Supporting Business and Entrepreneurship

A strong local economy needs a dynamic and growing business sector. This section shares stories and resources to support businesses and entrepreneurs in your community.


Strong relationships mean quick action for Quesnel’s business support team

Emergency response is nothing new for the City of Quesnel. Over the past few years, Quesnel has endured wildfires and mill closures that put pressure on the local economy and workforce. Although each challenge brings unique areas of focus, the proactive work the City does to build and maintain relationships consistently leads to efficient responses and action plans. This strong foundation has shown its worth, yet again, in mobilizing a COVID-19 pandemic response team.


Rural Islands Join Forces to 'Keep the Island Vibe Alive'

The islands off the West Coast of B.C. are home to an inspired group of people eager to preserve and protect the unique culture of the area. With pressure placed on businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rural Islands Economic Partnership Society knew they could put their heads together to support local organizations and help to ‘keep the island vibe alive’!


Support Local BC Harnesses the Power of Collaboration to Keep Businesses Afloat During COVID-19

Collaboration is the name of the game for Michèle Hamilton, Managing Director of Think Local First and Support Local BC. When her Shopify platform, Support Local YYJ, started to take off, the inquiries for partnerships came rolling in and she brought many partners on board to support small businesses during the pandemic.


Proactive Approach Leads to Multiple Funding Streams for New Port Alberni Food Hub

When a request for qualifications was posted by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture to secure funding for the creation of Provincially supported regional food hubs, the City of Port Alberni along with the Port Alberni Port Authority knew that with their proactive approach to economic development, they had a strong business case already in development. 


Indigenous Partnerships and Local Investors Key to Helping Grow a New Coastal Industry

Starting a new business can be hard and risky. Vancouver Island-based Cascadia Seaweed Corporation is leveraging some of B.C.’s valuable natural resources to overcome common obstacles that face start-ups. Beyond accessing a great renewable resource, they are establishing partnerships with Indigenous peoples, local investors, and the B.C. Government’s investor incentive program —the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit.


Local Trends Lend Naturally to Clustered Innovation Approach  –  Prince George 

What do university sustainability research, mass amounts of harvestable wood biomass, and over 70 clean tech firms have in common? They are all found in the bustling northern community of Prince George! When the City’s economic development office came together to discuss creative ways to continue to support and empower local business, these key assets shone through and the idea for a Clean Tech Cluster was born.  


Working Within Community and Place to Grow a Small Business  –  Bella Bella

Cliff and Ramona Starr returned to Bella Bella after 11 years away to open a business and have found success through hard work and the support of their community.  


How a Chamber of Commerce Pivoted Toward Economic Development – Ucluelet

Changing with the times: The Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce found a new role by pivoting toward economic development through its business and employee retention and expansion program.  


Boosting Businesses through the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship Program – Throughout B.C.

Indigenous people have been innovating and creating trade opportunities for thousands of years. Through the Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) programs, hundreds of Indigenous entrepreneurs are finding ways to put their entrepreneurial ideas into action to create successful businesses and drive economic growth in their communities. Since 2013, Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs programs have graduated more than 275 students in 18 cohorts throughout the province. 


Start-up Program Helps Entrepreneurs Take their Ideas to the Next Level – Westbank First Nation

Accelerate Okanagan collaborated with Westbank First Nation to provide the Startup Basics program to early-stage entrepreneurs. Customizing the program for Indigenous entrepreneurs created a unique learning opportunity for participants.


Agri-Tourism Program Gives Farmers Access to New Revenue Streams – Central Okanagan 

Traditional commodity farmers have long faced challenges that make it difficult to make a living from farming alone. The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) developed a business coaching program and materials that help farmers explore agri-tourism opportunities and strategies to develop value-added products that appeal to the experiential ecotourist. 


Business Walks Open Dialogue Between Local Stakeholders – Abbotsford

In an effort to learn what supports local businesses need for retention and growth, the City of Abbotsford Economic Development (CAED) conducted a Business Walks initiative over a period of three days. A targeted selection of “walkers” surveyed business owners to discover how best to target future follow up and economic development programming.


Venture Kamloops Advisor Program Prepares Entrepreneurs with a Mini "Dragon's Den" – Kamloops

The VK Venture Advisors is a program offered through the Business Expansion and Retention department of Venture Kamloops. The program is designed to engage both upcoming entrepreneurs as well as the business community, and has proven to be a very effective community outreach program.