Penticton wins BC Open for Business Award

The City of Penticton has won the 2013 Open for Business Award, a provincial program that recognizes communities that support small business through local government measures.

“Penticton is the perfect place for entrepreneurs, so we are thrilled to be recognized with an Open for Business Award,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “Our vision for the community fosters innovation and economic opportunity, and it is very rewarding to be recognized as a provincial leader in small business development.”

The awards are issued by B.C.'s Small Business Roundtable, established in 2005 to be the voice for small business to government. The Province is awarding $10,000 to each winning community to help implement measures that benefit small business. Winners were announced today (Thursday, Sept. 19) at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference in Vancouver.

Award evaluations are based on how they enhance small-business competitiveness, recognize the contributions of small businesses to the community and promote the principles of the B.C. Small Business Accord.

Key initiatives outlined in the City of Penticton's submission included a property tax gap for small business among the best of the province, economic incentive zone program, reduction in building permit fees between 25 and 30% to be the most competitive in the South Okanagan, improved business licence application processes, research data provision for small business and an ongoing commitment to entrepreneurs led by the Economic Development Office and Development Services Division.

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of the community, and the Open for Business Award winners are helping it beat a little stronger in their municipalities,” said Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business. “Communities across our province can look to the winners for best practices and help make B.C. the most small-business friendly jurisdiction in Canada. Congratulations to the winners. Every day, you help support small business and live the spirit of the B.C. Small Business Accord."