Column by Coralee Oakes
MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

This week, from October 20 to 26, is National Small Business Week across Canada, coinciding with Small Business Month here in B.C. during the month of October.

Small businesses make a very important contribution to our communities, from creating jobs to donating to local causes, and I can’t think of a better time to celebrate everything they do for us.

Before becoming a city councilor and MLA, I served as the executive director of the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce, as president of the British Columbia Chamber Executives, and as director of the BC Chamber of Commerce. I saw first-hand all the hard work and passion of entrepreneurs and small business owners in our communities, who often pull long hours to make their businesses succeed.

Today, small businesses make up 98 per cent of all the businesses in our province. They employ more than a million British Columbians, provide a wide range of services, and make an enormous contribution to our provincial economy.

Our government is helping small businesses grow and succeed by lowering the small business corporate income tax, increasing the number of government contracts that go to small businesses, and expanding the mobile business license program, a program I am involved with and strongly support, which allows mobile businesses like contractors and caterers to work across participating local governments.

Here in Williams Lake, the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce represents local businesses by providing services, leadership, and benefits for its members, and by providing a voice for the business community. I always enjoy speaking with local business leaders, and I am looking forward to meeting with the Williams Lake Chamber at the end of this month.

This week, let’s celebrate our entrepreneurs – visit a small business and buy local today!