Small business is the power behind our local economy. With nearly nine in 10 Mission jobs being provided by small business, it is important that we celebrate and assist those entrepreneurs among us who convert ideas into employment, taxes and community support.
There are more than 1,200 local business licenses in Mission and each year the number grows. These licenses represent business whose physical address resides within the municipal boundaries. Of these, just under 50 per cent are home-based businesses, many are based in services and very few represent businesses with more than 10 employees.
Mission provides a positive incubation environment for small business. There is a strong network and greater connection to community which allows for better market evaluation. In addition, there is a good support system for small business such as Community Futures North Fraser, the Mission Chamber, Business Professional Women’s Network and Rotary.
Small business is alive and growing in Mission.
Mission Business Excellence Awards Celebrate Small Business
Over 50 businesses were nominated by the public for this year’s Business Excellence Awards. Many were nominated in more than one of the eight categories: Business of the Year with less than 15 employees, Business of the Year with more than 15 employees, Business Leader of the Year, Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Home Based Business of the Year, Customer Experience Award, and Non-Profit of the Year.
Judged by a panel of local peers, all nominees have been rated based on criteria for each category. Many nominees went over and above to show judges the value of their business or organization. Some brought food samples, others made trinkets and all impressed the judges so thoroughly that points were mere fractions apart.
On Friday, Oct. 21, at the Business Excellence Awards Gala, the nominees will be celebrated and winners of each category unveiled. Hosted by the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce, the event is a must attend on the local social calendar. Presented this year by the Economic Development Select Committee of the District of Mission, it recognizes the value these trail blazers and leaders have in our community.
Chamber seminars assist local business
In continued support of Small Business month, the chamber is also offering many educational opportunities. While several are sold out, there is still available space in Collections 411: Taking Control of Your Receivables, and Facebook Demystified.
Importantly, the chamber has been able to partner with BC Hydro and the Economic Development Office of the District of Mission to offer a brain-storming session on local opportunities for the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse Upgrade, a six-year, $800-million project starting 2012. This event will be held in the Leisure Centre gymnasium Oct. 13 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. This event is free to all interested but registration is required.
Another free event offered in October will be Finding the Formula: Growing Your Business with E-mail Marketing and Social Media. In partnership with Constant Contact, the leading provider of email marketing tools, this event will host Guy Steeves, developer of BCIT’s electronic marketing curriculum and Sue Cockrin, social media guru. To register go to www.missionchamber.bc.ca/events
Business Networking Opportunity.
BC Hydro will be hosting a Business Networking Opportunity Oct. 19, at the Mission Best Western. This event will provide a forum for contractors and suppliers to exchange business information with the proponents shortlisted for the Ruskin design build contract request for proposal. This will be an informal drop-in event. Bring your business cards and information on your company or services.
No interviews or shortlisting of potential subcontractors will take place. Doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.
All candidates meetings
The Mission Chamber is proud to host two all candidates meetings for the upcoming local elections.
School trustees all candidates will be held Nov. 7, at the Mission Best Western Heritage Room. Questions will be taken from the floor and moderated by Chamber President Cal Crawford.
Municipal all candidates will be held Nov. 9, at the Mission Best Western Ballroom. Due to the large amount of registered candidates, questions will be taken in advance and candidates will be selected by lottery to answer questions. Please submit your questions through the form available at www.MissionChamber.bc.ca. Questions will be limited due to time and similar questions will be grouped together in advance so that the issue can be addressed. Final questions will be drawn by volunteers from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, Mission Business Professional Women’s Network and Mission Chamber. The event will be moderated by Sean Melia, director and past president of the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce.