Training opportunities

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce awaiting launch of micro business training pilot project.

Well it’s that time of year again – parents are counting down the days until school starts while their children are counting how many days of summer vacation are left.

Here at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, we are also counting down the days. We are eagerly awaiting the official launch of an new education program for our members in partnership with the provincial government and B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

A Labour Market Agreement program funded through the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, the micro business training pilot project involves a large number of organizations that have been working hard behind the scenes to develop a program that will be of benefit to micro-businesses.

Delivered by the B.C. chamber, this new program is similar to the youth skills and workplace training and innovation programs that are currently available. Unlike those programs that are intended for training staff, the micro business training pilot program is focused on providing training to business owners.

Under this program, eligible business owners can receive up to $1,500 for general business training. A large range of training is included in the program, but must be of a general nature rather than industry specific (for example, marketing versus flag person training). Business management, marketing and sales, bookkeeping and computing are just some of the business training options available to help our micro-businesses thrive and succeed.

A variety of learning formats will be eligible, such as online, webinar, on-site and traditional classroom, which will allow for training to fit into the hectic schedule of our micro-business owners. Providers will include public and private post-secondary institutions, PCTIA (Private Career Training Institutions Agency) accredited organizations and private trainers who belong to the Chamber Learning Network.

Who is eligible for this program? A micro-business owner is someone who has fewer than five employees. The business owner and their company must: Not hold any recognized certification or university credits; be a B.C. resident who is entitled to work in Canada; cannot be a full-time post-secondary or a high-school student; be 19 years of age or older; not have participated in another Labour Market Agreement program.

How can you take advantage of this new program to benefit your micro-business? Contact your local chamber of commerce, or visit the program website at www.BCMicroBusiness.com (anticipated launch date is Aug. 31).

Once you have submitted your application, approved participants will be contacted with information on going forward. Participants will be contacted by a ReThink Learning training co-ordinator to review training options to decide on a path that will benefit the business owner the most. Once training is finished, micro-business owners will be required to complete a short exit survey.

The overall goal of the program is to meet the varied and often unique educational needs of micro-business owners, both in our community and across B.C., no matter what industry or region. With training funded specifically for business owners who have knowledge gaps in certain areas, the B.C. chamber and local chambers hope to contribute to increased productivity, competitiveness and success of the business community.

Through this program, our chamber of commerce has the opportunity to assist our businesses, and in turn, the local economy, through improved education and knowledge of our business owners.

Are you counting down the days until you can go back to school? Contact the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce by e-mailing manager@aschamber.com, or your local chamber of commerce to learn more about the Micro-business Training program.

Patti Noonan is the executive director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce.