September 03, 2013 - 1:15 PM
VICTORIA - The Province has announced the 15 finalists for the 2013 Open for Business Awards, which recognize communities that support small business through local-government measures aligned with the BC Small Business Accord.
The awards are issued by B.C.'s Small Business Roundtable, established in 2005 to be the voice for small business to government. Through its diverse sector membership of small-business owners and association leaders, the roundtable helps government develop strategies to support the growth and success of small business throughout the province.
This year, the roundtable received submissions from 39 communities, with award evaluations based on how they enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord.
The roundtable has named the following communities as finalists: Central Saanich, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Fort St James, Kelowna, Lake Country, Langley, Peachland, Pemberton, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Rossland, Squamish, Valemount and Vernon.
As an incentive to promote an "open-for-business" culture, the Province is providing awards of $10,000 to each winning community to help implement measures that benefit small business. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference in Vancouver.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business -
"Small businesses are the heart and soul of B.C. communities. It is satisfying to see these communities make small business a priority. I congratulate the finalists of the Open for Business Awards and commend them for their work to help make B.C. the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada."
Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, British Columbia Restaurant & Food Services Association -
"We had the most applications to date for this year's Open for Business Awards and there was an incredible diversity of ideas in the applications. It's great to see municipalities recognising the critical importance of small business, and I hope that the best practices highlighted by these awards will help other communities find ways to make sure their small business sector grows and thrives."
* Small Business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed without paid help.
* 98 per cent of B.C. businesses are classified as small businesses.
* Small business provides nearly 56 per cent of private-sector jobs in B.C., and employs more than one million people.
* B.C.'s small-business community contributes 29 per cent of the province's gross domestic product.
* B.C.'s Small Business Roundtable is responsible for identifying key small-business issues and opportunities, providing recommendations to enhance the small business climate in B.C., and promoting small- business interests in the province.
For more information on the Small Business Roundtable, visit: www.smallbusinessroundtable.ca
To learn more about the BC Small Business Accord, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/smallbusinessaccord
To find knowledge-based business products and services, visit: www.smallbusinessbc.ca
To learn more about regulatory reform, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/regulatoryreform
To find out more about starting and growing a business in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/businessandinvesting
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013