The City of Langley has been declared ‘open for business.’
The City received the province’s Open for Business Award, recognizing it as one of the most business-friendly communities in B.C., during a ceremony at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) 110th annual convention on Sept. 20.
The Open for Business Awards recognize innovative local policies, projects and programs that support small business.
In addition to the City of Langley, this year’s recipients include Central Saanich, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Fort St. James, Kelowna and Penticton.
As an incentive to promote an open-for-business culture, government is providing $10,000 to each winning community to fund a local, small-business friendly program that aligns with the principles of the B.C. Small Business Accord.
“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.”
This year, the B.C. Small Business Roundtable received submissions from a record 39 communities, and short-listed 15 finalists. Award evaluations were based on local measures that make it easier to do business in that community, including enhancing small-business competitiveness, recognizing the contributions of small businesses to the community, and promoting the principles of the B.C. Small Business Accord.
The evaluation criteria reflected the Accord by recognizing that when small businesses are celebrated and supported by their communities, they are more likely to be competitive and innovative.
“The City of Langley is a vibrant business centre in Metro Vancouver and its unique attributes, combined with supportive local government policies, programs and services, make it the place to be for business,” said City of Langley Acting Mayor Ted Schaffer.
Schaffer announced the award at Monday’s regular meeting of council, reading from a prepared statement.
“I am very proud to be part of a team with talented and dedicated staff who are committed to providing exceptional customer service and innovative initiatives.
“We are also extremely fortunate to benefit from the support programs and marketing efforts of the Downtown Langley Business Association and Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce,” said Schaffer.
The acting mayor also read aloud a letter of congratulations from the Chamber of Commerce, which urged the City to use its $10,000 prize to continue along its current business-friendly path.