The Surrey Board of Trade advocates for red tape reduction for businesses. Red tape is excessive bureaucracy, routines, rules and complexity at all levels of government which causes delays or unreasonable costs to businesses. Filing forms and applying for licenses are a part of doing business, however, the Surrey Board of Trade wants to ensure that it isn’t onerous for businesses.
In the 2022 Red Tape Survey, over 75.9% of respondents indicated that the overall cost of compliance with regulations and needed paperwork by government has increased over the past two years at all levels of government.
“An increasing number of our respondents are finding regulatory compliance compromising their ability to start, grow and innovate their businesses,” said Anita Huberman. “Perhaps we need to bring back a Red Tape Reduction Minister concept at all levels of government.”
Summary of survey responses:
1. Impact of compliance: 80% reported moderate to major impact for business to comply.
2. Financial costs of compliance: 75.9% of respondents determined that overall costs have increased in the last 2 years.
3. Time taken to fill out forms: 82.8% of respondents found the time taken to comply has increased in the last 2 years.
4. Filing taxes: 35.9% now outsourcing income tax return filing.
5. Agencies with the most red tape: 92.6% identified Canada Revenue Agency to have moderate to high levels of red tape. 92.6% rated WorkSafeBC with moderate to high levels of red tape.
6. Measures that would reduce red tape: 100% suggested better communication and consultation with businesses when developing new regulations would help reduce time of compliance.
To this end, the Surrey Board of Trade recommends:
1. Governments improve and simplify their instructions on regulatory compliance;
2. That all levels of government improve their online service portals and call centre services, using clear language for instructions and ensuring relevant links are up to date and working; and,
3. Agencies share information and make sure there are no duplicate information requirements.
The Surrey Board of Trade is a not-for-profit city-building business organization, that supports and attracts business. The organization has 6,000 member contacts and 60,000 employees. The Surrey Board of Trade focuses on red tape reduction to:
1. Have a more predictable business environment
2. Strengthen international trade
3. Free up capital to invest in business, not in process
4. Allow small businesses to compete and grow
President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade