WHITEHORSE – Premier Ranj Pillai and the Yukon Liberal Government Caucus wish to congratulate Yukon retailers, the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce, and hardworking Yukon retailers on a strong month of retail sales. Recent Statistics Canada data shows seasonally unadjusted retail sales in Yukon for March 2023 at $88.8 million, an increase of 4.8% or $4.1 million, compared to March 2022. This increase is nearly two times the growth seen nationally. Retail sales in the Yukon increased by 20.1% or $14.9 million, compared to February 2023.
The Government of Yukon recently launched a new Paid Sick Leave Rebate Program to provide workers and self-employed Yukoners with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per 12-month period, at no cost to their employers. This program aims to strengthen Yukon business’ competitiveness in the labour market and help Yukon businesses attract and retain employees. The Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, Canada’s largest non-profit advocacy group championing the needs of small businesses, applauded this program, as well as other measures by the Yukon Liberal Government to assist businesses, including an extension of the the Inflation Relief Rebate and keeping the small business tax rate at 0%.
“Yukon’s retailers and local businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating good paying jobs, opportunities for tourism, and contributing to our territory’s economic growth. On behalf of the Yukon Liberal Government, I want to congratulate Yukon retailers and local chambers of commerce on another strong month of retail sales,” said Premier Pillai, Minister Responsible for Economic Development.
The Yukon Liberal Government recently passed a budget that contained $2 million for the Economic Growth Fund to support Yukon businesses, $1 million for sustainable community tourism projects, $24.4 million for the Dempster Fibre project to create the internet redundancy that businesses rely on, and over $200 million in infrastructure projects to improve the roads, bridges, and runways that retailers need to import and export products. Unfortunately, every single Yukon Party MLA voted against providing these supports to Yukon retailers and other businesses, prioritizing politics over hard working Yukoners and leaving businesses high and dry.
“I’m proud to lead a government that actually supports Yukon retailers. All Yukoners should be proud of the achievements of these leaders in our business community. Don’t forget to shop local this long weekend!” concluded Pillai.