Premier kicks off small business, manufacturing weeks with strong support, lower taxes

Premier John Horgan delivered a message of strong support, including lower taxes, to help kick off Small Business Week and Manufacturing Week (Oct. 16 to Oct. 20).

British Columbia’s small businesses are showing strong signs of growth and creating jobs for people throughout B.C. according to a new report issued today.

“Small businesses are the economic engines of B.C.’s communities and create good jobs for people throughout the province,” said Premier Horgan. “We’re working hard to make sure that small businesses and manufacturers have the support they need. That’s why we’re reducing the small business tax rate to 2% from 2.5% and establishing a Small Business Task Force to help strengthen and grow the sector in B.C.”

The Small Business Profile 2017 report shows that employment in B.C.’s small-business sector grew faster in 2016 than at any time in the past decade, with more than one million people employed in small businesses last year. In fact, small businesses produced more than one-third of provincial GDP in 2016 and $15.8 billion in exports in 2015, an increase of nearly $3 billion over the previous year.

The latest numbers show British Columbia leads the country in growth in the number of new small businesses and has the highest number of small businesses per capita across Canada, with small business making up 98% of all businesses in the province.

“There are significant growth opportunities ahead in advanced manufacturing, while the growth of small and medium-sized businesses can be fast-tracked by relying more on the use of technology,” said Jobs, Trade and Technology Minister Bruce Ralston. “Small businesses and manufacturers help create well-paying jobs for British Columbians throughout the province, and are major contributors to the provincial economy.”

As part of Small Business Week, the Province has partnered with Small Business BC to offer free professional seminars, webinars and ‘Ask the Expert’ services for small businesses during this time. Entrepreneurs and organizations representing small businesses and manufacturers will be marking both Small Business Week and Manufacturing Week with events throughout the province.

“We at Small Business BC are thrilled to partner with the Government of B.C. for Small Business Week to provide our high-quality training and expert advice to small businesses, free of charge,” said Sandra Miles, chair of Small Business BC. “By making it possible to share these valuable tools for free, the Province is giving small business owners the opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed in their endeavours.”

As many of B.C.’s manufacturers are small businesses, declaring Manufacturing Week and Small Business Week together provides an opportunity for stakeholders to take advantage of events supporting both sectors.

“Manufacturing is a critical part of B.C.’s economy, contributing 7.2% of GDP,” said Andrew Wynn-Williams, vice-president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters BC Division. “We also produce some fascinating products in B.C. and Manufacturing Week gives us an opportunity to profile for the public the nature of the industry and some of the cool things we make.”

Manufacturing Week in B.C. is part of a broader national Manufacturing Month initiative led by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) to profile manufacturing across Canada, and is intended to boost the public profile of the manufacturing sector’s contributions to the economy.

A number of local small businesses, including Synergy Enterprises and Rainhouse Manufacturing, joined Premier Horgan at the Parliament Buildings today to celebrate Small Business Week and Manufacturing Week.

“Synergy Enterprises is delighted to be involved in this year’s Small Business Week celebrations. As a small business that is focused on sustainability, we believe in the powerful effect small businesses have on local communities and the economy,” said Jill Doucette, owner and founder of Synergy Enterprises.

“As the CEO of Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada, I’ve been part of the manufacturing sector in the capital region for nearly 40 years,” said Ray Brougham, CEO, Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada. “We are a proud B.C. business that directly supports 12 families, leveraging the local supply chain and injecting millions of dollars into the local economy every year. In recent years I’ve witnessed our sector becoming bolder and more collaborative. Small Business Week and Manufacturing Week raise awareness of our work and contribute to our success.”

Quick Facts:

Small Business in B.C.:

  • Small businesses make up 98% of all businesses in British Columbia.
  • B.C.’s small businesses generated 34% of provincial GDP in 2016, above the Canadian average of 31%.
  • Small businesses were the source of 32% of all wages paid to workers in B.C. last year, the highest share of all provinces and above the Canadian average of less than 27%.
  • Employment in B.C.’s small business sector climbed 3.1% in 2016, the highest rate of growth in over a decade.
  • Approximately 1,056,300 British Columbians worked in small businesses in 2016, accounting for 54% of total private-sector employment, above the national average of 49%.
  • Small businesses in B.C. shipped $15.8 billion worth of goods to international destinations in 2015, making up 42% of all provincial exports.
  • British Columbia had the highest number of small businesses per capita in Canada in 2016, with 83.4 small businesses per 1,000 people. The national average was 69.9.
  • Small businesses comprise almost 96% of employers in the high-technology sector.

Manufacturing in B.C.:

  • Manufacturing is a significant economic driver for the province, generating $16 billion for B.C.’s economy and supporting approximately 170,000 jobs.
  • Manufacturing wages are 15.5% higher than the overall average for all industries, according to CME.
  • There are more than 7,200 manufacturing companies in British Columbia.
  • The manufacturing sector’s focus on export markets and innovation supports job growth across every manufacturing sub-sector in the province, including aerospace, marine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and apparel.
  • Manufactured goods account for 58% of B.C.’s total goods exports to international destinations.
  • Manufacturing Week is held in conjunction with CME’s Manufacturing Month and highlights the role B.C.’s manufacturers play in creating well-paying jobs throughout the province.

Learn More:

To check out the Small Business Profile 2017, visit:

To learn more about small business in British Columbia, visit:

To learn more about manufacturing in British Columbia, visit:

To learn about the free seminars, webinars and services offered by Small Business BC for Small Business Week, visit:

For more information about Small Business Week events happening throughout the province and across Canada, visit the Business Development Bank of Canada website:

For more information about Manufacturing Month in B.C., visit the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters website: