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 photo

Letter: Small businesses, tell the NDP government how you’re doing

Editor,

The government has recently announced a brief online consultation process with small businesses, to gather feedback on issues that are affecting you. I encourage all small business owners to participate as this may be your only opportunity to let the NDP know your thoughts on taxes such as the Employer Health Tax, increases in the minimum wage and other unique rural issues that impact your businesses.

The Employer Health Tax (EHT) will come into effect on January 1, 2019. If your payroll is over $500,000, you will be required to pay the EHT, and for those businesses that pay MSP for employees, you will also be paying 50 per cent of MSP premiums until January 1, 2020.

This tax is on top of the minimum wage increase to $12.65 that occurred on June 1 with further increases annually, and the heightened carbon tax that is no longer revenue neutral and is increasing year after year. In addition to these increased costs, many of the businesses in our area are dealing with the aftermath of the Elephant Hill Wildfire and the enormous impact that it had on their businesses.

Small businesses are the backbone of B.C.’s economy. They make up 98 per cent of businesses within the province and roughly 34 per cent of B.C.’s GDP. There is no question that the NDP’s tax changes will create untold negative effects in our province.

I am urging you as business owners to complete the online survey and share your concerns with the tax increases and other issues impacting your businesses.

The link to the survey is https://engage.gov.bc.ca/smallbusiness/

Thank you,

Jackie Tegart, MLA Fraser-Nicola

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