March 24, 2020
We at the Fort St. John and District Chamber of commerce know that all businesses, particularly small businesses, are feeling immense pressure. Locally, businesses are facing financial hardship, as their revenue streams dry up from greatly reduced, or in many cases, complete stoppage, of customer traffic. They need to preserve cash by decreasing their expenses, and are looking for immediate measures to mitigate the impacts on their businesses and their employees. We heard from our members that businesses need immediate relief and flexibility on tax remittances, as well as property tax relief.
There is still much to be done to support our businesses and non-profit organizations through this crisis in order to recover socially and economically, but the COVID-19 Action Plan is a good start, and we appreciate the Provincial Government’s approach in building on the Federal Government’s COVID-19 economic plan, effectively “filling of the gaps”.
Though mindful that these are stop-gap measures, local businesses will now be able to alleviate some pressure on their cash reserves by deferring certain tax remittances and reductions in property taxes. We know that these alone are not the solution to the crisis that local businesses are facing. Combining these Provincial plans with the Federal announcement on flexibility for businesses filing and paying taxes, ensuring businesses have access to credit, and helping businesses keep their workers will slow, not stop, the outflow of cash from an organization. However, we are encouraged that these measures will help local businesses buy time to work through their business continuity and contingency plans.
We are appreciative of our members providing their insight, which through our BC Chamber network, contributed to the recommended measures to the BC Government to support BC’s business through this crisis, many of which were included in yesterday’s announcement. We encourage the local business community to sign up for BCMindReader.com, which is the platform for us to hear what you need, so we can continue to advocate to government on your behalf.
President and Chair
Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce