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

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

Catenary poles, from which lights will be strung, mark some of the progress as the 9th St. improvement project nears its finishing date. (Houston Today photo)
Downtown work to continue into end of this month

Finishing touches not expected until next spring

District of Houston office
Wants variance to allow taller building

Property owners adjacent to M. Brown Contracting on Vriend Road have the… Continue reading

Editorial. (Black Press file photo)
Being outside — a transformative experience all kids need

In the last two weeks of October, a large part of Canada… Continue reading

10th Street is next, along with 11th Street, on the District of Houston’s long-term downtown improvement project list. (Houston Today photo)
District nails down vision for next phase of downtown improvement

It’ll build on nearly-finished 9th Street work

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Surrey RCMP cruisers outside a Newton townhouse Tuesday night. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Toddler in hospital, woman dead following stabbings at Surrey townhouse

Police say two-year-old was among victims found at townhouse complex in the 12700-block of 66 Avenue

A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. Tim Hortons is ending the practice of double cupping hot drinks, a move the fast food restaurant says will eliminate hundreds of millions of cups from landfills each year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
The end of double cupping: Tim Hortons ditches two cups in favour of one with sleeve

Most recycling facilities in Canada don’t recycle single use paper coffee cups because of a plastic lining

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer doctor Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s chief public health doctor says in the age of social media, fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading faster than the virus itself. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
VIDEO: Fake news creates serious issues for battling pandemic, chief public health doc says

Both Tam and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians to be responsible about the information they share

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Most Read