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New BC Small Business Awards Guide Features Winning Tips

Victoria/Abbotsford/Chilliwack – Communities throughout British Columbia are encouraged to take a look at the Open for Business Awards Best Practices Guide for winning tips from former award winners and finalists before submitting their Open for Business Awards applications, Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business announced today.

The Open for Business Awards provide $10,000 to municipalities and First Nations who best demonstrate to the BC Small Business Roundtable they operate within the spirit of the B.C. Small Business Accord. The B.C. Small Business Accord was established to help foster a progressive business culture where government measures support current and future generations of small business owners around the province.

The award winners will be judged according to seven themes listed in the guide, including:

  1. Understanding the local needs of small business.
  2. Making communities more competitive.
  3. Attracting and retaining business.
  4. Making it easier to attract and develop talent.
  5. Recognizing the local contributions of small business.
  6. Simplifying regulatory processes.
  7. Accessing procurement opportunities.

The evaluation criteria used reflects the accord by recognizing that when small businesses are celebrated and supported by their municipality or First Nation, they are more likely to be competitive and innovative in their community.

Interested municipalities and First Nations can find more information at:
Other community organizations, such as chambers of commerce, are encouraged to work with their municipalities to submit applications.

Quick Facts:

  • Small business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed without paid help.
  • 98% of B.C. businesses are classified as small businesses.
  • Small business provides nearly 55% of private-sector jobs, employing over one million people in B.C.
  • In 2013, approximately 382,200 small businesses were operating in the province.
  • B.C.’s small business community contributes 31% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product, higher than the Canadian average of 29%.
  • 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.
  • Open for Business Awards winners will be announced at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Annual Convention in September 2015.
  • Past award winners Include Central Saanich, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Grand Forks, Fort St. James, Kelowna, City of Langley, Parksville, Port Coquitlam, Salmon Arm, Smithers, Penticton, Surrey and Vernon.

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