Five communities win Open for Business Awards

Submitted –

For Immediate Release
Sept. 23, 2015

Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch

Five communities win Open for Business Awards

VANCOUVER – Five communities were presented with Open for Business Awards for their innovative programs and projects that support local businesses at the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention.

The awards, issued by the Small Business Roundtable, honour municipalities and First Nations who follow the spirit of the B.C. Small Business Accord. This year the winners are: Abbotsford, the City of Langley, Sidney, Surrey and the Tsawwassen First Nation.

They will each receive $10,000 to fund a local, small business-friendly project in their community. The roundtable also recognized Mayor Stewart Young of Langford, who received an honourable mention for his leadership in red tape reduction.

The Small Business Roundtable was established in 2005 to be the voice of small business to government. Through its diverse sector membership of small-business owners and association leaders, the roundtable helps government develop strategies to support the growth and success of small business throughout the province.

In 2015, the Open for Business Awards Best Practices Guide was released. The guide highlights best practices identified by the roundtable through the evaluation of past award submissions to show future applicants winning examples of projects that reduce regulatory overlap or create strong partnerships to improve government interactions with small businesses, and generate local economic development for the small-business community.


Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –

“Congratulations to all the winners for understanding and supporting small businesses in your communities and promoting the spirit of the Small Business Accord. Your work helps us move closer toward our goal to make British Columbia the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada.”

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for Translink –

“Through my experience in local government and as a former business owner, I know first-hand that small businesses are at the heart of many communities across B.C. The five municipalities receiving Open for Business Awards have done an exemplary job of providing the business blocks at the local level to help entrepreneurs and small businesses succeed.”

Cybele Negris, Small Business Roundtable member, managing partner, co-founder & president Inc. –

“After a decade of consultation with small business owners the Small Business Roundtable has consistently heard that removal of red tape and creating a small business friendly environment like those upheld by the principles of the Small Business Accord, particularly by local governments, have real significant impact on business success. Congratulations to the winners of the Open for Business Awards who are leading the way for other communities.”

Quick Facts:

* B.C. small businesses employ more than one million British Columbians, and account for 54% of private-sector employment in the province.

* Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C.

* In 2014, approximately 382,600 small businesses were operating in the province, providing almost 32% of all wages paid to B.C. workers – well above the national average of 26%.

* Small business generates 33% of the province’s gross domestic product, tied for first place in the country, and higher than the Canadian average of 30%.

* Small businesses account for 86% of all provincial exporters, impacting every sector of the BC Jobs Plan.

Learn More:

To learn more about the BC Small Business Accord, visit:

To find out more about best practices for applicants to the Open for Business Awards, visit:

To find out more about starting and growing a business in B.C., visit:

To find out more about the BC Small Business Roundtable, visit:

To learn more about regulatory reform, visit:

Media Contact:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch
778 678-1572

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

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