Blake Anderson Asks:
What are your plans to help small Kamloops businesses that have been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic? Looking for ideas to help during and recovery afterwards. I hope there's an afterwards soon......
The NDP platform contains a number of important commitments to support businesses, especially those that have been hard hit by COVID-19:
• Connect small business owners to mentors:
We will expand the successful RevUp program that brings business owners together with
experienced mentors who provide coaching and advice on growing a successful, innovative
• Help small businesses access new markets:
Having your products and services ready to go is one thing – finding a market for them is another.
That’s why we’ll expand BC’s Export Navigator program which helps local businesses find and
access new global markets.
• Enhance mass timber’s potential as the construction material of the future: Mass timber’s time has arrived – cleaner to produce than traditional lumber or concrete, it is the future of construction. We’ve already designated the new Royal BC Museum and parts of the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver as mass timber buildings, and we’ll continue to make it a priority for public buildings moving forward.
If we create forestry as a value-added industry, jobs will be available and many mills closed under the BC Liberals can re-open.
• Support new companies who are bringing innovation to agriculture: We will increase our support for agri-tech through the Canada/BC Agri-Innovation Program – helping BC companies grow, hire more workers, and position our province as an agri-tech leader, while protecting farm lands in the ALR.
• Help BC restaurants and hospitality businesses through COVID-19 and beyond: We’ll continue to support this sector by making permanent the urgent action we took in the spring: authorizing the expansion of service areas, such as patios; allowing restaurants and pubs to purchase beer, wine, and spirits at wholesale cost instead of liquor store retail prices; and allowing liquor delivery with takeout. Again, this commitment will assist Kamloops businesses among the hardest hit over the past six months.
• Support the tourism industry as it moves toward recovery: In our government’s Economic Recovery Plan we are providing critical supports to help the industry move towards recovery, including a Tourism Task Force that brings together leaders from business, labour, First Nations and not-for-profits. A re-elected John Horgan government will act on the ideas coming out of their work. Kamloops relies a great deal on tourism, and our small business sector, in particular, will benefit from these recovery initiatives.
• Keep film and TV production competitive during this difficult time: We will re-establish the government-film sector task force to recommend the size and term of a new visual effects tax credit based on production costs. This special measure will help this critical sector weather the pandemic’s impact while protecting jobs and market share. The Kamloops region has hosted a number of TV and film productions, creating good-paying jobs. Tax credits would help producers choose Kamloops.