It’s not easy running a small business. It takes years of effort, late nights worrying about the pedantic details of name, brand, location, or how much debt you’re taking on. Have you got all the permits and licenses? Are you confident with the terms of your lease agreement? Will your product or service win out over the competition? Did you hire the right staff?
And that’s before you even open the door to customers.
I’ve worked with small business owners and social enterprises on issues of policy and economic development for nearly a decade now in Vancouver and occasionally other communities in B.C. I’m here to make a case for increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, but to also recognize that there are some serious affordability issues facing small business owners in this province, particularly in its larger cities, and most especially Vancouver.
I’m firmly convinced we can implement progressive wage policies in this province to increase the incomes of working British Columbians, but I believe it may also take some other policy adjustments to reduce pressures on small independent businesses. In particular the pressures created by them being caught up in land speculation and eyeball popping assessments in B.C.’s real estate sector, a form of sustained hysteria that has become the new normal.