Here in the Cariboo, many of our rural communities have been built upon thriving resource sector economies.
Today, however, our communities face a new challenge — that of moving away from dependence on any single resource, and establishing a more diverse, stable economy. As we do so, we must not lose sight of the importance of our small businesses to this transition.
The value of these businesses is clear. They are critical to our local economy, play an important role in supplying the needs of our citizens and support our resource sector. Whether it’s agriculture, forestry or mining companies operating in our region — all of them rely on small businesses for goods and services.
As your MLA and a longtime champion of the business community in Cariboo North, I am committed to working hard to ensure that our small businesses play a significant role in our economic transition. As the province works to help with that transition, I will continue to advocate for the importance of our businesses, and for opportunities for them to contribute greater value-added development to the resource sector.
Advocacy for our small businesses is a community effort, however, in which the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce plays an important role. By supporting our small businesses, our chamber has been doing excellent work to further our community’s economic diversification.
The chamber also runs the local Tourism Discovery Centre, which – by promoting our local businesses and attractions — gives visitors to our area the chance to make the most of all that Williams Lake has to offer, while also contributing to our local economy.
I want to personally thank the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Discovery Centre volunteers and staff for their tireless efforts to strengthen our region. I encourage each of you to join me in continuing to show support for our small businesses and our chamber.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my constituency office at 250-991-0296.
Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.