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

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

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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

Taskeo Mines Ltd.’s Gibraltar Mine has released its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report titled Sustainability: Our Low Carbon Future. (Photo submitted)
Gibraltar Mine gets top marks for limiting greenhouse gas emissions

Taseko Mines Limited has published its annual report on its sustainability performance for 2020

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read