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Greater Victoria, BC News


Date ArticleType
3/1/2015 Published Article
What it Takes to Run a Small Business

Business owners in our community play a significant role in our local economy. Many are passionate about the environment in which they work. And changes to that environment can ignite questions, concerns and fear about how those changes could affect their businesses. For instance, the idea of closing Government Street to traffic generated a great deal of debate. Some thought it was a fine idea, but when it came to businesses that are located on Government Street, we were unable to find even one business that was for the idea or thought it might be good for their business.

So, why exactly are small business owners so passionate about their business environment? Taking a look at what it takes to run a small business might give us a better understanding.

There are many costs and risks associated with starting and running a successful small business. Few people take up the challenge knowing what is involved. Apart from the logistics of obtaining business licences, government registrations etc. there are many other personal risks owners take on.

To run a small business you likely will be required to sign a five-year lease with a personal guarantee. This doesn’t include any leasehold improvements that may be needed, to ensure your location is renovated to meet the business’ needs. Further, you will need to set up the business in the location and secure a line of credit to buy stock for your business; all of which is secured by your house.

Once the business starts up, business expenses need to be paid including payroll, CPP, EI, WCB, tax, and insurance, rent, advertising, telephone etc. If there is money left over at the end of the day, the business owner gets paid. In many cases, small businesses owners don’t get paid in the first few years nor do they get days off. For tourism-based businesses almost no small business owners receive a pay cheque from January to April. For these businesses, they need to rely on a successful season from May to September. These business owners work hard to ensure the long-term viability of their businesses, often with great personal risk. The economic vibrancy of our community is based on the continued success of business like these.

Business owners are passionate about the business environment in our community; and they should be. We all should be. It is through the efforts of small business and their owners that we have a vibrant economy. Thank you small business.
Bruce Carter CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Business Examiner - March 2015


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