Column: Celebrating small business month

October is Small Business Month – our chance to recognize the many contributions that small businesses make in Williams Lake and across B.C.

October is Small Business Month – our chance to recognize the many contributions that small businesses make in Williams Lake and across B.C.

In our province, 98 per cent of businesses are designated as small businesses and more than one million British Columbians are employed by them. They are the backbone of the Williams Lake economy.

The Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce is a vital partner for local small businesses. The Chamber represents the business community by providing services and benefits, and provides a unified voice for the business community.

The Chamber also acts as an advocate to help member businesses resolve issues or problems, or point them in the right direction if the need arises.

During Small Business Month, the Williams Lake Chamber has a number of events for members and potential members. For example:

• Oct. 22: Community Futures 30th anniversary celebration open house, 266 Oliver St., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Oct. 29: Williams Lake Chamber AGM and election of officers, Signal Point Conference Centre, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Oct. 29: Board social with B.C. Chamber board chairman Brant Hasanen, Laughing Loon restaurant, 5 to 7 p.m.

Another voice for Williams Lake businesses in the downtown core is the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area, or BIA, which acts as a networking and lobby group.

The BIA was created by local merchants to assist in the revitalization and promotion of downtown and its businesses.

Our government is working hard to make B.C. the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada. It’s why we created the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. This month, join me in thanking small businesses in Williams Lake. Small business owners help build a strong economy, and a strong economy ensures that Williams Lake and communities throughout B.C. remain vibrant.

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