September is Accessibility Month at Small Business BC

Accessibility Month: It Matters

Individuals with a disability are equal in every way, and we all have an important role to play in empowering their success through the creation of a more accessible world. This month offers an important opportunity to celebrate the vital contribution people with disabilities make in the workplace and recognize inclusive employers.

Small Business BC is marking the occasion by hosting Accessibility Month: It Matters, a month of free business education featuring ASL interpretation and closed captioning. Accessibility Month covers a variety of popular business topics, from business planning to marketing and payroll.

Our webinars during Accessibility Month are FREE to all to attend, no matter their disability status. Our goal is to increase the accessibility of our business resources by adding additional accessible features.

By offering broader access to skills and training, we hope to encourage more people to join us on this important journey toward removing barriers and creating a more inclusive workplace.

How it Works

Whether you’re looking to start or grow your business, our educational calendar for the month is stacked with informative and practical sessions that will put your business on the road to success.

In keeping with current public health guidelines, all educational sessions will be delivered remotely via webinar. These presentations will show the ASL interpretation and on-screen live captioning alongside the webinar speaker.

Book as early as possible to avoid disappointment. If you do happen to miss out on the webinar of your choice, we will be opening a waitlist.

Accessibility Month

Across British Columbia, there are more than 614,000 individuals aged 15-64 that have a disability. These skilled and diverse individuals represent an important talent pool that remains under-represented in the workforce, despite comparable education and skillsets.

The business case for hiring disabled individuals has never been stronger. For companies looking to gain a competitive advantage, 90% of consumers prefer businesses that employ people with disabilities. Is your business taking steps towards becoming an accessible employer?

“No one should be shut out of meaningful work and participation in society because of barriers to accessibility,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting employers as they hire, train and promote people with disabilities, we are supporting long-term and meaningful employment for the over 20% of British Columbians living with disabilities.”

Financial Support Available to Create a More Accessible Workplace

Did You Know:  Direct financial assistance is available to businesses to become more accessible to those with disabilities? The Workplace Accessibility Grant provides direct supports to small business employers in British Columbia by providing direct financial assistance towards creating an inclusive work environment for persons with a disability(ies). Click the link above to find out more.

Webinars Available During Accessibility Month

  • Week 1: Sep 8-9

    Writing a Business Plan

    Wednesday, September 8th
    09:00am to 12pm

    Writing a business plan provides a roadmap to success for your business. It will outline your goals and the steps you will take to achieve them. This seminar will take a deep dive into the various aspects of a business plan and the key questions you need to address in each. You’ll identify the gaps in your plan and the areas you need to develop further. You’ll also find out about business plan reviewing and how it can take your start-up to the next phase.

    Workplace Accessibility Grant Info Session

    Thursday, September 9th
    11:00am to 12pm

    September is Disability Employment Month in BC. It’s a time to celebrate and recognize inclusive employers and the important contribution people with disabilities make in the workplace. Join us to learn how small business owners like you can receive financial assistance towards creating an inclusive work environment for persons with a disability(ies).

    This session will cover information about the Workplace Accessibility Grant Program, what the grant can be used for, how the program works, program eligibility, and the grant application process.

    Doing Business with the Government of Canada

    Thursday, September 9th
    1pm to 2:30pm

    Did you know: The Government of Canada spends up to $25 billion annually on goods, services, and construction. Many of these contracts are fulfilled by small businesses, meaning plenty of opportunities to engage with.

    This seminar will guide you through the various aspects involved in doing business with the federal government as well as the recourse mechanisms and services available to suppliers in the event they encounter issues with a federal contract.

  • Week 2: Sep 13-17

    How to Launch Your Product in Today’s World

    Tuesday, September 14th
    1pm to 4pm

    COVID-19 has spurred many changes affecting retail in BC, from disruptions to the supply chain to online shopping becoming more prevalent. At the same time though, initiatives like Shop Local and the transition of brick and mortar businesses to e-commerce are taking place. Now may be the best time for you to connect with retailers, get your foot in the door, and your products onto their shelves and their websites. Appealing product design, a powerful brand story, and pricing strategies are important as ever.

    Jim Shopland will share his decades of experience with retailers and take you through each step as you prepare for the changing retail landscape.

    Starting a Business: Start Smart Package

    Wednesday, September 15th
    9:00am to 4pm

    Whether you have a winning idea, or you’re just fascinated with the idea of launching a business, the Starting a Business: Start Smart Series delivers the basics you need to get started on the journey.

    Ranging from the different business structures, to business insurance, employment standards and how you can protect your intellectual property, this fascinating series will equip you with the basics of launching a start-up.

    Seminars Included:

    Cybersecurity for Your Business

    Thursday, September 16th
    11:00am to 12pm

    With more businesses relying on online platforms and digital tools to operate, strengthening cybersecurity is becoming as critical as installing a lock on your door. Cyber attacks can leave businesses vulnerable to financial losses and reputational damage.

    This webinar will outline how CyberSecure Canada can help you protect your business. CyberSecure Canada is a voluntary cybersecurity certification program introduced in 2018 by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), in collaboration with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and the Standards Council of Canada.

    Marketing for Small Business

    Friday, September 17th
    09:00am to 12pm

    You know what your small business has to offer, but how do you get that message across to potential customers? Marketing is the single most effective way to spread the word. Presented by Mary Charleson, Charleson Communications, Marketing for Small Business will help you focus on what your unique value proposition is and how to communicate your message effectively.

    You’ll learn about the most effective marketing tools, the changing media landscape, and how to spend your marketing budget.

  • Week 3: Sep 20-24

    Get Started with Email Marketing

    Tuesday, September 21st
    1pm to 4pm

    Email Marketing makes money. In fact, a recent study showed that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38. Find out what you need to start an effective email marketing campaign and reach your target audience via their email inbox.

    Join Mhairi Petrovic, Out-Smarts Marketing as she delivers an action plan to get your email strategy up and running.

    Key Tips for Building a Performance-Based Culture

    Wednesday, September 22nd
    10am to 12pm

    As a small business leader, key metrics can improve your team’s performance when deployed correctly. Ask yourself this question: Have you structured your company for performance success?

    Join Darryl Davis for this informative webinar and learn how to create a strong workplace culture where employees are empowered with autonomy and accountable for their performance. You’ll learn the key metrics and rewards to motivate and encourage your employees to perform optimally.

    How to Grow Your Business on Amazon

    Wednesday, September 22nd
    1pm to 2pm

    As someone who may be familiar with the basics of how to sell on Amazon, it’s time to learn about ways to grow your business.

    Growing as a seller involves expanding your selection, driving traffic to your products, increasing your reach, and delivering a great customer experience. This webinar will cover these topics and introduce you to tools like Prime Badge, Fulfillment by Amazon, Brand Registry, Advertising and Deals.

    How Much is Your Business Worth?

    Thursday, September 23rd
    10:30am to 12pm

    As small business owners approach retirement, or adjust to the realities of COVID-19, many are contemplating selling their businesses. As Warren Buffet once said, “Price is what you pay: Value is what you get.” In this seminar you’ll learn how businesses are valued, how buyers think, and practical tips for maximizing value.

    Join Liisa Atva, CPA and Chartered Business Valuator, and learn the basic principles of business valuation, which methods to use and how to apply them.

    Bidding on Opportunities with the Government of Canada

    Thursday, September 23rd
    1pm to 2:30pm

    Did you know – The Government of Canada purchases between $20-$25 billion of goods, services, and construction each year. Many of the suppliers of these goods are small businesses. Finding and Bidding on Opportunities with the Federal Government can provide a fantastic way to grow your revenue.

    Get an overview of, which offers access to all the Government of Canada’s tenders and other related procurement information. You’ll receive guidance on the Request for Proposal (RFP) process and general information on the government bidding and evaluation process.

  • Week 4: Sep 27-29

    How to Remove Barriers for People with Disabilities at Your Workplace

    Monday, September 27th
    10:30am to 12pm

    Organizations measure what they want to improve, so if hiring people with disabilities is a priority for you as an employer, measuring for disability is a key place to start. With the right tools, employers can tap into the tangible business and social benefits of collecting and sharing disability data.

    This webinar will cover why organizations should measure for disability, recognize ways to build an inclusive organizational culture, remove barriers, and gain tools to combat stigma and increase consumer confidence.

    Land Acknowledgements Workshop

    Monday, September 27th
    1pm to 3pm

    Land Acknowledgements are becoming increasingly commonplace at event openings and gatherings made by organizations and individuals alike. Land Acknowledgements are crucial to visibilizing Nations that have cared for our land for thousands and thousands of years. But where do we start, and how do we respectfully do this?

    Join Erika Doehring, Gwich’in granddaughter for an interactive workshop to reflect on our relationship to our location while we strengthen our connections to the land, ourselves, and each other. Acknowledging the land where we live, play, and work is crucial to establishing a relationship of trust for your business within the community.

    The Foundation of Payroll

    Tuesday, September 28th
    11am to 12pm

    As a small business grows, its payroll needs change and become more complex. At a time when entrepreneurs are trying to focus on growth, this process brings stresses and challenges. The good news is, help is at hand.

    Whether you have an established payroll department, or you’re hiring your first employee and need to understand the basics, this webinar will help you unravel and understand the complexities of your small business payroll process so you can focus on growing your business.

    Business Viability 1 – The Break Even Analysis

    Wednesday, September 29th
    09:00am to 12pm

    No matter how good your idea for a product or service is, it doesn’t automatically translate into a successful business. Avoid the pitfalls of launching your business based solely on your idea. Join Bill Erichson, Pacific Training Innovations for Business Viability 1 and learn how to identify the costs to start and operate your business for the first year.

    Business Viability 2: The Cash Flow Forecast

    Wednesday, September 29th
    1pm to 4pm

    The financial health of your business ultimately depends on your cash flow – even if you’re already turning a profit. Keeping your cash flow positive is one of the best ways to improve the financial health of your business and ensure you continue to grow.

    Join Bill Erichson, Pacific Training Innovations, as he details how to stay on top of your business cash flow. You’ll learn the three factors that determine how cash enters your business, as well as how to forecast your monthly cash out flows.