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September 10, 2019 – Vancouver: October 1 marks the launch of the 2019 Small Business BC Awards. What better way to celebrate than hearing our province’s top entrepreneurs share their stories of success, advice and most importantly, their inspiration?

Now in its 9th year, Small Business BC is proud to host INSPIRE alongside 300 members of government, small and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs to recognize the contributions small businesses make to our economy and our community.

Join Small Business BC on October 1 at the TELUS World of Science for this interactive networking event featuring an expert panel of local business moguls and special guests. This year’s panel discussion will address “Making an Impact: Small Business’s Leadership Role in Climate Action” and includes insights from:

  • Gerry Egan, VP of Maintenance Harbour Air
  • Brianne Miller, Owner, NADA Grocery
  • Christine VanDerwill, Partnerships and Community Manager, Climate Smart
  • Emily Pearson, Community Investment Portfolio Manager (Sustainability), Vancity
  • Ellen Walker-Matthews, VP Industry and Destination Development, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

The public is encouraged to attend the 9th Annual INSPIRE Celebration of Entrepreneurship presented by Small Business BC and Canada Post. For more information or to register, visit

 Quotes “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, making up 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. Not only do they create jobs and promote economic growth, but they also provide crucial services to people across the province,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology. “Small Business BC and their annual INSPIRE event celebrates the exceptional and innovative work of B.C. entrepreneurs who help make our communities thrive.” – Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, Province of British Columbia 

“The passion and determination that small business owners show every day is what makes events such as INSPIRE so great. Canada Post is proud to be a part of an evening that brings the small business community together to share, celebrate and inspire.” – Lise Cote, General Manager, Consumer and Small Business Marketing, Canada Post

“Businesses today have assumed the mantle of leadership on sustainability and social change. At INSPIRE, our signature event, we invite entrepreneurs to learn how some of B.C.’s most successful business leaders have embraced this ideal. We hope they’ll leave inspired to explore business ideas that positively impact their communities and grow our local economies.” – Joshua Ludgate, VP Operations, Small Business BC

“Climate Smart has led the way in using a data-driven approach to support small business that are seeking opportunities to reduce their footprints and contribute to BC’s growing low carbon economy. From our perspective, we see that businesses of all sizes are essential partners in driving investment, accelerating innovation, and leading on Canada’s efforts to meet its climate commitments”. – Christine VanDerwill, Partnerships & Communications Manager

“Sustainability and innovation are incredibly important to Harbour Air. As a proudly BC-based airline these traits are both deeply embedded into our corporate culture.” – Gerry Egan, Harbour Air “Climate change is directly linked to how we’re growing, transporting and packaging our food and I wanted to do something about it. We’ve definitely noticed an increased demand for sustainable products. We see new faces at the store every day. We get people who come from all over the city, and from areas like North Van, Deep Cove, Squamish, Langley, Surrey, etc. – Brianne Miller, NADA Grocery “Vancity supports businesses that want to decrease their footprint and cut emissions because it isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”- Emily Pearson  Media Contact:

Kelsey Malden

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Small Business BC

Direct: 604-775-5607

About Small Business BC

Small Business BC provides entrepreneurs with the information and guidance necessary to build a solid foundation for their business. Through a wide range of products, services, education and resources there’s a piece that fits with every business. No matter what stage or what skill level, when an entrepreneur finds themselves asking “How do I…?” Small Business BC is the one to call.