The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce is joining the BC Chamber of Commerce in voicing concern about the impact that the provincial government’s announcement of two larger-than-expected minimum wage increases will have on B.C. businesses.
“Clearly it is a difficult task for the government to strike the correct balance between the needs of lower waged workers and the viability of many small to medium sized businesses within some of the more competitive sectors. It is important to note that the minimum wage increases impact more than just those at that established minimum level; it raises the bar for all those workers near the minimum wage as well,” said David Sawatzky, president of the local chamber.
“I am appreciative that the government recognizes the challenges these cost increases pose to small and medium sized businesses, and their efforts to offset these challenges by decreasing the small business tax to 1.5 per cent in 2017.”
The Mission Chamber recognizes that the B.C. government has been clear about its intention to raise B.C.’s minimum wage relative to other Canadian jurisdictions, to match B.C.’s strong recent economic performance. However, going forward, the chamber urges government to return to tying minimum wage increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
In 2015, the BC Chamber’s membership passed a policy arguing for the need for predictability in minimum wage increases, and calling for no minimum wage increases beyond those tied to CPI.
The Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce voted in favour for this policy and will continue to advocate to the provincial government the importance of keeping the increases reasonable to the CPI.