SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

August 24, 2012 11:00 ET

Sage Survey Finds That One Year After the B.C. HST Referendum, One Quarter of Small Business Owners Who Voted to Extinguish the HST Would Change Their Vote

Increased Paperwork Required to Remain Compliant Is the Main Concern About Reverting Back to the PST-GST Tax System

RICHMOND, BC--(Marketwire - Aug 24, 2012) -  Sage North America, a leading provider of business management software and services to more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, released today the findings of its Small Business Impressions: One Year After the B.C. HST Referendum study examining small business owners' stance on and concerns with moving back to the PST-GST tax system in 2013. The survey found that a year after the referendum, 98.6 per cent of small business owners in B.C. who voted to keep the HST tax system would keep their vote as such. However, 25 per cent of small business owners in B.C. who voted "yes" to extinguish the HST reported that if the referendum was to take place today, they would change their vote to keep the HST. 

Concerns about reverting back to the PST-GST system for those B.C. small business owners who would change their vote to keep the HST centered on the increased paperwork required to remain compliant as their main concern (70.4%), followed by the negative impact to the B.C. economy (62%) and the personal time investment required to make the switch for their business (56.3%). Decreased job creation ranked at the bottom of the list with only 5.6 per cent of small business owners indicating that as a concern. 

The survey also looked at how small business owners believe the reimplementation of the PST-GST system will impact the outlook of their business. When asked what kind of impact they think their business will experience due to the switch back to PST-GST next year, 58 per cent of respondents believe they will experience a negative impact, while 18 per cent believe there will be a positive impact. Overall, 55 per cent of small business owners believe they will be a "loser" after the switch in 2013 compared to the 17 per cent who believe they will be a "winner."

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • Not surprisingly, those small business owners who believe that their business will experience a negative impact due to the switch back to PST-GST also believe they will be a "loser" (76% of those who stated somewhat negative; 94% of those who stated very negative).
  • 76.5% of respondents who would keep their vote as yes to extinguish the HST if the referendum was held today believe their business will be a "winner" after the switch back to PST-GST.
  • Respondents in the restaurant and food services industry said that the implementation of HST had a negative impact on their business (somewhat negative: 18%; very negative: 46%).

Additional results of the survey are available by request.

The survey was conducted with 1,034 small business owners, presidents, CEOs, partners or general managers between July 25-August 7, 2012 and its results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

About Sage North America
Sage is a leading global supplier of business management software and services for small and midsized businesses. The Sage Group plc, formed in 1981, was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and now employs more than 12,600 people and supports more than 6 million customers worldwide. For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at: NA.Sage.com. Follow on Facebook, Facebook.com/SageNorthAmerica, and Twitter, Twitter.com/SageNAmerica.

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