The McBride and District Chamber of Commerce is taking the time to celebrate the role of those small businesses in McBride’s economy, but some local businesses say more change is needed.

The Chamber is celebrating the “vital role” small businesses play in the local economy, as October is Small Business Month, the Chamber says via press release.

“Small businesses represent the furnace powering our local economy in the Robson Valley, and they play a critical role in creating jobs here at home,” says Brenda Molendyk, Chair of the McBride & District Chamber of Commerce.

“This is a great opportunity for our community to celebrate these hard-working businesses that bring great ideas and entrepreneurial spirit to our community,” she says.

In a phone survey completed by The Goat, most businesses agree a main priority for McBride should be job creation, and new businesses that create jobs need to know McBride has opportunity for investment, business owners say.

As a member of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, the McBride and District Chamber of Commerce says it advocates on behalf of small business in a variety of ways including:

Advocating for government to strengthen programs and review policy affecting small business

Advocating for a government creation of a liaison between government and businesses, dedicated to improving the access to proper business succession practices,

Advocating for government to remain committed to efforts related to increasing minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to “ensure certainty and predictability for small business,”

More conversation regarding value-added tax (VAT), and “measures to mitigate damaging effects” of PST

The expansion of Mobile Business License programs across the province, with the goal of eventually establishing a single, province wide licensing program for all businesses.

The McBride and District Chamber of Commerce, in partner with Robson Valley Tourism, say both organizations are dedicated advocates for McBride’s small business at the local level.

And while most businesses surveyed by The Goat agreed that the Chamber is doing its job with regards to advocating, some businesses feel advocating for legislation and policy change shouldn’t be the number one concern.

With a new EDO at the Village office, some business owners made note of completing the former EDO’s vision, which was a campaign to show off McBride’s appeal.

Others believe the young, bright and highly touted EDO should be left to figure it out on his own, and a fresh perspective and approach is needed in reference to McBride’s business sector.

The work the Chamber does backs up the talk, or at least the Chamber says it does.

The chamber says it’s worked on a local survey regarding seniors’ housing, added highway signs to promote business in the Village, supported the Robson Valley Mountain Bike Trail system, supported local organization grant applications and the Shop Local Christmas campaign.