B.C.’s Liberal Government wants to increase the amount of business it does with small business by 20 per cent, said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business.
“We’ve appointed a senior official within government as an assistant deputy minister, George Farkas, who will lead consultations with small businesses and with government ministries,” Yamamoto said.
The consultations are aimed at increasing the amount of business small businesses can sell to government, she added.
Farkas began his consultations on Vancouver Island on Thursday, will do three more in October, and in November has more sessions planned. The closest one to Williams Lake was in Prince George on Oct. 21.
“He will be making sure he reaches all areas of the province in that consultation,” Yamamoto said.
Government is also examining how it can improve awareness of resources available for small businesses.
As a former small business owner, Yamamoto said small business people often don’t know what they don’t know.
“We want to make sure we use the networks through the chambers of commerce and Small Business B.C. to let business owners know about what we have available for them.”
Another initiative is the mobile business license.
“I don’t know if this applicable to your area, but we just celebrated a successful agreement in the Lower Mainland,” she said. “If you are a small business owner and you have a business that’s mobile you would normally have to buy a business license to operate in every community you do business in.”
For a small premium plus one basic business license, those mobile businesses operating in places like Richmond and Surrey don’t have to buy a business license from every municipality.
“We have 63 communities in B.C. that are working together to offer that,” Yamamoto said.