President's Message - March 2020
February was Provincial Budget month and the Greater Langley Chamber has been actively participating in the conversation around the business impacts that this budget will have. We have concerns with how this budget will affect you, our Members. The Provincial Budget is balanced, but it looks to be balanced on the back of business, again. Investments in housing attainability and available childcare are forthcoming but business is facing the cumulative effect of crippling tax increases that will challenge their ability to invest and grow. As an example, business will be footing the bill to the tune of almost $2 Billion by 2020-21 to cover the Employer Health Tax. We feel that this new tax will have a negative effect on growth and investment. This is on top of yet another upcoming increase to minimum wage on June 1, 2019 from $12.65 to $13.85 per hour.
The current issue on the Federal front is the Rail Blockades and Protests that are stopping the flow of goods across our nation. We have ships at a standstill in port, grain stuck on the prairies and no end in sight to the situation. The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has been working with the National Chamber Network to make sure that your voice is heard regarding this situation. Last week we reached out to both of our MP’s to ask them to fight on our behalf to end these blockades. At this time, we see no absolute end in sight.
Municipal governments are in full budget process and both the Township of Langley and the City of Langley are proposing significant increases to the industrial/commercial property tax rates for 2020. The Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce is concerned that these additional taxes on top of the Employer Health Tax, changes to the Personal tax rate in BC and the rising cost of doing business in BC and Canada, could be hard on the small business community. By significantly raising the property tax rates you will see growth stall in the small business sector. We hope that business will remain optimistic and continue to strive for growth.
Join us on March 17th, 2020 as we tackle all these concerns and more at our March Dinner Meeting featuring our 2 Mayors, 2 MLA’s and 2 MP’s. Make sure you register for the Langley Leadership Panel by calling 604-371-3770 or at www.langleychamber.com.
For other opportunities to speak to your local elected officials on these or other matters that concern you and your business, please consider attending our upcoming Coffee & Conversation Series being held in our office over the next few months.
We recently celebrated Chamber of Commerce Week in British Columbia which recognized the contributions that Chambers make to communities. We thank the Langley Advance Times for their magnificent efforts to highlight the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continued support and participation. There were 35+ businesses supported the 12 pages in the February 14th edition. We used this opportunity to update our community and membership on a variety of issues that we are working on or that have been ongoing policy initiatives.
Let’s continue to work together for the prosperity of our communities, our region, our province and our nation.