Throughout October, the RBC Royal Bank Lake Cowichan, has been profiling one local business per week at the same time as the province celebrated Small Business Month.
Branch manager, Meghan Major, says that the branch wanted to recognize that most of its clients are either employed by small business owners, or are small business owners themselves.
“So we want to make sure we’re supporting them, and showing that RBC wants to do business with small businesses,” said Major.
Home Hardware, Fit for a Princess, and Galloping Moon have all been featured as part of the program.
Below are a few of the resources offered by RBC to small bussiness.
“Right now we have our partnership with Google and we have a program where [business owners] can set up a free website for a whole year,” said Major.
Information about the free website offer can be found at GYBO.ca/RBC. Business owners can build their website from this domain, select a website address, select categories, create content, choose styles, customize and publish their site. There is also free advice and other resources for small businesses through the GYBO website.
“Also, through our partnership with ADP payroll services, they have a contest on right now that we’re going to be profiling. Businesses can send in an essay about their business and what their goals and objectives are and what they really want to do and they could potentially win $10,000 cash and the opportunity to get one year worth of standard processing services from ADP,” said Major.
The contest is for businesses with one to 49 employees and is open until March 31, 2013. More information can be found by going to adp.ca/grant.
“Small business makes up 90 per cent of all businesses in B.C.,” quoted Major from a report generated by RBC B.C. vice president. “In 2011 there were approximately 391,700 small businesses operating in the province, employing over one million British Columbians. So we really want to make sure that we are supporting them.”
Major does feel that the economy in Lake Cowichan is getting better for small businesses.
“I think things are slowly getting better,” said Major. “But I think that there is still a long way to go. And I think the main thing is we need to remember to support local. If you don’t support local, don’t expect local to stay.”
Bob Culmer of Galloping Moon Gallery thinks any support or promotion of small business in Lake Cowichan is a good thing.
“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” said Culmer. “And everybody I talked to about it said they think this is a good idea, so I think we’re bound to get some feedback from it.”
He says he has had no-one come into his store and say they came in directly from the promotion, but he feels it will have a trickle down effect.
“Any kind of publicity like that is fabulous. It doesn’t matter what you do, I really think that something like this can benefit [local businesses].”
Culmer is not optimistic about the economic state of Lake Cowichan overall though.
“We need all the help we can get at the moment.”
Small Business Month is almost over, but everyone can support local businesses year round, and locals can show that support by shopping locally, especially through the slow winter months.