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Join Small Business BC’s Digital Meetups

We believe this is a time, more than ever, for small businesses to come together to help each other overcome challenges and find solutions.

To help facilitate this, SBBC is pleased to share our new Digital Meetups, a community video call for the small business community during COVID-19. Every Tuesday at 11:00 AM, we will be hosting a Digital Meetup focused around one pressing issue re:COVID-19: from how to generate revenue, to employment law, all specific to small businesses.

Our guest speakers will include small business owners and industry experts – with a large component focused on Q&A and knowledge sharing among those in the call. Upon registration, attendees will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar call as well as a phone number to call in. The medium to participate is up to your comfort level.

This is new to us, so we will learn as we go, but we want to provide a forum for our community during these difficult times. We also don’t want to over-promise, we don’t have all the answers but collectively we come together to share as best we can.

Other resources
Developed in partnership with the B.C. government and Government of Canada, Small Business BC launched the B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service. This support service will be a one-stop resource for B.C. businesses, answering questions about supports available to businesses from the provincial and federal governments, industry and community partners.

VISIT SUPPORT SERVICE WEBSITE

Upcoming Meetups

  • Tuesday June 2 - COVID-19 - Reopening Your Beauty Business

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    As the Province reopens and businesses begin to reopen, we will be hosting Digital Meetups on specific sectors

    Join us, as we speak with the Executive Director of Beauty Council Western Canada, Greg Robins, on guidelines and expectations as businesses in the beauty community reopen.

    As well, Michelle Tran, owner of Meraki Beauty Bar will be joining the session. She will address her experience as a multi-service beauty business owner amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as her reopening plans for June.

    The format this session as a platform for Q&A with the attendees, to ensure we can support you during this unprecedented time.

    Register Now!

Past Meetups

  • Thursday May 28 - COVID-19 Financial Program - Understanding BC's Regional Relief and Recover Fund (RRRF)

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    On April 17, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the Regional Relief and Recovery Funds (RRRF).

    Join us, as we speak with Community Futures BC, on how small businesses can take advantage of this program, which  specifically target small businesses and rural communities across the country.

    We will cover the following topics:

    • How to access your local Community Futures office
    • Eligibility for the RRRF Program
    • Answering your questions

    The format this session as a platform for Q&A with the attendees, to ensure we can support you during this unprecedented time.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday, May 26 - Reopening Your Business - How to be an Inclusive Employer

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    As we begin the process of re-opening our economy, many business owners will face the need to rebuild and hire new staff.

    Join us, as we speak with Trish Kelly, Senior Accessibility Consultant at the President’s Group, on how to build your business from the ground up with a more inclusive hiring policy. Not only can an employer cast a wider net to find the right candidate, they’ll also enhance the standing of their brand through inclusive hiring practices.

    The format this session as a platform for Q&A with the attendees, to ensure we can support you during this unprecedented time.

    View Recording

  • Thursday, May 21 - Employment Grant Opportunities for Your Tech Business

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    In this digital meetup we speak to Radwa Saad, Program Manager for Innovate BC, and Rachel Burns, Program Manager for New Ventures BC, on Employment Grants available to your company as we prepare to reopen our economy. The format this session as a platform for Q&A with the attendees, to ensure we can support you during this unprecedented time.

    We will cover the following topics:

    • What grant programs are available through Innovate BC and New Ventures BC
    • Eligibility for these programs
    • Answering your questions

    Register Now!

  • Tuesday, May 19 - Understanding BC's Restart Plan - Your Questions Answered

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    In this digital meetup we speak to DYLAN HRYCYSHEN, SBBC Business Planning Advisor and our Covid-19 Support Service Lead, on clarification of BC’s reopening plan and how it affects you. The format this session as a platform for Q&A with the attendees, to ensure we can support you during this unprecedented time.

    We will cover the following topics:

    • What BC’s Reopen Plan consists of and the phases.
    • How it affects specific sectors
    • How specific businesses should prepare for the reopening
    • Answering your questions

    View Recording

  • Thursday May 14 - Vancouver Coffee Culture: Reopening Your Cafe

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    In this digital meetup we speak to Tom Fitzgerald, the man behind Vancouver Coffee Snob, and Jess Reno, Owner of Nemesis Coffee. As the Province prepares to reopen for business, we are segmenting the topics to specific industries, providing Digital Meetups as platform for individuals to come together and discuss what needs to be done in preparation for their businesses.

    Guest Speakers:

    Tom Fitzgerald aka “Vancouver Coffee Snob”: With almost 14k followers on Instagram and a vibrant blog on Vancouver’s coffee culture, Tom has established himself as one of the leading coffee connoisseurs in the city.

    Jess Reno, Primary Owner of Nemesis Cafe: One of the leading cafes in the city, Nemesis offers world class coffee culture/knowledge with a beautiful atmosphere at their physical locations.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday, May 13 - Social Media Hacks & Tricks - Digital Marketing 101

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker: Mhairi Petrovic,  Founder of Out-Smarts Marketing and Seminar Speaker at SBBC.

    Since graduating with Honours in Commerce from Napier University in Scotland, Mhairi has developed an in depth knowledge of sales and marketing functions online and off through her employment on both sides of the Atlantic with some of the best known companies in the world including Coca Cola, Unisys and MicroStrategy. Prior to founding Out-Smarts in 2002 Mhairi focused on software and Internet technologies in various sales and marketing roles for nearly a decade, working predominantly with Fortune 500 companies. She augmented her degree in 2006 with a diploma in Sales and Marketing Management from the University of British Columbia.

    Join us, as we speak with Mhairi on Social Media tricks & hacks, that will help your business stand out during this unprecedented time.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday May 12 - Business Planning: Adjusting Your Business to the New Normal

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker: Laura Aveledo, Business Planning & International Trade Advisor, SBBC.

    Laura Aveledo is the Business Planning and International Trade Advisor. Laura takes her clients on a “business planning journey” which includes research, evaluation and development of business strategies and defining actions to encourage business growth.

    Laura is a Biologist with an MBA as well as a Masters in International Marketing. She brings to her role over 15 years of international experience developed in a broad range of businesses from international corporations to financial services and not-for-profits; she has also developed her own business. Laura has advised over 300 entrepreneurs from varied industry backgrounds and has been an instructor in Entrepreneurship, marketing and Management. Laura is a mentor for multiple organizations including Futurpreneur, UBC MBA students, and Forum of Women Entrepreneurs. Laura speaks 3 languages – English, Spanish and French.

    Join us, as we speak with Laura on how to adjust your business and plan as the province prepares to reopen its economy.

    View Recording

  • Thursday May 7 - Food & Drinks - Hear From Your Local Hospitality Businesses

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    As part of our Food and Drinks campaign, this week’s Digital Meetups are Hospitality based.

    Guest Speakers:

    Emelle’s Catering – Nicole Burke
    Kindred Kefir – Lyndsay Scott
    The Rise Eatery – Wanda Lai

    Join us, as we speak with three local businesses in the food and drink sector. We will be coming together to discuss how to pivot in the current climate, and how they adjusted their businesses re: COVID-19.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday, May 6 - Food & Drinks - Hear from the BC Association of Farmers' Markets and BC Food & Beverage!

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    As part of our Food and Drinks campaign, this week’s Digital Meetups are Hospitality based.

    Guest Speakers:

    James Donaldson: CEO, BC Food & Beverages (BCFB)

    Heather O’Hara: Executive Director, BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM)

    Join us, as we speak with two leading voices in the Food and Hospitality sector, how we can pivot and support each other during this time. We will be discussing and exploring resources and options available to our small business owners in the restaurant sector, and see what awaits us in the future for the new normal.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday May 5 - COVID:19 - Giving Well and Breaking Bread, How to Support the Community

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    As part of our Food and Drinks campaign, this week’s Digital Meetups are Hospitality based.

    Guest Speakers:

    Christina Labarca and Sharon Davis: Co-Founders of Giving Well

    Shelley McArthur Everett: Principal, SMC Communications

    Join us, as we speak with Christina Labarca and Sharon Davis, on how to give back, both little and big, during the current climate.

    They will be joined by Shelley McArthur Everett, the Principal of SMC Communications, who founded the now Canada-wide Breaking Bread movement supporting local restaurants.

    View Recording

  • Thursday April 30 - Human Resource Comprehension and Best Practices During COVID-19

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker:
    Sheh Shojaee, Director of Operations and Strategic HR at CPHR

    Sheh graduated from UBC in 2006 with a BA in Sociology and completed an Human Resources Management Certificate at SFU in 2013. She obtained her CPHR BC & Yukon designation in 2014 and has volunteered with the organization ever since. After 14 years of experience in HR, managing talent and operations in the legal and retail sectors, Sheh joined CPHR BC & Yukon as Director of Operations & Strategic HR. At the heart of Sheh’s HR philosophy is fostering a culture of positivity and resilience while managing organizational challenges and market shifts: focusing people’s energies on the right things at the right time and getting them from where they were to where they need to be. Sheh is passionate about inclusion and diversity, gender equality, mental health and helping young leaders break down barriers needed to thrive.

    Join us, as we speak with Sheh Shojaee, the Director of Operations and Strategic HR at CPHR, on current HR best practices during the Covid-19 Pandemic. We will cover some FAQ’s and provide a platform for your Questions & Answers based.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday April 29 - Getting Your Business Online - Digital 101

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker:

    Digital Main Street –

    Digital Main Street is a program and service that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of highly trained recent graduates who help main street businesses grow and manage their business through the adoption of digital tools and technology.

    Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. Digital Main Street is also supported by a group of strategic corporate sponsors, including Google, MasterCard, Rogers, Microsoft and Shopify.

    Join us, as we speak with Digital Main Street on how to get your business online. The discussion will be Questions & Answers based, giving the audience an opportunity to provide their business background and letting us customize the content to ensure we deliver what you need.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday April 28 - Market Research: Finding the Trend During COVID-19

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker:

    Mark Eversfield –

    Mark Eversfield is the Market Research Analyst at Small Business BC.

    He teaches both primary and secondary market research techniques, guest lectures on market research, and provides market research coaching for small businesses. Mark recently wrote an economic impact report on the tech sector for the Okanagan region and is the data manager for an economic development project called BizMap.

    After graduating from the University of Victoria with a degree in Economics and Statistics, Mark gained his experience in market research through companies such as MarCon Research, BC Stats, Western Diversification Canada, and Small Business BC.

    Join us, as we speak with Mark Eversfield on Market Research basics, why its essential, and how the current pandemic affects it. The discussion will be Questions & Answers based, giving the audience an opportunity to provide their business background and letting us customize the content to ensure we deliver what you need.

    View Recording

  • Thursday April 23 - Resilience and Taking Care of Yourself - Mental Health Edition

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speaker:

    Danielle Holtjer (MCP, RCC) – Director, Skylark Counselling

    Danielle has worked in a counselling field for the last 10 years. She’s supervised practicum students, taught Master’s level classes on anger management, trauma, and counselling skills. She has worked for Vancouver Coastal Health as a concurrent disorders clinician, as well as working in the Clinical Informatics department as a clinical consultant enhancing clinical documentation systems.

    Join us, as we moderate a fireside chat with Danielle on how to take care of yourself mentally during this challenging time.

    There will be a Questions & answers period and opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday April 22 - Pivoting Your Business to Support the Government

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speakers:

    Office of Small and Medium Enterprises – Aaron Ydenberg: Project Officer

    Innovation Canada – Ana Fong-Marquez: Senior Innovation Advisor

    Mitacs – Yaser Roshan: Director, Business Development

    Have you seen news on breweries now producing hand sanitizer, or clothing manufacturers now creating medical gowns? Join us, as we speak with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise as well as Innovation Canada, on how you can pivot your business to support the government during this trying time!

    There will be a Questions & answers period and opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday April 21 - Partner Organization and Resources - We are here to Support

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    Guest Speakers:

    Futurpreneur – Nicola Jones-Crossley: Business Development Manager

    Women’s Enterprise Centre – Melanie Rupp: Director, Loans and Advisory Services

    Better Business Bureau – Karla Laird: Manager, Community and Public Relations

    In this digital meetup we speak to our Partner Organizations on the support and resources they provide to the Small Business Community during this time. Content covered:

    There will be a Questions & answers period and opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    View Recording

  • Thursday April 16 - Hear From Your Local Business - SBBC Awards Finalists Edition

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Guest Speakers:

    Nathan Chan: Co-Owner of Catoro Cafe
    Tim Bedford: Co-Owner of Ginger Jars
    Vineet Miglani: Co-Owner of High Beam Dreams.

    In this digital meetup we speak to a few of the 2020 SBBC Awards Finalists on how they are keeping their businesses open and pivoting during this time. Content covered:

    1. Talk about the challenges they have faced  during COVID-19.
    2. Discuss the ways that they are creating new ways to generate income.
    3. Questions & answers.
    4. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday April 15 - Short Term Funding and Financing: Updated

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    In this digital meetup we speak to Jesse Honkanen, Regional Manager of Island Savings Credit Union, and Andrea Welling, Regional Director of Futurpreneur, on your Funding and Financing options during this time. Content covered include:

    1. Current short term financing options
    2. Questions & answers
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday April 14 - Small Business Fireside Chat with SBBC CEO

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Moderator: Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC

    Do you want a platform to have your voice heard and share your stories? Virtually network and bond with Small Business BC’s CEO, Tom Conway during this session.

    1. Introduction from Tom Conway, and any updates from Small Business BC
    2. We will then open the floor to participants on a first come first served basis, to talk through their experiences with COVID-19 and what their learning process has been.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Thursday April 9 - How You can Help - Business Initiatives that Bring the Community Together

    Join us, as we speak with two individuals who decided to launch life-changing initiatives to bring the community together during this time.

    Emily Hannan, Co-Founder of the YYJLocalsforLocals initiative. YYJLocalsForLocals is a group of community-minded tech and marketing professionals offering pro-bono assistance to local small businesses, restaurants, and bars – for free! They are 100% volunteer run and have grown tremendously in the past few weeks, with the slogan: “You serve us when times are good — let us serve you while times are tough.”

    Christoph Barrow is the co-owner of Pacific Poke and launched the Feed the Frontline Workers initiative in Vancouver. Their mission is to support the local healthcare and hospital heroes who are working in wartime-like conditions, while also support our local restaurants who are really hurting during this period! The initiative has raised $65,000 in less than two weeks, feeding 200+ meals daily to our frontline workers.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Wednesday April 8 - COVID-19: Managing Your Cash Flow

    In this digital meetup we speak to Iain Rogers, Founder of Entreflow, on how to pivot your business plan and manage your cash flow during this challenging time.  Contents covered include:

    1. Common questions regarding Cash Flow and how to adapt your business due to Covid-19
    2. Questions & answers for Iain
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday April 7 - Commercial Lease and Contractual Law - Your Questions Answered

    In this digital meetup we speak to Dana Gordon about the current difficulties businesses are having with Commercial lease and Contractual law. She outlines the approach businesses should have with these issues  – content covered include:

    1. Common questions regarding Commercial Leases due to Covid-19
    2. Questions & answers for Dana
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Monday April 6 - Small Business Community Chat

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Moderator: Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC

    Every Monday we plan to host a digital meetup that will be a platform to hear from you – content covered will include:

    1. Introduction from Tom Conway, and any updates from Small Business BC
    2. We will then open the floor to participants on a first come first served basis, to talk through their experiences with COVID-19 and what their learning process has been.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Thursday April 2 - COVID-19: Pivoting Your Export/Import Business

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Speaker: Allison Boulton, Export Navigator

    Join us, as we speak with Allison Boulton, Program Manager for Export Navigator, on how to pivot and adapt your trade oriented business during this unprecedented time.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    Video Recording

  • Wednesday April 1 - Creative Ways to Help Your Business Thrive Digitally

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Speaker: Darryl Julott and Digital Main Street Team

    As we navigate the new COVID economy, businesses are quickly pivoting to service a digital audience, growing their online presence. If you want to succeed in this space, and boost your business through online channels, you’re going to need a plan. Join Darryl Julott and the team from Digital Main Street as they provide tips and guidance on Creative Ways to Help Your Business Thrive Digitally

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday March 31 - Your HR Questions Answered With an Employment Lawyer

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Speaker: Natasha Jategaonkar

    In this digital meetup we speak to Natasha about employment law, she outlines the common challenges businesses are facing and answers any of your HR questions – content covered include:

    1. Common HR challenges during COVID-19
    2. Questions & answers for Natasha
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    *Due to the fluid nature of this topic, this particular recording will not be posted. Please email Natasha at: NJategaonkar@mathewsdinsdale.com should you have any specific inquries. 

  • Monday March 30 - Small Business Community Chat

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Moderator: Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC

    Every Monday we plan to host a digital meetup that will be a platform to hear from you – content covered will include:

    1. Introduction from Tom Conway, and any updates from Small Business BC
    2. We will then open the floor to participants on a first come first served basis, to talk through their experiences with COVID-19 and what their learning process has been.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Thursday March 26 - Funding and Short Term Financing Options

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am

    In this digital meetup we speak to Emily Kerr, Vice-President, Business Banking at BMO Bank of Montreal, and Treasurer, Board of Directors at Small Business BC, on your Funding and Financing options during this time. Content covered include:

    1. Current short term financing options
    2. Questions & answers
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording – Part I

    View Recording – Part II

  • Wednesday March 25 - Your HR Questions Answered With an Employment Lawyer

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Speaker: Lauren Soubolsky and Christopher McHardy, McCarthy Tetrault

    In this digital meetup we speak to Lauren and Christopher about employment law, she outlines the common challenges businesses are facing and answers any of your HR questions – content covered include:

    1. Common HR challenges during COVID-19
    2. Questions & answers for Christopher and Lauren
    3. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    You can attend the session  via Webinar link or phone, which will be sent to you after registration.

    View Recording

  • Tuesday March 24 - Hear From A Small Business Owner: The Federal Store

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Guest Speaker: Chris Allen and Collette Griffiths of The Federal Store

    In this digital meetup we speak to Chris Allen and Collette Griffiths of The Federal Store – a cafe and grocery store in Vancouver  – content covered will include:

    1. Talk about the challenges they have faced as a food business during COVID-19.
    2. Discuss the ways that Federal Store are creating new ways to generate income.
    3. Questions & answers for Chris and Collette.
    4. Opportunity for other small businesses to share ways that they are finding creative solutions during these challenging times.

    View Recording

  • Monday March 23 - Small Business Community Chat

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Moderator: Tom Conway, CEO, Small Business BC

    Every Monday we plan to host a digital meetup that will be a platform to hear from you – content covered will include:

    1. Introduction from Tom Conway, and any updates from Small Business BC
    2. We will then open the floor to participants on a first come first served basis, to talk through their experiences with COVID-19 and what their learning process has been.

    View Recording

  • Friday March 20 - Pivoting Your Business to Adapt

    Time: 11:00am – 11:45am
    Moderator: Dylan Hrycyshen, Business Plan Expert, Small Business BC

    Our first digital meetup focusing on changing your business with times, pivoting to other opportunities during COVID-19 – content covered will include:

    1. Finding our path forward, addressing the questions of our business community.
    2. Any resources currently available and where to find them
    3. Questions for the speaker
    4. Opportunity for participants to share any challenges they’ve had and any solutions they’ve found.

    View Recording