Column: Small business is heart and soul

There is no denying the importance of small business to B.C.’s economy.

There is no denying the importance of small business to B.C.’s economy.

Small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities. They support families and keep local economies strong. The owners include parents, coaches and volunteers in Williams Lake who make a difference every day.

In Williams Lake, three organizations are specifically geared to assist small businesses — the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association (BIA) and Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin.

All are vitally important resources for the business community. The Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in Williams Lake. When a business joins the Chamber, they learn about current government issues that affect business, and can add their voice to the Chamber’s efforts to address them.

It is also important for entrepreneurs to know that the Chamber can support them on issues that concern their business.

Every year, the Williams Lake Chamber presents its Business Excellence Awards, which recognize the accomplishments and successes of local businesses. For more information go to www.williamslakechamber.com.

The Williams Lake BIA is a key resource for downtown businesses. It was created by local merchants with the aim of revitalizing and promoting the downtown core. It is also a lobby group and a networking organization.

A partnership between the BIA and the City of Williams Lake led to the development of the Community Corner Building and the restoration of Court House Square, to name two examples of how collaboration has resulted in a stronger community. The BIA’s website is at www.wlcbia.com.

Community Futures Cariboo Chilcotin offers support and services to rural small- and medium-sized business owners. For details go to www.cfdccariboo.com.

Small business owners help build strong local economies, and a strong B.C. economy ensures that Williams Lake and communities throughout our province remain vibrant.

Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and is the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and the Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

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