Entrepreneurs across Northern BC are getting additional help just in time for the holidays according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

CFIB logo | Handout photo

The development comes as the small business confidence index rose to a rating of 63 in November, an increase of two points from October.

Hiring intentions are the best they have been in a while in our province according to analyst Muriel Protzer.

“The number of businesses expanding their full-time employment levels rose to 21% last month and we saw it increase to 23% in November so that is roughly one in every five businesses.”

This jump could lead to another surge heading into the New Year, which could propel the province to a higher mark among its counterparts later on.

“Usually, there is an increase coming up in January so our hopes are that we’ll see it trend up, however, there are a lot of new costs that are associated that would be introduced to small businesses, we’re definitely keeping a close eye on this right now.”

One of those costs is dreaded Employer’s Health Tax slated to take effect on January 1st – coming in with little fanfare from regional entrepreneurs.

“We’ve heard from members that it’s the most despised tax that is coming up in the New Year and will be impacting 60,000 businesses in British Columbia and for some of them it will be a brand new tax for them.”

The biggest hurdle that small business owners faced in the north most recently was the on-going postal strike and while it may have been beneficial to some, it put others in a tough spot.

“That in ways has benefited some businesses but what we have been hearing from our members overall is that the Canada Post strike has had a detrimental effect to their business and what difficult time than during the Christmas season.”

BC ranks third behind PEI and New Brunswick as the most optimistic in Canada.