Central Saanich receives Open for Business Award

Award includes a $10,000 grant from the provincial government

Central Saanich was named as one of seven B.C. communities honoured this year with the B.C. Small Business Roundtable’s Open for Business Awards.

The award, including a $10,000 grant, was presented as part of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Convention in Vancouver last week.

“We are really excited. At this point we have a few ideas but we haven’t decided just yet how we’re going to use the money to best promote and support the small business community,” said Central Saanich Councillor Carl Jensen, adding that a decision by stafff and council will be made in coming weeks on how the money will be put to use.

The Open for Business Awards recognize local policies, projects and programs that support small business.

This year’s other recipients were Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Fort St. James, Kelowna, City of Langley and Penticton.

This year, the B.C. Small Business Roundtable received submissions from a record 39 communities and short-listed 15 finalists. Award evaluations were based on local measures that make it easier to do business in that community, including enhancing small business competitiveness, recognizing the contributions of small businesses to the community and promoting the principles of the B.C. Small Business Accord.

The evaluation criteria reflected the Accord by recognizing that when small businesses are celebrated and supported by their communities, they are more likely to be competitive and innovative.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of the community and the Open for Business Award winners are helping it beat a little stronger in their municipalities,” said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business.

“Communities across our province can look to the winners for best practices and help make B.C. the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada.”

— With files from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training