BRITISH COLUMBIA
02/10/2014 09:14 EST | Updated 04/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Family Day Costly, Some Small Businesses Complain

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It's year two of Family Day in British Columbia, and Sacha Thompson, who owns the Flowerbox on Commercial Drive, says it will cost her an additional $1,500 this year in staffing costs even though sales are slower than usual this day.

Thompson says she has no choice but to open, because she's also getting ready for Valentine's Day.

"I'm resting my florist, my full-time florist, and bringing in other people to help me," she says.

"It's better than having it right close to Valentines, because that would just be a disaster for florists, but it's pretty close."

Thompson says she doesn't know how the government could help, but additional tax breaks for small business wouldn't hurt.

Mike Klassen with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business points out Family Day isn't free.

"Government gets the glory but small business gets to pay the bill," he says.

"It's important that people just recognize that there is a cost associated to this. And if they can help out small businesses by making a point to go and shop at their local independent businesses that would be really great."

He says most small businesses are running on tight margins with five or less people and Family Day costs them an extra $1,100 on average.

Klassen says 90 per cent of businesses in B.C. are small operations. His organization represents 10,000 of them across the province, some of which, like those involved in outdoor recreation, will do well on Family Day.

But many won't and he says the CFIB  is lobbying the government to provide them with more tax incentives, all to ease the cost on a day that is supposed to be a break.

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