Nelson is one of 13 finalists for the 2014 Open for Business Awards.

Nelson a finalist for business award

City will vie for $10,000 prize against 12 other municipalities.

Nelson is one of 13 finalists for the 2014 Open for Business Awards, which recognize communities that support small business through local-government measures aligned with the BC Small Business Accord.

The announcement was made early this week by the BC government.

Tom Thomson, executive director for the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce said it is extremely positive for Nelson to be recognized as an open for business municipality.

“It’s something that the chamber and the Nelson and area economic development partnership has been working closely with the municipality on to become a more business-friendly municipality,” said Thomson.

He believes those efforts have caught the attention of the province.

If Nelson wins the award, the money goes to the municipality and should be earmarked for business-friendly initiatives.

“We want to continue to push the broadband and the fibre and the development and adaptation of technology and the uptake and try to educate as many of the business people in the downtown core and throughout the area as to the importance of technology and how it can help grow their business and diversify their business from a current business model,” said Thomson.

He said the chamber sees technology as key component of infrastructure in the downtown core.

The 2014 Open for Business Awards are issued by the BC Small Business Roundtable, established in 2005 to be the voice of small business to government. Through its diverse sector membership of small-business owners and association leaders, the roundtable helps government develop strategies to support the growth and success of small business throughout the province.

Other finalists include Delta, Grand Forks, Kelowna, City of Langley, Parksville, Port Coquitlam, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Smithers, Surrey, Vernon and Whistler.

To promote an “open-for-business” culture, the province is providing awards of $10,000 to each winning community to support the implementation of measures that benefit small business. Winners will be announced on September 24 at the Union of British Columbia  Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference in Whistler.

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