Victoria /Abbotsford – Five communities were presented with Open for Business Awards for their innovative programs and projects that support local businesses at the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention.
The awards, issued by the Small Business Roundtable, honour municipalities and First Nations who follow the spirit of the B.C. Small Business Accord. This year the winners are: Abbotsford, the City of Langley, Sidney, Surrey, and the Tsawwassen First Nation.
They will each receive $10,000 to fund a local, small business-friendly project in their community. The roundtable also recognized Mayor Stewart Young of Langford, who received an honourable mention for his leadership in red tape reduction.
The Small Business Roundtable was established in 2005 to be the voice of 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.
In 2015, the Open for Business Awards Best Practices Guide was released. The guide highlights best practices identified by the roundtable through the evaluation of past award submissions to show future applicants winning examples of projects that reduce regulatory overlap or create strong partnerships to improve government interactions with small businesses, and generate local economic development for the small-business community.
- B.C. small businesses employ more than one million British Columbians, and account for 54% of private-sector employment in the province.
- Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C.
- In 2014, approximately 382,600 small businesses were operating in the province, providing almost 32% of all wages paid to B.C. workers – well above the national average of 26%.
- Small business generates 33% of the province’s gross domestic product, tied for first place in the country, and higher than the Canadian average of 30%.
- Small businesses account for 86% of all provincial exporters, impacting every sector of the BC Jobs Plan.
To learn more about the BC Small Business Accord, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/smallbusinessaccord