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

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

Carmi Elementary students voted through CIVIX Students Vote. (Lesley Evans photo)
Penticton students have their say in B.C. election

Twelve schools, including Carmi Elementary participated in Student Vote

A Kelowna clinic decided to immunize their patients in a drive-thru flu clinic earlier this month. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Interior Health anticipates increase in flu vaccinations this season

Some 300,000 doses of flu vaccine ready for distribution across Southern Interior

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Thanks to efforts by a Kelowna shelter and Elections BC, anyone who wishes to can vote in the 2020 BC Provincial Election, even if they don’t have a fixed address. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Kelowna group ensures people experiencing homelessness can vote

Shelter supervisor says voting ‘a fundamental right’ even for those without a fixed address

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is planning to implement transit service in the West Bench area in September, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Regional district to bring transit service to West Bench in 2021

Residents of area near Penticton will be consulted before plans are finalized

Most Read