Surrey businesses are less tangled up with government regulations in 2019 than they were last year, according to the Surrey Board of Trade’s third annual Red Tape Survey Report.
That said, board CEO Anita Huberman said “red tape is still a concern.”
More than 71 per cent of respondent to this year’s survey indicated that regulatory requirements from all levels of government had a “moderate to major” impact on their day to day operations. This is a 16 per cent reduction from the results of the 2018 survey.
Of those who responded to last year’s survey, 87 per cent reported regulatory requirements at all levels of government had a moderate to major impact on their daily operations. This was an increase of seven points over 2017.
Not as many responded to this year’s survey. “It think close to 20 per cent of our members, so a little bit down,” Huberman said. “I think just over 1,000.”
In comparison, roughly 1,500, or 25 per cent of 6,000 of the board’s business contacts responded to the 2018 survey. This represented a 52 per cent increase over 2017’s inaugural survey.
The results of the 2019 survey have 71.79 per cent of respondents reported a moderate to major impact on their business when asked about the impact of compliance and 53.85 per cent said they spent up to five hours dealing with government red tape each week.
All told, 67 per cent said overall costs to meet government regulatory requirements has increased over the last two years, 28 per cent found paying taxes to be a “moderate to high cost of business” and 25.64 per cent outsource their income tax filing.
Further, 38.5 per cent of respondents said they take between five and 50 hours to file taxes.
Which government agencies have the most red tape? The Canada Revenue Agency was at the top of the list, according to 44.7 per cent of respondents, followed by the PST (30.3 per cent) and WorkSafe BC (29.42 per cent).
The majority of respondents to this year’s survey are with businesses that have a staff of 11 to 50 employees and the largest number of respondents, at 25.64 per cent, are from professional, scientific and technical services comprised of engineers, computer system designers, accounting and tax service providers, and payroll services.