By Coralee Oakes
Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch
October is small business month, and a good time to reflect on the hard work restauranteurs do all year round to create amazing food
experiences for us to enjoy – and the unique challenges they face in running their business. The B.C. government understands this and has taken concrete action to make starting a restaurant simpler.
This year the B.C. government created an online guide for starting and operating a restaurant. The guide lays out the steps new business
owners need to take to start a restaurant. There is a checklist to help business owners keep track of their progress along with an
online roadmap, which gives business owners a simple timeline of when they need to be thinking about getting each of the permits they need. Plus, there are helpful links for all the resources and contacts they need in one place.
The feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive from the restaurant sector. New restauranteurs are finding it a helpful hub of
information, and feeling supported as they grow their business. Most importantly, the information is easy to access and simple to use.
The online guide is an excellent example of our ongoing work to reduce red tape. Providing entrepreneurs with information up-front we
can reduce the time a restaurant spends interacting with government – saving everyone time, money and reducing frustration.
We are also helping restaurants in other ways. We are continuing to update our liquor laws to allow children to dine with their parents
in a neighbourhood pub. We recently introduced a new Franchises Act to ensure franchisees have all the relevant business information they need before making the decision to invest. And we continue our work to expand the reach of BizPaL and mobile business licenses to new communities.
Restaurants are one of the most common small businesses in B.C. and key job creators. According to the BC Restaurant and Food Services
Association, there are more than 170,000 people employed in almost 12,000 restaurants throughout our province. It’s a growing industry,
with 3% increase in the total number of restaurants and generating more than $10 billion in annual sales. Restaurants are a vital part
of our economy and our daily lives. The B.C. government is committed to making it easier for them to succeed.
Like our recent work with the restaurant sector, the Province is focussed on continuous improvement for business and citizens in other
areas where they interface with government regulation, processes and services. This is why we launched a public engagement on reducing red tape last week.
I want to hear from British Columbians, like those running a restaurant, on ways we can improve government services. Maybe it’s a
simple fix like moving a permit payment online, or maybe it’s creating a roadmap like we did for starting a restaurant. British
Columbians are the experts when it comes to using government services, and I believe that together we can make B.C. the most
business-friendly, citizen-centred province in Canada.
We look forward to hearing from you. Provide your input at: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/helpcutredtape/
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect