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Opus Salon's Ludovic Jan, with wife Jessica at the Vancouver shop on Friday, Feb. 24, says times are tough for small businesses, and the BC Liberals' decision not to eliminate the small-business tax is 'an extra knife in our back.' (Jeff Vinnick for the Globe and Mail/Jeff Vinnick for The Globe and Mail)
Opus Salon's Ludovic Jan, with wife Jessica at the Vancouver shop on Friday, Feb. 24, says times are tough for small businesses, and the BC Liberals' decision not to eliminate the small-business tax is 'an extra knife in our back.' (Jeff Vinnick for the Globe and Mail/Jeff Vinnick for The Globe and Mail)

B.C. tax backtrack puts pinch on small business Add to ...

While Mr. Adler said keeping the small-business tax means fewer funds for expansion or distribution to shareholders or employees, he also notes that it’s an equal burden for a broad swath of B.C. enterprises, so none have an advantage.

“All businesses are in the same boat,” he said.

Budget gets clipped

The tease from Victoria on the small-business tax is exasperating to hair stylist Ludovic Jan, president of the Opus Salon in Vancouver’s Yaletown.

“Why doesn’t he just do it?” he asked. “Just reduce it to zero.”

Mr. Jan was referring to Mr. Falcon’s suggestion that he might drop the tax later, subject to economic conditions.

The 27-year-old entrepreneur said is used to paying for the tax, which he has done since he took over his outlet three years ago, but he hoped it would get clipped, cutting loose $2,000 to $3,000 for him to apply elsewhere in his business.

It may not seem like much to some, but he said it is important to him. “I’ve learned to be careful with my money.”

Mr. Jan said the money would probably have gone to upgrades for his salon or treats, such as special-occasion restaurant meals, for his staff of 14 employees.

“I am going to have to reduce the budget of my Christmas party. That’s for sure,” he said.

Times are already tough for business, with such provincially imposed complexities as the HST chaos, Mr. Jan said, adding that keeping the small-business tax is “an extra knife in our back.”

Small business deserves more help, he said. “We are one of the big engines of the economy.”

- Ian Bailey

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Follow on Twitter: @ianabailey

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