Smithers Chamber welcomes Open for Business Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Smithers, September 24, 2014 – Local efforts to boost Smithers’ status as a great place to do business have won our town a key provincial award: the province’s
2014 Open for Business Award.
“This is fantastic news for Smithers and a tribute to our town’s excellent leadership in creating a business-friendly community,” said Heather Gallagher,
Manager of the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce. Just nine communities in all of B.C. won the award this year, out of 162 municipalities in the province.
“It’s great to see Smithers recognized as a standout performer in all of B.C.,” and the award carries a $10,000 grant to fund more business-friendly developments in town.
This will boost Smithers’ reputation province-wide as a great place to do business. “We hope this award will telegraph to businesses throughout B.C.:
“Come to Smithers and do business here.”
Just last week Alison Watson, Town Planner, led a group on a walking tour of downtown to display some of the improvements. Starting off at the Central Park Building
which has been updated with a courtyard developed, over to the ex-Mohawk site with new landscaping, large courtyard and seating areas; down to Bovill Square
with its magnificent Legacy Stage. There have been extensive changes to downtown C-1 parking regulations and elected officials have met for Business Let’s Chat Sessions,
organized initially by the Town and continued by the Chamber of Commerce, to listen to the needs of business owners. The Town is also experiencing one of the biggest
building booms in years with retail outlets developed at the Smithers Mall; several multi-unit complexes, the new Perry and Company Building, and new arena
rounding out over 12.4 million in building permits issued by June’s end, with more to come.
“Winning this award is a great honour for Smithers and a recognition of our town’s tireless efforts to build a strong economy and strengthen our job-creating
businesses,” Gallagher said.
And to celebrate Smithers’ Hat trick at the Union of BC Municipality’s AGM and Policy Sessions, Smithers has also won a UBCM Community Excellence award for Community Engagement and
was honoured to accept the annual WoodWorks Community Recognition Award on September 24 on behalf of all of the volunteers and builders who contributed to the timberframe stage at
Bovill Square. The award, presented by the Canadian Wood Council, recognizes communities that have showcased the use of wood in local projects.
The BC Chamber of Commerce also commended Smithers for its win. “Smithers should be very proud of what it’s achieved here,” said John Winter, president and
CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “These awards recognize role model communities throughout the province that are taking tangible steps to build a
better British Columbia.” The BC Chamber represents 125 Chambers and 36,000 businesses in BC.