BBOT Works For MMBC Exemptions
Starting in May 2014, new environmental regulations will mean that all businesses which distribute printed paper and packaging to consumers will have to register with the new stewardship agency Multi Material BC, calculate and report the amount/type of paper and packaging they distribute each year, and pay fees to cover the cost of recycling that material.
The Burnaby Board of Trade had concerns with the impact of these new regulations on its members, particularly small businesses, believing that the cost of compliance in both fees and staff time necessary for reporting represented an excessive burden for many businesses. Therefore, the BBOT recently took these concerns directly to MMBC and discussed options for mitigating the impact of the new program on small businesses.
As a result of efforts like those of the BBOT, MMBC has decided to create a Small Business Policy that will exempt certain business from some of the costs and reporting obligations mentioned above. The proposed policy would exempt business that meet ANY of the following criteria:
a) Generate less than $1 million in gross revenues
b) Contribute less than 1 ton of printed paper and packing to consumers
c) Operates as a single point of retail sale and is not supplied by or operated as part of a franchise, a
chain or under a banner
Businesses that meet any of these criteria would still have to become MMBC members, but would not have to monitor and count their annual paper and packaging use, and would not have to submit a detailed report to MMBC, saving them staff time and money. However, these exempt businesses would still have to pay an administration fee of $150.00 each year, something that the BBOT remains concerned with.
MMBC is also creating a Low Volume Policy consisting of flat fees and a simple online reporting process for businesses that contribute more than 1 ton of paper/packaging but less than 5 tons.
In discussion with MMBC, the BBOT voiced our support for the creation of the Small Business Policy and Low Volume Policy and advocated for the process of signing up under these programs to be made as easy for businesses to navigate as possible.
The BBOT is still concerned about the $150.00 administration fee for exempt businesses—a $150.00 tax on all small businesses—and is considering options for advocating directly with the Ministry of Environment on this issue in the future.
Through its discussions with MMBC, the BBOT have secured agreement from MMBC for participation in at least one BBOT workshop in the new year to make sure our members have a full understanding of the coming regulations.
For more information on the MMBC regulations and the recent changes, visit our MMBC information page.
The Burnaby Board of Trade represents the voice of 1100 businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations across Metro Vancouver. The BBOT routinely advocates on a range of issues with representatives at all levels of government. For more information on our recent advocacy work, please visit www.bbot.ca/advocacy.