OPINION: Small local businesses are essential economic recovery


MLA for Surrey South and BC Liberal Co-Critic for Finance

FORTY-FIVE percent of BC businesses are facing difficulty paying their rent without assistance according to a recent CFIB poll.  As MLAs we’re hearing too frequently from businesses in our community that are concerned their business won’t survive the pandemic.

When you consider that about 98% of businesses in BC are small businesses, and that they employ about 500,000 British Columbians, things get real, very quickly.  The recovery is going to be challenging enough for our economy – we can’t afford to lose countless small business employers to bankruptcy.

That’s why the Official Opposition has encouraged government to provide additional relief targeted for small business owners.  The suggested measures include a short-term commercial rent relief plan that includes a no-eviction backstop to help small businesses; funding to provide access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety upgrades; a 60-90-day holiday on Provincial Sales Tax, hotel tax and Employer Health Tax; and a moratorium on new regulations and policies that would add costs for B.C. businesses.

As a result of COVID-19 we’re now in a deep recession with hundreds of thousands of people out of work and businesses in peril. We need an economic recovery and job creation plan for BC. British Columbians deserve a government that will be bold and brave and the time is now.  We can’t wait and see.


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