Angie Mindus photo                                Mark Doratti is the executive director of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce.

Angie Mindus photo Mark Doratti is the executive director of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce.

Celebrating Small Business Week: Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce

Small businesses are the backbone of our community

Mark DORATTI

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

When you think about our city and region you might think of many different positives that we have to offer people visiting, stopping and adventuring.

What are some of the positive things that we have to offer, what makes us unique?

Small businesses provide character and individuality to any community. It is neighbours helping neighbours ― friends helping friends.

The small town, friendly, family businesses that make us different than other communities. Making us truly unique. They are however, more than that benefitting their communities in so many ways.

Read More: Tickets on sale now for the Chamber’s 24th Annual Business Excellence Awards Oct. 26

Small businesses are the backbone of our community. More specifically, statistics show that if you spend $100 at a local business, as much as $68 stays within our local economy.

Their mere existence generates jobs which in turn continues the flow of money throughout the community through their employees. Often one small business needs the help of other small business to succeed. In this way each feeds off the other, creating the glue for a strong business community.

With a strong business community, comes a strong community when it generates involvement through volunteerism and donations, growth of Not-for-Profit agencies, a large cross section of different people all working together.

Other statistics show that 52 per cent of small business owners donate to charity, and of those that donate, 90 per cent donate to local causes.

The Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce recognizes the value of small business all year round, however, in October endeavor to celebrate the impact they have on Williams Lake through their successes. 2019 is no different.

We foster a climate that encourages small businesses and it is not just about membership and donations. Sometimes, quality time and passing along knowledge can build up communities just as much. That encouragement and partnerships built, help to fuel a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Here is a sample of how we celebrate small business during the month of October, with other efforts spread throughout the year. It is a huge part of what the Chamber of Commerce Network does.

Celebration and recognition

• 24th Annual Business Excellence Awards – open to existing small businesses as well as home-based business.

Community driven:

• Federal Election:

• All-candidates forum and video interviews

• All-candidates forum meet and greet event

Organization driven:

• Board of directors with a cross section of retail, banking, industry, construction, sales and professional services are included within our board

• AGM and election of officers on October 31st.

• Monthly e-newsletter to encourage and help small business develop released October 1st.

Advocacy:

• Moving beyond the PST

• Pushing back on the Employer Health Tax

Local businesses pay local taxes, bolstering the city revenue available for improvements to roads, schools, services and green spaces. When shoppers spend their money locally, the taxes they pay benefit their community and better their own lives. Shopping online, for example, may not keep tax revenue local.

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Small business owners also spend their money locally much of the time. The taxes that they pay for raw materials to create their products help bolster the city’s economic health. As a small business owner, you can do your part by supporting fellow small business owners.

To our community of small businesses, congratulations on your success and thank you for being the glue that holds Williams Lake and District together. Your contributions are immeasurable.

Related: Williams Lake’s Still North Design Co. strikes a chord with Canadian consumers

In Williams Lake as of Oct. 17, 2019 there are 305 small businesses in the Downtown Business Association and 154 home-based businesses.

Mark Doratti is the executive director of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce


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