Abbotsford Chamber and the BC Chamber Supports First Steps in Province’s Economic Recovery Plan
“We appreciate that government sees this as the next step, not the final step, in the road to recovery.” says Dan Baxter, Director of Policy and Government Relations.
Abbotsford, September 21, 2020: – Last week, the provincial government shared details of its Economic Recovery Plan, Stronger BC. In addition, to broad consultation and recommendations, the Stronger BC Plan took into consideration the BC Chamber of Commerce Economic Recovery Submission, which urged big thinking needed to keep BC competitive, innovative, and inclusive.
“We’re pleased to see the Stronger BC Plan address some of the BC Chamber’s key recommendations.” says Dan Baxter, Director of Policy Development and Government & Stakeholder Relations at the BC Chamber of Commerce. “PST on machinery & equipment was on our members’ minds, so this is a significant win for our network to help boost productivity, and the SME recovery grant, if targeted right, does help by recognizing that small business needs relief not more debt. We appreciate that government sees this as the next step, not the final step, in the road to recovery.”
Key wins for the BC Chamber Network include:
- 100 per cent PST rebate to buy machines and equipment. The list of equipment means many businesses could qualify, reaching almost every sector of the economy.
- Further investments in the Connecting British Columbia Program. Enhancing connectivity along major routes and for rural communities is a way BC can continue to be prosperous.
- Small and medium sized business recovery grant. Businesses cannot take on more debt, and initiatives like this grant will help support businesses to keep the lights on. SME’s need a viable path forward, and for those who qualify, this is a step in the right direction.
Other Stronger BC wins include:
- Helping B.C. businesses adapt. Supporting businesses in moving to online shops and e-commerce operations will be instrumental in helping them address this crisis and future downturns.
- Tax incentives to hire more workers. BC needs to bring back good jobs and hire more workers. The 15 per cent tax credit will be an incentive to encourage this.
“We hope government finds more ways to enable a competitive private sector so that it can help rebound our economy and labour force,” said Katerina Anastasiadis, Executive Director for the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce.
“The recovery grants for small and medium sized businesses is encouraging to provide non repayable support in the short-term, but we also need to remember that allocating money alone to a problem can’t solve the issues. With the recent announcement of a Fraser Valley transportation study and this recovery plan’s focus on public infrastructure investment, projects such as the expansion of Highway #1 into our region would play a major role. The Chamber also believes a big opportunity for recovery is capitalizing on Abbotsford’s agriculture sector. We are the leading municipality and agricultural region for BC and Canada, and are supporting our City and Mayor’s advancements and innovation for the sector.”
More support is still critical for tourism, and while these measures support the province’s resource businesses – with some targeted supports for forestry – ensuring a strong resource economy is still a big piece of the overall economic recovery. With the Stronger BC plan widely covering programs and industries across the province, a historic response will be pivotal in keeping our economy moving.
“As the province looks to move forward with existing and new recovery initiatives, the BC Chamber Network remains hopeful that it will also provide our province an opportunity to become more competitive,” says Baxter. “Bold action is required – we need to collectively persevere towards a BC built-to-compete and we can do that by improving as we build back.”
About the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce:
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is the Fraser Valley’s leading member-driven organization and voice that improves the effectiveness of doing business. An Accredited Chamber of Commerce managed strategically to reflect national standards of business excellence and best practices. Created to promote the interests of businesses in the City of Abbotsford, the Chamber has been an integral part of Abbotsford’s growth and evolution for nearly as long as the city has existed and is in its 107th year of service.