Work is underway on four action items as part of the BC Small Business Accord, which was announced less than one month ago and aims to make B.C. the most business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada.
On Feb. 5, 2013, a BC Small Business forum composed of 15 business owners/operators from various regions and sectors around the province, used feedback from the over 35,000 responses gathered in consultation with small business stakeholders throughout the province to develop the accord principles for proposal to government. The forum participants also identified six action items, and the government has already taken steps on the following four:
- Encourage provincial/municipal collaboration in the adoption of the BC Small Business Accord principles.
- Develop an online hub for small business mentorship resource information.
- Clarify government's procurement process.
- Develop a Small Business Awareness initiative.
To encourage municipalities to adopt the BC Small Business Accord principles, the BC Small Business Roundtable is making changes to the BC Most Small Business Friendly Community Award. It has been renamed as the 2013 Open for Business Award, and the Province is providing awards of $10,000 each for up to 20 communities that best demonstrate their intent to implement small, business-friendly initiatives that are within the spirit of the BC Small Business Accord principles.
Nominations for the award are due by June 21, 2013. Applications and information is available on the BC Small Business Roundtable website and can be submitted by mail, email or fax. The winners will be announced during the Union of B.C. Municipalities Annual Convention in September 2013.
The B.C. government is also launching a Small Business Mentoring initiative, which will:
- Create a central registry of existing business mentoring activities and programs throughout the province.
- Provide a straight-forward way for entrepreneurs to find and access programs that best meet their mentoring needs.
The B.C. government buys over $12 billion worth of goods and services every year through various contracts, and small businesses need to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. In an effort to clarify the process for small business owners, a guide booklet has been created and information will be available through stakeholder outreach, social media and on the government website.
As part of fulfilling the Small Business Awareness Strategy action item, Venture Kamloops and chambers of commerce throughout the province are hosting events today to celebrate the social and economic contributions small businesses make to their communities. These events will bring awareness to the tools and resources that are available to them and highlight municipal/provincial collaboration in support of small business and encourage local governments to work within the spirit of the BC Small Business Accord principles. A video will be released that highlights the importance of small business in B.C. and draw attention to the resources that are available for small business owners.
The B.C. government continues to work on the remaining two action items - the creation of a mobile community skills training program and further support for skills training that addresses the needs of small business employers.
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Small Business -
"Completing the BC Small Business Accord action items is a key priority for our government. Every day, small business owners are helping to build a stronger British Columbia by creating jobs for B.C. families. Let's acknowledge and celebrate the significant contribution small business owners make in our communities."
John Winter, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce -
"It's great to see that the provincial government is delivering on the BC Small Business Accord action items. Chambers of commerce across the province take the accord principles and action items very seriously, and the onus is now on us to ensure government remains accountable to upholding the principles and the action items. As part of that we will also ensure our members are aware of the changes being made and the work that is being done on their behalf."
- Small business is a key economic driver in B.C. with 98 per cent of all businesses being small businesses.
- The small business sector provides nearly 56 per cent of all private sector jobs, employs over one million people and generates 29 per cent of the provincial GDP.
- B.C. is the first government in Canada to enshrine in law the requirement to publish annual reports about regulatory reform and has reduced regulatory requirements by over 42 per cent since 2001.
- B.C. was the only province to receive an "A" from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in 2013 for cutting red tape.
To learn more about the BC Small Business Accord, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/smallbusinessaccord
To find out more about starting and growing a business in B.C., visit: www.gov.bc.ca/businessandinvesting
To find out more about the BC Small Business Roundtable, visit: www.smallbusinessroundtable.ca
To learn more about regulatory reform, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/regulatoryreform
To find out more about the BC Chamber of Commerce, visit: www.bcchamber.org
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour