The Government of British Columbia recognizes Small Business Week (Oct. 14 to Oct. 20, 2018) and the role that small business owners and entrepreneurs play in strengthening B.C.’s economy and creating good jobs for people in their communities.
“We care about small businesses and the people who own them, and we are committed to ensuring their viability and success,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Small Business Week is important because it recognizes the contributions and achievements of business owners and entrepreneurs who are crucial to the growth of our economy.”
As part of Small Business Week, the Province has partnered with Small Business BC to offer free professional seminars, webinars and “Talk to an Expert” services that connect business owners with experts who provide practical advice on a wide range of small business issues.
Small businesses’ influence on the provincial economy is showcased in the 2018 Small Business Profile report, which has been released to coincide with Small Business Week. B.C.’s small business sector remains the national leader in the growth in small businesses and small business employment, with more than 490,000 small businesses employing over one million people in 2017.
“Small businesses support a significant number of jobs throughout the province and contribute in multiple ways to our diverse economy,” said Jock Finlayson, chief policy officer and executive vice-president of the Business Council of British Columbia. “It is encouraging to see that many small businesses in B.C. are continuing to thrive and that the province is home to a vibrant entrepreneurial community.”
The growth of small businesses is evident in all regions of the province. For instance, 27,500 new small businesses were created in the mainland and Southwest region over the most-recent three years. In the Kootenay region, 2,600 new small businesses were created, making it the fastest-growing region for small businesses in B.C.
“B.C.’s strong economy provides me with the environment my small business needs to succeed,” said Felix Böck, founder and chief executive officer, ChopValue Manufacturing. “Thanks to the resources and supports available to small businesses, I have what I need to grow my carbon-neutral home décor business in my community, which includes employing 18 people who support me with the growth of my business.”
Small businesses are the core of B.C.’s communities, and the B.C. government is working to find ways to continue to support small businesses. For example, the small business tax rate was cut by 20%, from 2.5% to 2.0%, now the second-lowest small business tax rate in Canada. The provincial sales tax on non-residential electricity use was reduced to 3.5% from 7.0%, with plans to eliminate it by April 2019. This change is expected to help small business owners save more than $150 million annually. The Small Business Task Force was established to help better understand how together, government and business can strengthen this sector, which is the backbone of B.C.’s economy.
- In May 2018, the B.C. government established the Small Business Task Force as a special initiative of the Small Business Roundtable to engage in dialogue with small business owners to find ways to best support small businesses.
- Established in 2005, the B.C. Small Business Roundtable is comprised of small business owners and leaders from throughout the province and continues to provide advice to government on key issues and opportunities facing small businesses in B.C.
- In 2017, approximately 1.1 million British Columbians worked in small businesses, accounting for 54% of total private-sector employment, above the national average of 49%.
- Between 2014 and 2017, B.C. led the country in growth in the number of small businesses. The number of small businesses in B.C. climbed 7.7%, more than double the national average growth rate of 3.2%.
- Employment in B.C.’s small business sector climbed 7.6% between 2012 and 2017, well above the Canadian average of 4.9%.
- The Province provides annual core funding of $686,000 to support Small Business BC, in collaboration with the federal government, which contributes approximately $1 million annually.