Revelstoke is one of 13 finalists in the B.C.’s 2014 Open for Business Awards, the government announced last week.
“The City of Revelstoke is very excited to have been nominated as a finalist for the Open for Business Award,” said Alan Mason, the city’s director of economic development, in an e-mail. “The city has provided strong support to the Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years, and the current city council has made it a priority to try and improve our interaction with local business. There is still work to be done, but the city is committed to improving our various business and development application processes and making city hall a ‘business friendly’ environment.”
The announcement comes as a bit of a surprise given that many business people often talk about how hard it is to do business in Revelstoke. However, Judy Goodman, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said this is an award the chamber and city have been working towards since 2013.
She said the key points on the application was that the city has a full-time economic development officer who works in partnership with the chamber and city committees to improve the business environment; and the social development and work force initiatives such as Welcoming Communities, Older Workers, Pathways to Success, and the Youth Skills Link programs.
The Open for Business Award was established in 2005 by the BC Small Business Rountable, a group that represents small businesses to government. Applicants are evaluated based on how communities enhance small business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promote the principles of the BC Small Business Accord.
The other finalists are Delta, Grand Forks, Kelowna, Langley, Nelson, Parksville, Port Coquitlam, Salmon Arm, Smothers, Surrey, Vernon and Whistler.
The winners will be announced at the Union of BC Municipalities conference in Whistler on Sept. 24. Each winning community will receive $10,000 towards the implementation of measures that support small businesses.
Goodman said that if Revelstoke wins, the funds will be used to develop guidelines to help business apply for various city permits and licenses; and to improve the city website to increase access to information available to small business online.