Valley First

B.C. Small Business Accord: “Encouraging first steps”

B.C. Small Business Accord at one year: “Encouraging first steps” says Valley First

Valley First is applauding the collaborative work of small business leaders and the provincial government on the first anniversary of the B.C. Small Business Accord.

Roger Houle, head of commercial banking at Valley First, says the impact of the Accord, which marked its first anniversary on March 19, is beginning to be felt in communities across the Southern Interior.

“As an organization that advises, supports and finances small businesses, it’s been encouraging to see how the Accord has put the importance of small businesses in the spotlight,” says Houle. “Small businesses and the provincial government have said ‘let’s work together to find ways we can strengthen our local economies, provide meaningful employment and enhance the well being of our communities’. This is a big step in the right direction.”

Houle points to success locally with the City of Penticton and City of Kelowna that both won the B.C. Open for Business Award in 2013—an incentive program that recognizes local governments whose local policies, projects and programs demonstrate support for small business.

“You can see the spirit of the Okanagan in this Accord,” says Houle. “It’s one that says we’re all in this together, let’s find solutions, let’s make our future a better one together. As a locally-focused business committed to building strong communities, these ideals really make sense to Valley First.”

While there have been a number of positive steps to date, Houle believes that creating an environment where small businesses can lead and thrive is one that must be always front of mind.

“Business leaders know real success only comes when we do what we say we’re going to do,” says Houle. “It’s our time to lead; to really show we are serious about making B.C. the best place on earth for small business to thrive and grow.”

In a statement released yesterday, John Winter president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce said it was great to see the Small Business Accord bearing fruit for B.C.’s small businesses.

“With tangible actions such as the launch of MentorshipBC, the development of a succession training program, and the creation of the Open for Business Awards, this accord is driving wins for B.C.’s small business community. We look forward to many more such successes under this accord.”


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