Local governments that go out of their way to champion the growth of small businesses are being celebrated with a new, annual provincewide award.
"B.C.'s Most Small Business Friendly Community" award was handed out by Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger at a ceremony during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities week-long convention.
Six winning communities from across the province were selected based on their demonstration of the following criteria:
- Reducing regulatory barriers.
- Enhancing competitiveness.
- Recognizing small business's contribution to their community.
- Climate action initiatives that support small business.
This year's award recipients are: Surrey, Kamloops, Ladysmith, Prince Rupert, Quesnel and Rossland.
The award is issued by B.C.'s Small Business Roundtable, which was formed in 2005 with a mandate to advise on issues, strategies and potential actions to support B.C. small businesses. Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell and Krueger are both co-chairs. Board members are leaders in the small business community who represent a wide range of business sectors and regions throughout the province.
The small business sector is a key economic driver in B.C., employing more than one million people, providing nearly 57 per cent of all private-sector jobs and accounting for 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C.
Linda Larson, Small Business Roundtable vice-chair -
"It's great to see the extraordinary efforts that communities are making to help businesses succeed. I'm excited to see this award come to fruition and proud as a member of the roundtable to recognize the work of all the nominees.
- The Small Business Roundtable is committed to making British Columbia the most small business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada by cutting red tape and making it easier and less expensive to do business in the province.
- B.C. has reduced regulatory requirements to 206,345 today, down from 360,000 in 2001, a 42 per cent reduction.
- BizPaL: This online service provides one-stop access to permit and licence information for all levels of government. The program reduces document research time and helps entrepreneurs start a business faster. A process that once took seven hours has been reduced to 20 to 30 minutes.
- Environmental Protection Office: Reduced pesticide certification time from 42 to 14 days.
- Liquor licensing: Streamlined by reducing the number of licence classes from 19 to two.
- Mobile Business Licence: The Province continues to promote and support the adoption of a mobile business licence by local governments. By purchasing one licence rather than multiple non-resident permits, a mobile business licence allows a business to operate in any participating municipality.
For more information on the Small Business Roundtable, visit:
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation