How the BC Government is Supporting Small Business
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How the BC Government is Supporting Small Business

It’s no secret that small business is big business in British Columbia –accounting for 98 per cent of businesses in BC, and 55 per cent of private sector jobs. This is why support for small business continues to be an important issue to the provincial government.

Doing Business with the Government

Just over a year ago, the BC Provincial Government released the report Doing Business with the Government which identified ways to make it easier to sell goods and services to the BC government.

Following the release of the report, the government introduced the new Short-Form Request for Proposal (SRFP) to respond to the concerns raised by the small business community. This two page RFP document means that even those with limited time and resources will have access to bid on government procurement opportunities.

Creating Awareness of Opportunities

Creating awareness of opportunities to sell to government in the small business community was another major aspect of the report. As a result, the government engaged in a project with Small Business BC to create an outreach and education initiative, developing an introduction to doing business with government seminar that was delivered in Vancouver and in 13 regions across BC to a total audience of more than 850 people.

How to Hear About Opportunities in Advance

For those wanting to stay ahead of the pack, you can now hear about upcoming opportunities ahead of them being posted on BC Bid through the Contract Opportunities Advance Notice document.

This list includes known supply arrangements and their expiry dates, which extends over a rolling three-year window, and is circulated quarterly for updates. This means you can plan your bid in advance of the opportunities being posted.

Future Projects to Make it Even Easier

Committed to continually improving the process, the government is currently engaged in Procurement Transformation, a series of projects that will assess how government acquires goods and services from the marketplace. Its aim: to make it easier for both the public sector and vendors to work together through the contracting process. Projects include investigating a new solution for BC Bid (the current website utilized by government to post contract opportunities).

No matter what type of business you own or how long you’ve been in business there is a good chance that there are procurement opportunities with government available to your business. So check out the resources available to you to find out how you can become a part of the process.

About Nicola Gardner

Nicola Gardner is the Outreach Coordinator at Small Business BC.  With over two years’ experience working on the front-line at a Business Advisor at Small Business BC, she now uses her experience with local entrepreneurs to help raise awareness of potential business opportunities with the Government of BC.