Is Your Community Open for Business? Nominate it!

In British Columbia, 98 per cent of all businesses are small businesses. The Open for Business Awards champion communities that have fostered a business-friendly culture, allowing these small business to flourish.
In case you haven’t heard, nominations for the 2019 Open for Business Awards are now open. The Awards offer an important platform for local government to learn and share best practices, while showcasing winning initiatives that have contributed to the success of local businesses.
For the second year in a row, Small Business BC will partner with the Small Business Roundtable to deliver the Open for Business Awards at the Small Business BC Awards Gala on Thursday, February 21 2019.
This year, we’re inviting and encouraging communities of all sizes to celebrate their achievements and tell us how they are creating a business-friendly environment within their community.

How it Works

Nominations are open from October 1 to November 30. Whether you’re a resident or representative of your community, you are free to nominate. All you need to do is tell us why your community should win the award. The Open for Business Awards encompass three categories:

Case Study Submissions

Once nominations close, we’ll be inviting nominated communities to put forth a case study that highlights how they are ‘open for business.’ Communities will select one initiative that has been implemented in the last three years that has had a meaningful impact on attracting, retaining and helping local businesses to success in your community. These case studies should be submitted by January 4th, 2019.
Here are the guidelines for what to include in the case study:

  • Background – what led up to the initiative, why was it developed? Target Audience – who is it aimed at?
  • Objectives, goals and targets
  • Process – how was it developed and implemented?
  • Budget – what resources and costs were involved?
  • Results – include both quantitative and qualitative
  • Community feedback – what are people saying?
  • Future – what might you implement in the future as a result of this initiative?
  • Lessons learned
  • Include pictures to tell your story in a compelling way

Previous Winners

Need some inspiration? Let’s look at abstracts from the case studies of last year’s  Open for Business Award Winners.

District of Chetwynd

Through the creation of three business-friendly programs, Chetwynd grew business license submissions 14 per cent between 2016 and 2018. The first program, created in 2016 recognized and celebrated new and growing local businesses by giving them a certificate of congratulations. The second program involved creating tear-off maps and local signage that included information on local businesses, amenities and attractions. Finally, Chetwynd’s “Shop Local” program encouraged residents to make purchases at local stores by providing rewards.
View Chetwynd’s 2018 Case Study


Nestled in the Kootenay Rockies, Kimberley, B.C. is simultaneously a mining town, a resort and tourism destination, and a community of resourcefulness and resilience. In 2014, Kimberley launched the Investment Incentive Program to help meet the needs of local start-up businesses by providing incentives, in the form of relief, from the municipal portion of property tax. It also encouraged investment in the visual appeal and vitality of the community and is credited as kick-starting the revitalization of downtown Kimberley.
View Kimberley’s 2018 Case Study

Nisga Lisms

The dramatic landscape blended with rich indigeneous culture in the traditional territory of the Nisga’a Nation in Northern B.C. offers tourists a chance to explore many unique features, including the Higu Isgwit Hot Springs. It prompted the Nisga’s Lisms Government to launch the Nisga’a Auto Tour, a tour through 18 stops of interest throughout the region, with local information and history at every stop. Since the introduction of the Auto Tour, the hot springs have seen visitors increase from 1,500 per year in 2015 to 4,000 in 2017.
View Nisga Lisms’ 2018 Case Study

City of Campbell River

Over the last three years, Campbell River has seen a 50% increase in small businesses, prompting the municipality to gather feedback from existing and new entrepreneurs on ways to best help them grow and succeed in business. In 2017, the Modern Entrepreneurship Series was created to connect the City with local businesses, encourage mentorship and facilitate networking opportunities among local entrepreneurs and small business owners.
View Campbell River’s 2018 Case Study

Nominate Your Community Today

If your local community is ‘open for business’ nominate them for an Open for Business Award today!
Nominate Now