Last week the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce held a special event with the BC Chamber at Paper and Cup.
The event highlighted many of the Chamber Member benefits, key issues affecting BC businesses including highlights from the recently announced 2019 BC Budget, and how the BC Chamber is driving business advocacy.
Ramon Solinas, Regional Marketing Director for BC Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan explained at the meeting that 63 per cent of employees would prefer a benefits plan over a $5,000 raise from their employer. The Chambers Group Insurance Plan is available to all Chamber members.
Joan Isac, Director of Member Relations for the BC Chamber said at the meeting, “member Benefits available through the BC Chamber include discounts on fuel, business supplies, hotel & car rentals, and more.”
The Kimberley Chamber of Commerce also responded to the new 2019 Provincial Budget which was released last Monday, February 18 and Chamber President Rachelle Langlois says the release of the budget coincided nicely with the arrival of BC Chamber representatives in Kimberley.
“Along with the member benefits presentation we had scheduled, out Chamber was able to hear about the BC Chamber’s thoughts and direction regarding the new budget,” said Langlois. “We are pleased with the support the BC Chamber is showing towards small and medium sized business owners who are the economic drivers in our small communities.
“We were also encouraged by the participation of the Kimberley business community members, as having a strong chamber will ensure we have the voice necessary to continue to have the ear of these influential policy makers.”
She adds that gathering feedback from the business community is one of the Chamber’s primary goals in the next few months, along with increasing the Chamber membership.
“We want to hear from our businesses to ensure our Chamber is effectively representing their needs, not just on a local or community level but also at regional and provincial levels as well since this budget will directly impact our members,” Langlois said.
She said there are five specific takeaways from the 2019 Provincial Budget.
“The budget is balanced, but remains balanced on the back of business,” she said. “The provincial government makes further investments in affordability, including an enhanced BC Child Opportunity Benefit, but businesses continue to face the cumulative effect of immense tax increases that will likely stall their ability to grow.
“It’s official – Business now footing the bill to replace the MSP premium to the tune of $1.9 billion. The EHT covers the full phase-out of remaining MSP premiums and then some. This new tax will have a negative effect on growth and investment.”
She adds that the new Clean BC climate plan sees industry getting support to reduce GHG emissions.
“Budget 2019 includes a long-standing BC Chamber network recommendation to make the Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit and the Mining Exploration Tax Credit permanent,” Langlois said.
Dan Baxter, Director of Policy Development, Government and Stakeholder Relations for the BC Chamber says tax increases will hinder business owners’ ability to invest and grow.
“While many of these tax initiatives are tied to laudable goals – like housing affordability and the BC Child Opportunity Benefit – it’s part of a trend to increase taxes on business. These tax increases on business will hinder their ability to invest and grow and (ultimately) hire more British Columbians,” he said.
For more information or to access member benefits email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at kimberleychamber.com.