Tuesday, February 18, 2014

B.C. celebrates local chambers of commerce

Feb. 17-21, 2014, proclaimed Chamber of Commerce Week in B.C.

The week has been set aside to recognize the province’s more than 125 chambers of commerce for the work they do year-round. This year’s theme, Leadership in Action, celebrates the leadership that chambers demonstrate in their local communities.

Representing more than 36,000 businesses throughout the province, B.C. chambers of commerce and their influential network are a true voice for B.C.’s business community. They help businesses develop and grow, and by giving businesses the support they need, B.C.’s chambers help to advance economic development and job creation in our province.

Representing the vast majority of local chambers, the BC Chamber of Commerce has been a key partner in working with the province to achieve the goal of making British Columbia the most business-friendly jurisdiction in Canada.

In the past year, the Province has worked closely with the BC Chamber of Commerce on one of governments most important initiatives for small business: the BC Small Business Accord. Introduced almost a year ago, the B.C. Small Business Accord recognizes small business as a key driver of job creation and economic growth in B.C.

The BC Chamber of Commerce also has been consistent in delivering the message to government that red tape is one of the biggest burdens business owners face. Recently the chamber led the engagement between Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) and the business community to present a policy to government intended to reduce the red tape for small businesses impacted by a new recycling program which shifts costs from B.C. taxpayers to industry.

In response, British Columbia is leading the country in the fight against red tape. Government has reduced regulatory requirements by over 42 per cent since 2001, and has committed to holding the line right through to 2015.

B.C.’s chamber network has been a key partner in the success of the Mobile Business Licence program, which is now operating in 69 communities around the province.

The program allows mobile businesses such as contractors and caterers, to operate across participating municipalities and regional districts with one additional business licence, as opposed to purchasing a business licence for each community in which they operate. This streamlines and simplifies the licensing process, reduces costs and makes it easier to do business.

B.C.’s chambers play a significant role in building links in their business communities. Their key role is business advocacy: encouraging policies that support businesses and economic development throughout the province.


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