The new BC budget gets a thumbs up from the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.
“There are two basic reasons: they have taken a prudent fiscal approach to the budget, ensuring its again a balanced budget and that includes reducing the operating debt,” Chamber General Manager Dan Rogers tells Kiss FM
Rogers says they also like the elements that will help small businesses invest and grow.
“There are a number of targeted initiatives that are going to help small business, through tax relief and putting more money into the pockets of small businesses, so that’s a real positive.”
Rogers also likes the move to phase out the GST on electricity bills charged to businesses.
“It means it’s putting money back into the pockets of small business owners that drive our economy.”
Rogers says the MSP fee cut in January will put more money back into families pockets, perhaps to spend in the community.
“It’s also going to help small businesses that are paying that on behalf of their employees.”
“The provincial government has been practicing great business fundamentals – balancing budgets and investing in a more diversified economy – and this means they can now pursue other investments and continue to create a competitive tax structure that gives businesses the choice to invest and grow,” says Dauna Kennedy Grant, Greater Vernon Chamber president.
“We were also pleased to see a commitment of funding for the expansion of post-secondary facilities across the province including confirmation of the funding for the Trades Training Facility at the Vernon Campus of Okanagan College.”
“Further investment in the Rural Dividend Program will help to strengthen and diversify rural economies and assist the smaller communities around the Greater Vernon area,” adds Rogers.
“It was also good to see the province increase the threshold for the first time home buyers’ exemption to $500,000 saving first time home buyers up to $8,000 in property transfer tax, something that should help encourage more young families to invest in housing in the area.”
The Chamber represents more than 500 businesses in the North Okanagan.