I want to use this opportunity to talk about what a Small Business really is and how significant they are to each of our Rural Communities and to the economy of BC. The definition of a Small Business is a business with less than 50 employees, or, as the case is for most of the Riding of Boundary/Similkameen, a business with less than 5 employees or one with a sole owner/ operator. Nearly 1.1 million British Columbians worked in small businesses in 2017, accounting for 54% of private-sector employment and the number of small businesses continues to grow, specifically in construction and utilities like plumbing and electrical. Small business payrolls in BC account for 32% of all wages paid to workers. Self-employed women account for 38% of those small businesses, more than any other Province in Canada.
I depend on my local small businesses for most of my consumer needs as do many of you. Groceries, dry goods, hardware and basic services are all close by but we, as consumers, must continue to support our local businesses or they will cease to exist. We often take for granted that there is a local business where we can get something as simple as milk and bread, but what if you had to travel 40km to the next community for even those basics, and what if you didn’t have a vehicle or someone to drive you to get your basics.
There are many places in BC where there isn’t a store close by. Let’s not let that happen to us, please support the Small Businesses in your Communities all year, they are owned and operated by your friends and neighbours.