs. Small business contributes 30 per cent of our GDP. They are the risk-takers who put their personal and financial lives on the line to create jobs.

Yet only Abbotsford South MLA John Van Dongen, joined by the legislature’s two other independent members, chose to stand up for small business.

Van Dongen noted that for small business, Family Day doesn’t bring a relaxing break, but major pressure.

An average-sized small business paying B.C.’s average wage will face an extra $1,135 in labour costs alone. The global cost to all small and medium-sized businesses is an estimated $42 million. Add to that three minimum wage increases in the last year, and more than $3,000 in costs to transition to PST.

But as yet, the BC Liberals, and the New Democrats who voted with them on this legislation, have failed to offer concrete action that will mitigate small business cost concerns. They’re not even talking about it publicly.

It’s not always easy to take a position that runs counter to the majority. It takes conviction to take up a battle no one else will fight. On behalf of small business owners in Abbotsford, including 210 represented by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), we commend his courage.

Shachi Kurl

BC Director, Canadian Federation of Independent Business