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Small business optimism may drop in the coming months

Small business optimism continues to trend upward in BC.

The latest survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business showed an increase of 2.8 points in February, reaching a total level of 69.5.

The coming months may not be the same because of the new payroll tax that was included in this week’s BC budget, which will see a one to two per cent increase on employers payroll.

“I know there was a lot of disapproval of having a payroll tax to replace the MSP when we surveyed in the past,” says Economist Aaron Aerts. Right now only 20 per cent of our membership pay MSP for their employees, a lot of small businesses don’t do that currently, and this will now essentially put on a tax on a vast majority of business owners.”

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With this new payroll tax it could hinder businesses from hiring new employees because there will be additional costs.

“That’s going to have a real impact whether it’s trying to hire somebody new, they’ll be less encouraged to do so, or making sure that they’re trying to expand their business. Looking at those constraints now, they’ll have additional cost for them to consider when making those choices, so, there could be an effect on employment levels,” added Aerts.

BC is now the third highest in the country for optimism as it holds a 7.1 lead over the national index.

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