Restaurants like this one in Victoria are getting by on mostly take-out business as winter closes in, and some tourism-dependent businesses have already shut down for good. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

B.C. VOTES 2020

B.C. Liberals offer bridge financing, no more small business tax

Tourism, hospitality companies may close by Christmas

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has added to his tax incentive program with a vow to provide bridge financing to fading small businesses and permanently eliminate their business income tax.

The extra relief is urgently needed for tourism and hospitality-related businesses who are saying they will decide by Christmas whether they can carry on in 2021, Wilkinson said at an independent clothing retailer in Delta Oct. 8. He promised a loan guarantee program to help small tourism and hospitality firms keep bank financing going as they struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Timing of the loan guarantees depends on the Oct. 24 election being resolved and a new government being in place once a record number of mail-in ballots are counted, Wilkinson said.

“We have to be able to tell them, let’s plan for a vaccine,” he said. “Let’s plan for a return of international tourism. Let’s plan for the U.S. border opening again, so that those hotels in Victoria can have customers, so those tourism operators in the Georgia Strait can do whale watching again, so that people in the Interior can reopen the fishing camps.”

The small business income tax is currently set at two per cent, a reduction from 2.5 per cent that both the B.C. Liberals and NDP promised in the 2017 election. Former finance minister Carole James made good on that promise, retroactive to April 2017, and raised the large corporate income tax rate from 11 to 12 per cent to make up revenue to the province.

RELATED: NDP matched small business tax cut promise in 2017

RELATED: Cut sales tax, boost daycare, Business Council says

Wilkinson noted that Manitoba eliminated its small business income tax a decade ago. He said the current tax takes in about $220 million in a pre-pandemic B.C. economy, and while greatly diminished this year and likely in 2021, forgoing the provincial income is worth it to “turbocharge” the recovery.

The B.C. Liberal promise continues an election theme where the NDP offers direct payment to individuals and their main opponents offer assistance through the tax system. NDP leader John Horgan said this week his plan to send another round of $1,000 pandemic assistance payments to families earning under $125,000 was a direct response to Wilkinson’s offer of a year-long elimination of the provincial sales tax.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsBC Votes 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite are appearing at the Chemainus Theatre Playbill Dining Room on Nov. 20 and 21. (Photo by Jon Blacker)
Popular blues duo playing two shows at Chemainus Theatre’s Playbill Dining Room

Braithwaite & Whiteley back in town for special dinner performances

HISTORICAL MOMENT
Horseshoe Bay Hotel: The first proprietor was Matthew Howe, who left the mill to build an inn. It even had its own farm which provided food for the household and guests. Records show that J.D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie even stayed there once. (Photo courtesy of the Chemainus Valley Museum)
Historical Moment Oct. 29

Horseshoe Bay Inn Hotel a Chemainus landmark

Vehicles are making the rounds now on Chemainus Road into part of the new roundabout. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Road construction Oct. 29

Project continuing to develop, with part of the new River Road roundabout now in use

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
First poppy of a very different campaign leading up to Remembrance Day is pinned on Howard Valleau by Chemainus Legion 191 president Len Lavender alongside Mike Beggs. (Photo by Colin Murphy)
Start of COVID poppy campaign

Remembrance Day service limited to a few but it’s still important to raise funds

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read