Me and my buddy Christy [Clark that is], agree on one thing for sure. Small business is what drives the provincial economy and it's the backbone of a strong local economy in every corner of the province.
And with small businesses representing more than 95 per cent of all businesses in B.C., it literally employs more than a million people.
So during this, the government-prolaimed Small Business Week, it seems fitting to let you in on a few secret and not so secret happenings of which local entrepreneurs should be aware.
First off, thanks to a B little bird named Beverlee Rasmussen - a local business coach - for telling me about some new provincial monies (via Christy and her crew) available for training of company owners.
"Small business owners are the economic heroes in our communities. They are ultimately responsible for keeping their companies strong so that jobs are protected and our economy grows," Rasmussen said.
"Sadly as many as 80 per cent of them will fail in the first five years, and it is not for lack of trying. It is a difficult often thankless job with few places to go when things get hard.
"Employees quitting, clients not paying, lack of regular work, personal illness, and industry/government regulation are a few of the day-to-day stresses of a typical small business owner," she elaborated.
It's even more difficult for a those with no formal business education. So, recently the province offered up some bucks, through the Chamber Learning Network, to provide education and training to struggling micro-business owners.
It's for those with fewer than five employees, who do not have post-secondary education.
"They can choose the area that they need the most help, from accounting to operations, finance, sales and marketing, hiring, improving efficiency, or having access to a business coach," she said.
People can apply or find more information online at www.microbusiness.com.
"The response has already been overwhelming with triple the expected interest in the program," Rasmussen said. "So Langley business owners who qualify are encouraged to take advantage of this now."
Next week is going to be busy for the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the chamber hosts its monthly dinner at the Coast Hotel, with Jim Rusnak - CFO for Metro Vancouver - talking about budgeting priorities for the region.
Then on Thursday, the chamber is hosting a lunch-and-learn session called HR 101: What small business owners and manager need to know.
That event is at the Langley Events Centre starting with registration at 11: 30 a.m. and a presentation by Glen Grant from noon to 1: 30 p.m.
Then Saturday is the chamber's 16th annual Celebration of Excellence gala, again at the Coast Hotel, where the best businesses in Langley are honoured.
Reservations for any of these and other chamber events this month can be made by calling the chamber office at 604-530-6656 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.