Municipalities, regional districts and First Nation governments throughout B.C. have two weeks left to apply for the B.C. Small Business Roundtable’s 2016 Open for Business Awards.
This year’s awards recognize communities that are actively fostering and growing small businesses in their communities, to assess how communities are excelling at promoting:
- Business retention and expansion strategies
- Improving the regulatory environment
- Communicating with and celebrating the small business sector
- Supporting entrepreneurship and workforce development
- Fostering competitiveness by reducing the costs for small business
Past winners of the Open for Business Awards have showcased innovative programs to shine a light on how they are helping small business. Last year’s award winners included the Tsawwassen First Nation who engaged with their community by funding Aboriginal entrepreneurship to grow local business; the Town of Sidney used their local summer street market to strengthen tourism and support local artisans, producers and agrifoods.
Local governments of all sizes are encouraged to submit applications, as communities will be judged in relation to other communities in their region. This is also the first year that regional districts have been given the opportunity to apply for the award.
Applying is easy, just fill out the form found on the roundtable website, along with three letters of reference and any materials that support the application, and send it in.
Communities are encouraged to take a look through the Open for Business Awards: Best Practices Guide for tips on how past winners have crafted a compelling application. You can also get help with the application process by contacting the BC Small Business Roundtable.
The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 15 and award winners will be announced in late September 2016.
- Small business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed individuals without paid help.
- There were approximately 382,600 small businesses operating in B.C. in 2014; 309,300 have fewer than five employees.
- B.C. is first in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 82.6 businesses per 1,000 people.
- Small business provides 54% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the second-highest rate in the country.
- Small business accounts for 33% of British Columbia’s GDP, tied for first place in the country and higher than the Canadian average. 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.
- Application submissions, Open for Business Awards application information and previous winners
- Video announcing that the awards are open for applications
- Open for Business Awards Best Practices Guide
- B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable