Entrepreneurs throughout British Columbia are benefitting from local, provincial and federal government partnerships aimed at expanding two programs that cut red tape, create jobs and grow the economy.
BizPaL is an online one-stop shop that helps small business owners apply for business permits and licences from multiple levels of government. Eleven new communities signed on to BizPaL in 2016: Capital Regional District, Chase, Clinton, New Denver, Oak Bay, Pouce Coupe, Salmo, Silverton, Slocan, Tsawwassen First Nation and Wells. These new communities bring the total number of communities using BizPaL in B.C. to 129.
BizPaL is a joint program between the federal government, the Province of B.C. and participating First Nation and local governments. Prior to BizPaL, business owners had to apply in person at different government offices during regular business hours.
The Province is also partnering with municipalities and business owners to promote the Mobile Business Licence program, which cuts red tape by allowing businesses to register for a single business license that can be used in multiple communities. This tool makes it simpler and cheaper to do business in B.C., and saves business owners from purchasing a separate business licence in each community.
This past year, the program expanded to include the first Aboriginal community, shíshálh Nation on the Sunshine Coast, adding to the growing list of 73 communities taking advantage of Mobile Business Licences. Mobile Business Licence programs were also made permanent for Metro West (Burnaby, Delta,New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey and Vancouver) and Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Delta, Hope, Kent, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Pitt Meadows and Surrey) and both Kent and Delta are new additions to the Fraser Valley agreement in 2016.
The Province is committed to working with local governments and First Nations to grow the BizPaL and Mobile Business Licence programs so entrepreneurs throughout British Columbia can spend less time interacting with government and more time growing their businesses. Interested municipalities or communities can contact the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction to find out more information about how to get involved with Mobile Business License or BizPaL.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“We know that piles of paper work and complicated regulations can be a huge burden on small businesses. That’s why we’re continuing to partner with local governments to increase access to the Mobile Business License program and BizPaL, both of which cut red tape by making it easier for small businesses to expand their customer base and navigate regulations at all three levels of government.”
Val Litwin, CEO BC Chamber –
“The provincial government, led by Oakes and her team, are driving the effort to better equip entrepreneurs from all regions of the province with the tools they need to leverage their most precious resource: time. The Mobile Business License and BizPal are two world-class initiatives that are helping small businesses grow and deliver more value to their customers, and I’m proud of our local chambers, particularly the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, who are actively championing these programs in their communities.”
Brian Dougherty, general manager, Horizon Landscape Contractors –
“Horizon Landscape Contractors manages over 50 projects annually throughout the province of B.C. with the majority within the Lower Mainland. Having the ability to get one mobile business license for multiple municipalities has helped streamline our administrations while preventing costly shut downs of our sites when our team unknowingly missed activating a business license within that municipality. We are very grateful of the efforts and contributions of the provincial government, as well as the chambers of commerce across the province, for motivating and helping institute effective and efficient policies with local governments, like the mobile business licence.”
- There are 129 communities using BizPaL in British Columbia.
- 73 communities use Mobile Business Licences in B.C. with 11 agreements in place.
- Initiatives like BizPal and the Mobile Business License Program cut red tape by allowing businesses to operate in multiple communities or have access to permits and licences in one place.
- 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 British Columbia.
- B.C.’s small business community contributes 35% of the province’s Gross Domestic Product.
- British Columbia ranks first in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 83.0 businesses per 1,000 people (avG is 70.3).