The provincial government shared details of its Economic Recovery Plan, Stronger BC on Sept. 17. 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 B.C. competitive, innovative, and inclusive.
The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with our partners at the BC Chamber over the past six months and have been instrumental in many of the business supports rolled out by the federal and provincial governments. Recently the BC Chamber put together a comprehensive recovery submission to the premier and cabinet.
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 B.C. 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. B.C. needs to bring back good jobs and hire more workers. The 15 per cent tax credit will be an incentive to encourage this.
“The recovery package announcement was welcomed news for many sectors and is a tremendous step in the right direction,” said Nelson chamber executive director Tom Thomson.
“We appreciate the steps taken by government as a first step and not the final step in recovery. After a positive summer for many sectors, there is still a great deal of uncertainty going forward when programs like wage subsidies end rental assistance are phased out.”
The Nelson and District Chamber board of directors believes 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.