Rachelle Smith says business is slower than usual but she's not sure what to blame.

Slow summer affecting business

HST not the sole culprit

  • Jul. 27, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Some local retail and food-based businesses agree sales are down and they are being forced to cut costs in different ways, but they aren’t sure if the HST is completely at fault.

Almost 12,000 full-time jobs in B.C. were lost in June, according to Statistics Canada.

Don Shaw, owner of Sooke Trading Post on Otter Point Road said he can relate.

“Well, this has been a harder year than any before. Any before, ever. I’ve been here for 12 years,” said Shaw.

“I can’t blame it on the HST but something has triggered this. Like I normally have one to two people working for me at this time of year, I’m here alone to cut costs.”

Since the new tax structure was adopted just over a year ago, things that weren’t subject to PST like restaurant foods and beverages and some non-basic grocery items like chips and pop are now subject to 12 per cent HST. And that, coupled with a slowly-recovering economy and less-than-ideal summer weather, has left many store owners worried.

“Business has been affected all year,” said a Village Food Markets employee who didn’t want to be named. “A lot of our business has to do with tourism, we haven’t seen any of this because our weather has never kicked in so I mean yeah, we’ve noticed it a bit.”

As a result, to stay in the running the grocer has had to reduce prices to match the competition. Other establishments, like Sooke Serious Coffee, try to save by ensuring nothing goes to waste, said barista Rachelle Smith.

“We just have to be more careful using all the product,” she said.

Traffic is less than what it usually is at the coffee shop, with sales down 30 per cent  compared to last year.

“It was getting really slow during the Christmas holidays, throughout the whole day, but now it’s starting to pick up within the last month. But I also think the weather has a lot to do with it,” said Smith.

Things aren’t all bad, however. Jason Dumont, owner of Dumont Tirecraft said his automotive store hasn’t been affected.

“Nothing changed because my business, everything was always taxed the same. It’s easier for us to deal with.”

Instead of filling out a separate form for both PST and GST when remitting taxes, he only has to worry about a single HST form. In addition, he saves money because he doesn’t have to pay tax on the tires that he doesn’t sell, where previously PST was charged regardless, he said.

“It makes our paperwork, our life way easier that’s for sure.

Just Posted

Land sale could threaten Shirley’s water supply: officials

Sale will allow for the subdivision and development of forestry lands

320 years since the ‘Big One’ doesn’t mean it’s overdue: Canada Research Chair

‘It could happen today, tomorrow or 100 years from now’

Night construction means closures for Interurban Road

Traffic interruptions at Interurban Road near Wilkinson Road from Dec. 9 to 20

Decision on Victoria’s bid for 2022 Invictus Games expected next month

Greater Victoria is competing against Germany’s Düsseldorf to host the games

‘Kind of lacking:’ Injured Bronco wonders why Canada won’t fund spinal surgery

“I think if Canada can step in and advance this program”

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

In surprise move, defence won’t call witnesses for accused in Abbotsford school killing

‘Change of instructions’ results in defence closing case without calling evidence

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

74% of 911 calls are from cellphones, so know your location: E-Comm

Cell tower triangulation generally only narrows location down to the block someone is calling from

No negligence in RCMP actions in B.C. teen’s overdose death: Watchdog

Police acted properly when they responded to the first reports of the boy being in distress

Would you leave your baby alone to go to the gym? This Canadian dad did

The man identifies just as a divorced dad with a nine-month-old baby

Most Read