VICTORIA – The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed the week of Feb. 20-24, 2012 as Chamber of Commerce Week in B.C., Minister of Jobs Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell announced Wednesday.

This proclamation confirms the vital role that chambers of commerce play in advocating on behalf of business in B.C. Through ‘Canada Starts Here: the BC Jobs Plan’, the Province has invested in a series of economic actions to make British Columbia more competitive and business-friendly. These include a three-year extension of the $31 million BC apprenticeship training tax credit, a $3-million expansion of the Venture Capital Tax Program and a commitment to continue leading the country in regulatory reform reduction.

Small business is pivotal to the success of B.C.’s economy. Close to 400,000 small businesses make up 98 per cent of all businesses in the province and employ over a million people.

Since 2001, the Province has been reducing red tape so small businesses in British Columbia can continue to flourish. One measure to reduce red

tape is the mobile business licence (MBL) program. MBLs allow business mowners – such as builders, decorators, caterers and those with mobile businesses – to operate seamlessly across several municipalities while paying only one licensing fee.

Six regions have adopted mobile business licence agreements: Okanagan- Similkameen, Greater Victoria, Trail, Cowichan Lake, North/West Vancouver and Courtenay/Comox. The program’s success would not be possible without continued support from chambers of commerce in B.C.