BBOT Stands Up for Business Interests in Meeting with 14 Provincial Ministries
Last week, the Burnaby Board of Trade met for a full day with 25 government representatives, including senior deputy ministers, from across 14 provincial ministries to discuss issues affecting businesses in Burnaby and across the region and province. The Burnaby Board of Trade was joined by colleagues from 15 other chambers of commerce and boards of trade in advocating directly, in-person with government.
The Burnaby Board of Trade presented several of its policy positions, explaining the impact on local businesses, and pushing the government to act.
Specifically, the Burnaby Board of Trade championed:
- Fixing the Employer Health Tax
The BBOT called for raising the payroll exemption to $1.5 million, which would save each business up to $29,250 annually. The BBOT also pushed back on the government’s math, insisting that the province is collecting more than it needs in new taxes to pay for the MSP phase-out.
- Stopping Sky High Property Tax Bills
The BBOT continues to be a leader in pushing for changes to the BC Assessment Act that tax businesses on the “highest and best use” of their property, not what it is actually used for. The BBOT called this an existential threat to businesses and said action was needed now.
Species-At-Risk Act legislation and considering the impacts on business
- Making Government Programs and Incentives More Open to Small Businesses
To often government support programs for business leave small companies out in the cold. The up-front costs are too high, the paperwork is too time-consuming, and the eligibility criteria too restrictive. The BBOT argued small businesses need programs specially designed for them.
The BBOT was pleased to see two policy wins — the elimination of wait times at the BC Registry Services for new business start-ups, and the extension of the BC PNP Tech Pilot skilled immigration program — which the BBOT had been pushing for. These policy changes are an example of the importance of direct government advocacy on behalf of businesses.
Other issues which were addressed at the meeting, and which the BBOT called for the government to act on include:
- Working with business to address plastic waste
- Protecting the supply of industrial land
- Stabilizing minimum wage increases
The Burnaby Board of Trade takes its role as the champion for business’ interests and a catalyst for economic growth seriously, and advocates directly with all levels of government to get our members concerns heard and drive change that supports local businesses. For more information on our advocacy efforts, visit www.bbot.ca/advocacy