Conference to support local businesses in Vancouver does everything but

bc-jobs-plan-516x340Brought to you by big business, local politicians, with support from Vancouver’s finest economic institutions comes another conference about local business that does not support it.

In response to the Vancouver Economic Commission’s post on their Facebook page advertising the local economy summit aimed at developing local businesses, I ask the question of just how useful these conferences really are for small-to-micro sized local businesses. With costs of just attending at $200, not to mention costs in time and other expenses: is this kind of development purely aimed at those with comfortable government salaries or larger ‘local’ businesses?

Hosted at the Westin Bayshore (not a local brand by far) and supposedly attended by “advocates from around North America, local government leaders, officials from across BC, and well-known economic development experts”, the list excludes the local business community entirely. You know, people that the event is supposed to support. Simultaneously, the event is failing to support local business as their conference is being hosted at an international hotel chain. How does the hosting of a conference to promote and, I would hope, support local businesses get hosted at a large international hotel chain?

We are witnessing the spending of local tax payer money through the attendance of BC government officials on a taxpayer salary and they are excluding the small underfunded businesses that would most benefit from such exposure and networking.

Seeing this lavish use of local tax money to effectively pat each other on their backs while ignoring the real issue of growing local businesses begs the question; what does the government really do to support small businesses?

The government does little but pander to big business with such broad economic policies as the BC Jobs Plan and fails miserably in addressing the issues of small businesses. Small Business, the main source of new jobs, as opposed to big business who are cutting staff to remain LEAN.

Discussions of tax regulations and other macro level solutions that are of little value to the start-up entrepreneur who would find more value in good connections and accessible opportunities are all too common

Christy Clark
B.C. Premier Christy Clark

Furthermore, the BC Jobs Plan that aims to create jobs does little more than add funding into an already bloated public education system. A system that already produces more graduates than jobs in many sectors and does little to create new businesses in the province. The additional funding into education seems as mindless as the failure to recognize local businesses.

The BC government and other organisations supposedly trying to support local business or create jobs in the province fail to understand the fundamental building blocks required for small entrepreneurs to succeed. With the exception of companies like Lulu Lemon, or the Jim Pattison group, most jobs are either directly in our government or lost to international competition supported by the same government.

Failing to bring entrepreneurs attainable and realistic opportunities or providing them with the tools and knowledge to create them, the government cannot hope to create new jobs in the economy. Likewise, investing further funds into an education system that is not known for producing entrepreneurs so desperately needed by the local economy will have little effect.

Follow Felix on twitter @fferasmus



  1. This event peels the cover off the reason that the entire North American Continent is in for a really big surprise in the next six to eight years. Public money is being pushed into middle and higher education in an “effort to compete in the World Economy”. What we have here is the quintescential “chicken, or the egg” question. What we will be left with is a glut of B.A.’s, M.A.’s and PhD’s looking for non-existent jobs. Your “conference” in Vancouver is nothing more than the 1% trying to decide on what feel good story the are going to tell the 99%. Major problem #1: the Public (99%) swallows this garbage hook, line, and sinker. Wake up, folks! You are not being sold down the river; you are already there, just waiting to be loaded onto the ships. You are allowing History to repeat itself. You are fast becoming slaves to the ruling class. Stand up before its too late!

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