SURREY – The Surrey Board of Trade is concerned about the impact of minimum wage increases that will happen over the next 3 years. The increases start June 1, 2018 with a jump to $12.20, increasing annually on June 1 until $15.20 is reached in 2021 – in little over 3 years.
“When I presented our position to the provincially appointed minimum wage commission, the Surrey Board of Trade asked for two items: a five year implementation, to give our small businesses time to adjust to increases; and, for all future increases to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index to ensure stability and certainty,” said CEO Anita Huberman. “Our small businesses, especially those in the service sector, are vulnerable to increasing costs from various sources. I am especially concerned that this may be the straw that breaks some of them,” she said.
Businesses are facing increased property taxes, increases in taxes due to recent Federal tax changes to the CCPC, and now substantial increases in payroll – with the subsequent increases in their portion of payroll taxes such as EI, CPP, etc.
“The cost of living is a major concern for our members as employees need to be able to thrive in the community. However, too big a jump may possibly lose some of them their jobs as employers try to balance their books as a result of these jumps,” said Huberman.
“I hope that other strategies of offsetting cost of living expenses will be implemented,” said Huberman.