Events mark Small Business Week

Here in B.C., the small business community contributes 26 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product.

Did you know that in B.C., small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 employees, or self-employed without paid help, represent 98 per cent of all companies? And did you know that small businesses provide nearly 56 per cent of private-sector jobs in B.C., and employ more than one million people?

Here in B.C., the small business community contributes 26 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product. These businesses are definitely the engine of our economy.

Canadians have been celebrating this fact since 1979 when business people in the Fraser Valley launched the first Small Business Week event. Since then Small Business Week has been held every October to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contribution of these businesses.

This year, during Small Business Week, the Summerland Chamber of Commerce is hosting an inspiration and education week to celebrate our business community.

On Oct. 22, we will welcome NHL coach, author, and Stanley Cup champion, Ryan Walter to Centre Stage.

Now a nationally recognized speaker and president of the Abbotsford Heat, Walter says the difference between winning and losing has little to do with talent or coaching. The difference often comes down to how leadership fuels and sustains its team’s hungry spirit. The first 150 ticket holders will also receive an autographed copy of Walter’s new book: Hungry – Fuelling Your Best Game.

On October 23 and 24, the Okanagan region’s own media maven and creator of the Eat, Drink, Tweet, extravaganzas, Alison Markin, will lead two social media ‘bootcamp’ experiences. These will be held at the Summerland Waterfront Resort and include refreshments and appetizers.  The session on Oct. 23 is geared to beginners and the session on Oct. 24 will be aimed at those who want to develop their social media strategy.  Fifty tickets are available for each evening.  We are looking forward to having her teach us how to best engage others using social media tools and strategies. The week of learning and inspiration will culminate with a Tweet-up, a networking social where we can practice our new skills.

These events are open to the community. Tickets for all the events are available through the Summerland Chamber of Commerce office.  More information is available at

Please join us to celebrate Small Business Week.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at

Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.