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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Camp Barnard during the 2019 Pacific Jamboree. (Photo: Camp Barnard)
Camp Barnard near Sooke hopes fundraiser will help it progress on accessibility goals

I Care ‘Bout Camp challenge hopes to raise $100,000 for new lodge, replaced kitchen

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

(Black Press Media files)
Hosts charged, attendees facing COVID fines after Vancouver police bust party at condo

Police had previously received 10 complains about that condo

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. A joint federal and B.C. government housing program announced today aims to help people living in up to 25,000 vulnerable households pay their rent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Benefits for those not eligible for B.C.’s Rental Assistance Program or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

Most Read