Celebrating small business

October is Small Business Month in British Columbia.

October is Small Business Month in British Columbia. Small businesses make up 98 per cent of all the businesses in our province, and are the most important drivers of our provincial economy.

They account for more than half of all private sector employment in British Columbia ­— that’s over one million jobs! They employ part-time students and support careers that provide for families.

Communities like ours depend on small businesses. Often family-owned and operated, they provide us with the services we need, with a local touch. Small business owners work incredibly hard – whether in setting up their business, getting it off the ground, or keeping it running – it takes a lot of courage and dedication to do what they do.

They work long hours and put everything they have into making their businesses successful.

Every day, I am amazed by their passion and by how much they bring to our community, whether by creating jobs, by providing much-needed services, or by donating to local causes.

In tough economic times around the world, British Columbia stands out as an economic powerhouse, and there is no doubt in my mind that small businesses have played a key role in this.

However, it’s not enough just to cheer them on – we also need to help them.

Nothing gets in the way of growing a small business like too much regulation, and that’s why our government has been cutting the red tape to help small businesses as much as we can.

We’ve reduced the paperwork and, through our BC Jobs Plan, we’re provided an extra $3 million to the Small Business Venture Capital Program tax credit to lend a helping hand.

I hope you’ll join me this month in giving thanks to our local small businesses for everything they do for Williams Lake.

Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.