B.C. Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto

Minister visits Parksville shops

Naomi Yamamoto calling on cities to reduce regulatory requirements

B.C. Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto toured some Parksville businesses Friday touting the government’s reduction of regulatory requirements.

Along with Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell, Mayor Marc Lefebvre and Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Burden, Yamamoto visited Lefty’s Restaurant, Mullberry Bush Book Store, Loonyrama Plus, Quality Foods, the Parksville Taekwondo Academy and Close to You.

She said the purpose was to hear what is important and how government can help small businesses.

Mulberry co-owner Barb Pope asked about subsidies or help with the increasing freight costs, explaining that most Canadian wholesalers are in Ontario and while costs keep going up the retail price is printed right on the books and hasn’t kept up with increases.

“We’re a free enterprise government — there’s a limit to the subsidies we can offer,” she said.

Yamamoto praised Mulberry’s community engagement.

She said the provincial government has reduced regulatory requirements in B.C. by 42 per cent since 2001 and has extended its commitment to a net zero increase of regulatory requirements to 2019.

She called on municipalities to join them in the reductions.

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