Business owners met with Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett for a small business roundtable discussion in Williams Lake Nov. 22. Hosted by the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, the meeting attracted about 20 people who shared ideas on how government can make it easier for business to do business.
“We discussed government initiatives and programs that would make communities more business friendly and what kinds of red tape are impeding small business and causing problems,” Barnett said.
The group advocated for more funding for local Thompson Rivers University apprenticeship programs and trade opportunities.
“A lot of time businesses will spend money sending employees away to obtain certification, they’ll come back, and then they’ll leave. Somehow we have to find ways to keep them here. There’s nothing in the labour laws that specifies that.”
Chamber president Jason Ryll described the roundtable as important because it gave local business the opportunity to speak face to face and candidly with government.
“It was very productive. We as the chamber would like to move forward with the ability to educate our younger work force in developing some employable skills, not necessarily only trade skills, but give them some usable skills that would prepare them for the work force.”
The meeting was one of several being hosted in November to gather input for the Small Business Accord initiative coming out of the Minister of State for Small Business Naomi Yamamoto’s office.
“Hopefully direction for government in the next few year will come out of these meetings,” Barnett said.