New business accord ‘step in right direction’

The president of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce feels the new B.C. Small Business Accord is a step in the right direction.

The president of the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce feels the new B.C. Small Business Accord is a step in the right direction.

In announcing it, the provincial government said the accord is intended to meet ongoing needs of small businesses and to make B.C. the most business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada.

After consulting with businesses, Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto and BC Chamber of Commerce president/CEO John Winter unveiled the document Tuesday in Vancouver. More than 35,000 individuals provided feedback.

Chamber of Commerce members throughout the province say the accord is huge step forward for small businesses.

“The role of the Chamber in every community is to ensure that conducting business is a positive experience and that local businesses are supported by its local government as well as the Province,” Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Dianne Hawkins said. “I see this as a positive step in the right direction.”

The accord contains various principles concerning critical business issues, including access to labour, streamlined regulation and opportunities through government procurement.

The Province has taken initial steps to address action items, including:

• Providing incentive for local governments by establishing a $10,000 award for up to 20 municipalities that can best demonstrate they are operating within the spirit of the accord principles;

• Appointing a senior official to consult with business owners to identify barriers to accessing government procurement opportunities, develop recommendations to remove those barriers and report back to government within six months;

• Developing a mobile trainers program where trainers travel to communities to provide skills training and certification using existing equipment in colleges and industry during times when that equipment is idle.

The Province said it will continue to engage small business owners and operators on Twitter through #BCBizChat or #SmallBizBC, and through the BC Small Business Roundtable.

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