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David Parkins for The Globe and Mail/david parkins The Globe and Mail

Does the harmonized sales tax make it easier for small retailers to create jobs?

British Columbia's 395,000 small businesses are the engine of the province's economy. The HST was supposed to rev up that engine and create new jobs, but the current hiring plans of B.C.'s small businesses pretty much mirror those of a year ago when the HST was implemented.

Small retailers should benefit from streamlined accounting and tax credits for HST paid on their legal services, office supplies and other overhead. The cost of hiking boots didn't change when the HST was brought in, but the cost of bicycles jumped by seven per cent overnight because a longstanding provincial sales tax exemption disappeared in the changeover.

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The Globe and Mail talked to two veteran retailers in Victoria to find out how the tax has changed their businesses.

Click on the links above to read more. The interviews have been condensed.

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