Small Business Council hosts roundtable with Minister Naomi Yamamoto
November 01, 2013
|B.C.'s Minister of Small Business, Naomi Yamamoto,
speaks to members of The Vancouver Board of Trade's Small Business
Council on Oct. 29. Photo by Greg Hoekstra. See full photo gallery. |
By Wu Xu
On Oct. 29, The Vancouver Board of Trade’s Small Business Council held a roundtable discussion with the Honourable Naomi Yamamoto, B.C.’s Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business.
Speaking to an audience of small business owners from distinct backgrounds, Yamamoto stressed the contribution of small businesses to economic growth, employment and trade in British Columbia. She explained the connection between small businesses and community development that supporting the businesses is equal to supporting the “hockey coaches” in their respective communities.
Yamamoto also called attention to provincial achievements in reducing regulations and red tape, which hindered small business growth. She noted that the province has eliminated “over 40 per cent” of regulations and implemented a zero net increase policy. The reductions aim to simplify complicated processes such as applications for government contract and procurement by small businesses.
Yamamoto spoke extensively about the Small Business Accord, a document outlining government commitments to deepen engagement with small businesses at the policy level. The commitments include creating a small business awareness strategy and adopting a coordinated approach during business policy formulation. In addition, the Small Business Accord covers a number of developmental programs such as the business mentoring program, which are received enthusiastically by roundtable participants.
Yamamoto then introduced the Small Business Profile 2013, a document with comprehensive information on small businesses in B.C. Released annually by the Ministry, the Small Business Profile aims to promote public awareness of small business by detailing the sector’s impacts on the B.C. economy. The Vancouver Board of Trade has been chosen as an official venue to release the valuable document.
At one point, Minister Yamamoto asked the roundtable participants to follow her on Twitter, which raised some chuckles. There is little doubt, however, that the Ministry is keen on connecting with small business owners across the province through new media. The ongoing effort to develop efficient, direct communication channels between the government and small businesses is best exemplified by the Twitter town hall meeting on red tape reduction held in late September, which attracted 140 participants. Yamamoto also mentioned a variety of small business awards which encourage community building and engagement.
After the presentation, Yamamoto opened the floor to small business owners for a 50-minute discussion. The topics ranged from internship hiring policy, small business classification to taxation and small business information portal. While answering the questions, Yamamoto was keen on hearing from the owners to learn their perspectives.
The Vancouver Board of Trade and the Small Business Council would like to thank Minister Naomi Yamamoto and her staff for their valuable updates and participation in the discussion.
About The Small Business Council:
The Small Business Council is a program initiated by The Vancouver Board of Trade, connecting small businesses in a wide range of industries across British Columbia
Recognizing the critical importance of small businesses to the provincial economy, the Small Business Council is mandated to connect, educate and inspire business owners throughout the province.
The Small Business Council advocates for its members on policy issues at all levels, provide platform and resources, and periodically organize events such as the roundtable with Minister Yamamoto.
Small Business Council