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Small business awards deadline at hand

August 2, 2016 11:11 A.M.

Municipalities, regional districts and First Nation governments have a couple of 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.

To apply, 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 B.C. Small Business Roundtable.

The application deadline is Monday, Aug. 15, and award winners will be announced in late September.

Small business is defined as a business with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed individuals without paid help. B.C. is first in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 82.6 businesses per 1,000 people.

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