The Small Business Task Force was formed as a special initiative of the Small Business Roundtable as part of the Minister’s mandate to learn from small businesses first-hand what government can do to help strengthen the sector.

To guide engagement, the Small Business Task Force developed a discussion paper that identified key challenges faced by the small business sector. They were:

  • Managing the Cost of Doing Business in B.C.
  • Supporting the Diverse Needs of Small Businesses
  • Addressing Employment and Skills Training
  • Increasing Awareness of and Access to Government Services
  • Improving Government Interactions with Small Businesses
  • Supporting the Needs of Indigenous People and Business

Throughout June 2018, the Task Force hosted engagement sessions in seven communities across B.C., including indigenous-focused sessions in three communities, and an online questionnaire to hear from a broad representation of the province’s urban and rural small business population. As a result of the feedback, the Task Force summarized what they heard in an engagement summary paper which was open for comment for two weeks from the end of July to August 7, 2018.

The industries represented through the engagement were diverse and ranged from retail, restaurant, professional and business services, tourism, arts and culture, real estate and mining to clean technology and life sciences.

The feedback from this public engagement was used to develop the Small Business Task Force final report – Small Business Speaks: Hearing from B.C. Small Businesses about How to Help Make their Future Bright, which was provided to the Minister and the Ministry Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness (formally Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology).

Since 2005 the Roundtable has worked with government to support the sector. This work will continue as the report recommendations are reviewed and considered.

Roundtable Members who served on the Task Force are:

  • Michael Hwang, Chair
  • Cybele Negris, Vice-Chair, Small Business Roundtable
  • Shahraz Kassam