The majority of businesses in Richmond aren't prepared to revert back to the PST, while some are just fine because they never transferred to the HST at all.
A BC Chamber of Commerce survey revealed that 63 per cent of businesses in the province are not prepared for the transition back to the PST on April 1.
Richmond Chamber of Commerce chair Barry Grabowski said that figure is probably close to the mark in this city as well.
What that means, says Grabowski, is there will be a mad rush for information come the spring when everyone tries to clamber back from the government's failed HST.
"We haven't done our own survey, but we're confident the B.C. poll is representative of what's happening in Richmond," said Grabowski, who's a partner with local law firm Cohen Buchan Edwards.
"I think there's a general knowledge that it's coming, but my own anecdotal evidence is that people are not at all ready."
The province has some information out there, added Grabowski, referring to a 22-page document on the B.C. government's website.
What may be of more assistance to local businesses is a PST Transition breakfast seminar on Jan. 17 being hosted by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce with presenter John Nagy, from Reid Hurst Nagy Inc., at Executive Airport Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre.
As for his own firm, Grabowski said the transition is on the agenda for sure.
"I'm not sure we'll know (if we're ready) until we have the definitive information, but it is certainly on my radar," he said.
"That doesn't mean I'm necessarily ready for it." A "sudden urgency" in the spring is what's forecast by many with the transition back to the PST, coupled with a "heightened awareness with people looking anxiously to their accountants," said Grabowski.
"(The seminar) would be one of the many options if people aren't aware of what's needed or what's going to happen."
Some smaller businesses, however, are thankful they didn't spend between $5,000 and $10,000 replacing software to deal with the soon-to-be-dead HST.
Rob Litke, of AALL Tech Transmission on No. 3 Road, is glad he couldn't afford to spend thousands of dollars making the changes last year.
"It wasn't even an option for me to update the software, so I've not got many changes at all to make," said Litke.
The same goes for Frankie Neilsen at The Beat Merchant in Steveston. "I knew from the very beginning that (the HST) wouldn't fly, so I didn't bother making the changes," he said.
For more information on the chamber's PST Transition seminar, call 604-278-2822.
In total 970 businesses across British Columbia took part in the PST business survey. Of those, 62 per cent were not aware of the changes that will be made to the PST and 73 per cent felt they hadn't received adequate information.
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