"Business People Walking" by Vlado
“Business People Walking” by Vlado

Valemount is one of the finalists for the 2013 Open for Business Awards, which could mean a prize of $10,000.

The Province announced the 15 finalists last week for the awards which recognize communities that support small business through local-government measures aligned with the BC Small Business Accord.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of B.C. communities,” says Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business. “It is satisfying to see these communities make small business a priority.”

Small Business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed without paid help, and 98 per cent of B.C. businesses are classified as small businesses.

The new BC Small Business Accord was announced in March, and is intended to ensure the provincial government is doing all that it can to help small business in the province.

The awards are issued by B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable, established in 2005 to be the voice for small business to government.

This year, the roundtable received submissions from 39 communities, with award evaluations based on how they enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord.

The other finalists are: Central Saanich, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Fort St James, Kelowna, Lake Country, City of Langley, Peachland, Pemberton, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Rossland, Squamish and Vernon.

As an incentive to promote an “open-for-business” culture, the Province is providing awards of $10,000 to each winning community to help implement measures that benefit small business. Winners will be announced on Thursday, September 19 at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual conference in Vancouver.

Find more information about the BC Small Business Accord at http://www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/sbaccord/

By: Korie Marshall