Province launches online engagement to hear from B.C. small businesses

A new online engagement site is now live, so small-business owners in British Columbia can have their say on how to maintain a healthy small-business environment that will help them succeed, grow and create jobs.

The new website is part of the public engagement for the Small Business Task Force, a team of three small-business leaders, which is gathering input from small-business owners throughout the province to inform policy recommendations to the provincial government.

The engagement website includes an online questionnaire, where small-business owners can provide their feedback on matters affecting the success of small business in B.C.

Throughout the month of June, the Small Business Task Force will gather feedback, based on small-business priorities, through an online questionnaire and in-person meetings with small businesses, entrepreneurs and Indigenous peoples in seven communities.

Upon completion of the public engagement, the Small Business Task Force will analyze the feedback it received, and post an engagement summary paper online in late July for additional public comment.

In fall 2018, the Small Business Task Force will issue a final report of its findings with recommendations to government on ways to further strengthen the small-business sector. The B.C. government will then consider the report’s recommendations.

The three-member Small Business Task Force was formed in May 2018, and is chaired by Michael Hwang, founder and principal lawyer at Amicus Lawyers. Additional members include Cybele Negris, vice-chair of B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable and CEO and co-founder of, and Shahraz Kassam, owner and CEO of Shamin Diamonds.

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs can fill out the Small Business Task Force online questionnaire, from June 1 to June 29, 2018, by visiting:

People without internet access can mail their feedback to:
PO Box 9822
Stn Prov Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N3

Small Business Task Force consultations are taking place in the following cities:

June 6 – Surrey

June 8 – Nanaimo

June 13 – Terrace

June 14 – Prince George

June 20 – Richmond

June 26 – Cranbrook

June 28 – Kelowna

Information about the times and locations of these consultations will be provided to small business owners through business organizations, such as chambers of commerce, boards of trade and Indigenous business groups.


Quick Facts:

* The Province cut the small-business corporate income tax rate by 20%, from 2.5% to 2%, with the new tax rate being retroactive to April 1, 2017. It is now the second lowest in Canada, tied with Alberta and Saskatchewan.

* The Province cut the provincial sales tax (PST) on non-residential electricity from 7% to 3.5%, as of January 1, 2018. PST charges on non-residential electricity will be eliminated by April 1, 2019.

* Eliminating the PST on electricity will translate into savings of more than $150 million annually for B.C. businesses.

* Small businesses make up 98% of all businesses in B.C.

* More than one million British Columbians were employed by a small business in 2016 – more than half of all private-sector employment.