Vancouver celebrates Small Business Month in May

Vancouver sign
The city of Vancouver and its partners will celebrate Small Business Month during the month of May with a variety of training and networking events and activities. Courtesy of the city of Vancouver

Today, Monday, May 2, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will proclaim the month of May “Small Business Month” in Vancouver. The designation coincides with National Small Business Month and National Small Business Week (May 1-7). 

“This year’s Small Business Month invites residents and visitors to support the recovery of Vancouver’s small business community as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, in a news release. “Small businesses are the heart of our city’s economy, representing more than 95% of our businesses. They are an essential part of what makes Vancouver a vibrant and thriving community.” 

Throughout the month of May, the City will showcase local small business stories, share ways for the community to support small businesses and promote opportunities for entrepreneurs, startups and existing small businesses to grow and thrive in Vancouver. Follow the hashtag #CouveSmallBiz and visit the City of Vancouver on FacebookInstagram or Twitter to watch, learn and stay informed. 

“This year, we are focusing on promoting the City’s programming to support local business recovery and starting up a business in Vancouver,” said Sophie Banner, communications specialist for the City of Vancouver. “We’ve also got a social media campaign (#CouveSmallBiz) to drive traffic to local, small businesses – including minority-owned, women-owned and specific spots to celebrate both Mother’s Day on May 8 and National Hamburger Day on May 28. No specific events will be hosted by the City this year.”

The City is committed to supporting the growth of its small business community by removing barriers to success and bolstering a thriving local economy through programs such as:

  • Business license surcharge fee refunds: On April 4, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the extension of the City’s refund program for businesses most impacted by pandemic-related restrictions until Dec. 31, 2022. A new, easy-to-complete application is now available online.
  • Street Eats: An internationally recognized program developed during the pandemic to remove barriers and support businesses in establishing outdoor seating in parklets, sidewalks, and other public rights of way will remain in place through March 2024. The program features a complimentary desktop and mobile-friendly Street Eats App tool to help the community explore 65 businesses offering outdoor services.
  • Start Up In A Day Initiative: An initiative to make opening a business in Vancouver easier, so that any entrepreneur can apply for the basic permits to start a business within one day.
  • Business assistance: Awarded $477,040 for business assistance to respond to COVID-19 and aid in support or recovery of local businesses in 2021. An additional $290,000 in business assistance is proposed for microenterprise education and technical assistance, including business license/certification programs, microloans and credit repair in 2022.

Explore more services, business education and resource opportunities through the City’s Business Assistance Center.

Joanna Yorke-Payne
Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start

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