May 2, 2018 4:00 pm

B.C. launches task force aimed at boosting small business

Main Street Brewing co-owner Nigel Pike stacks cans of beer during canning at the brewery in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday March 20, 2017.


The B.C. government is launching a task force aimed at improving conditions for small businesses.

Jobs Minister Bruce Ralston announced the three-member panel on Wednesday, which he said will gather input on several issues.

READ MORE: Survey shows slight dip in economic confidence for B.C. entrepreneurs

Story continues below

“Innovation and the emerging economy, youth employment, succession planning, the rising cost of doing business, [and] fair distribution of benefits and risks businesses face,” he said.

The task force will be led by Amicus Lawyers principal Michael Hwang. Cybele Negris, vice-chair of B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable and Shahraz Kassam, owner and CEO of Sharmin Diamonds will round out the group.

“We want to hear from small businesses of all types,  rural and remote communities and especially First Nations communities,” said Hwang.

READ MORE: Majority of B.C. business owners oppose new employer health tax: survey

The task force is slated to hold seven consultations throughout the province in June, and will hear from chambers of commerce, First Nations and entrepreneurs.

The province is also setting up an online portal for people to weigh in.

“Small businesses have unique needs,” said Hwang. “Our job as a task force is to seek out perspectives from those who know those needs the best, small business owners and entrepreneurs.”

Input from the task force will be used to inform the priorities of the Small Business Roundtable.

Consultations will be held on the these dates:

  • June 6 – Surrey
  • June 8 – Nanaimo
  • June 13 – Terrace
  • June 14 – Prince George
  • June 18 – Richmond
  • June 26 – Cranbrook
  • June 28 – Kelowna

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.