George Affleck calls for review of small business strategy in Vancouver

NPA City Councillor to motion City staff at next Vancouver City Council meeting

Vancouver City Hall | Photo: Josef Hanus, Shutterstock

In response to rising property taxes and increasing unaffordability burdening small businesses in Vancouver, NPA City Councillor George Affleck is proposing a “systemic and comprehensive review” of the City of Vancouver’s small business policies and programs.

On Tuesday, January 16, Affleck will motion for the City of Vancouver staff to undertake the review, and for City Council to also develop a high-level “Small Business Policy Council.”

The motion will specifically call for Vancouver City Council to lead City staff in a formal review of all existing programs and policies designed to support and retain local small business. Staff is required to report back within 90 days with recommendations for policy changes and strategies that will support optimal small business success.

Additionally, the motion will call for the creation of a small business council that will be responsible for advising Vancouver City Council on “strategic priorities” relating to small businesses in Vancouver.

“As a small business person, I’m keenly aware of the many challenges and pressures facing small businesses; locally and globally,” said Affleck.

“And as a City Councillor, I know there are things we can do locally as a City Council to create economic conditions that are more optimal and effective for small businesses to succeed and thrive in our city.”

In his motion, Affleck cites the example of local business Chocolate Mousse, which, after 30 years in business, will close in January 2019 due to an almost 93 per cent jump in property taxes. The jump came after the assessed value of the building in which the store operates more than tripled from $16 million to $52 million.