Founder and President of Travel Best Bets, Claire Newell, Talks Small Business BC Awards

As the Founder and President of Travel Best Bets, author, co-host of Operation: Vacation and leading travel expert with regular televised appearances across Canada and the US, among other commitments, Claire Newell’s schedule is constantly on the move.

A stranger could easily assume that few things could stop her in her tracks, and they’d probably be right. But Claire makes sure she sets aside time for the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony. She’s dedicated three years to celebrating small business in BC as the host of the ceremony, leading entrepreneur and champion of local businesses.

We’ve asked Claire a few questions on why the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony is so special, the opportunities it offers for entrepreneurs and small business owners and for her advice to anyone starting or growing their business here.

Small Business BC Awards

Despite your astonishingly packed schedule, you’ve taken the time to host the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony three years in a row. What’s so special about the Awards?

The awards are a great annual celebration of the contributions BC small business owners are making in their local communities and to the global economy.  However, for me it’s become more than that.  Every year I am inspired by the creativity, innovative ideas and fresh perspectives that each of the nominees have within their businesses. I walk away from the annual event with a fire in my belly to improve or try new things within my own business.

Why is attending such a great opportunity for entrepreneurs, business owners and industry leaders?

I can tell you from experience that it’s a fun night, no longer than two hours (because we all know time is money!) and a great networking event. You will also leave the event inspired to make your business better by hearing the stories of what all of the nominees are doing.

You’re one of the most prominent entrepreneurs in BC, a place that’s booming with small businesses. Why do you think BC is such a hotspot for start-ups and self-starters?

First and foremost BC is a great place to live. It also has a supportive government with some of the lowest small business tax rates in the country. There are lots of resources available to help new businesses with the building blocks they need to succeed. There is an abundance of strong technical and design talent for businesses to draw on. And BC is in a good spot geographically for companies doing business with the US, Asia and Europe.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and small business owners in BC?

Be sure to following your heart, trust your gut, take risks and work really hard. Never forget that your reputation is important, so do what you say you are going to do, be respectful, be honest and be fair. Use your brain to ensure you grow carefully. Look at yourself and figure out your strengths and your weaknesses and then hire accordingly to create the best team for your business.

Would you like to add anything else? 

Starting my own business 23 years ago was one of the hardest things I have every done, but without a doubt it was one of the best decisions of my life.  I encourage anyone with a good idea, a strong business plan and a passion to start their own business to take advantage of the resources available to them through Small Business BC, and then go for it!

Learn More

Join Claire and other leading entrepreneurs, industry influencers and likeminded business owners to celebrate small business at the Small Business BC Awards Ceremony this February 25, 2016 at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. Space is limited, so reserve your ticket today.