Small business is a powerful economic force, locally and throughout the province.
Naomi Yamamoto wants to help build that force by making making government work better for small business, instead of the other way around.
B.C.'s Minister of State for Small Business asked members of Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce at their monthly dinner meeting on Tuesday evening to identify the things they are doing - like filling out unnecessary forms or dealing with conflicting regulations - that they feel are hampering their ability to grow, or even simply "to keep the lights on."
Yamamoto said B.C. is leading Canada in efforts to cut red tape throughout government, but said the province is taking a backward step by dumping the HST.
"The worst thing we can do to increase regulation is to return to the PST," she said.
"But that's what we're doing," she said, noting that the government is bound by the anti-HST referendum result of more than a year ago, and adding, "That's unfortunate."
She said that the provincial government is mitigating the negative impact that the return to GST/PST will have on business by synchronizing the way they will be reported after their return when the HST is dumped on April 1, 2012.
Yamamoto lauded a pilot project that will offer regional business licences through much of the Lower Mainland as a positive deregulatory move (see story below).