Start a Business
Clinton has numerous business opportunities for the smart entrepreneur.
Here are some useful links and resources for those looking to start a business in Clinton. This list is not exhaustive but is a starting point of resources to help you succeed in starting your business. More information, including a how-to guide for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses, is coming soon.
Importance of Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship
Clinton encourages entrepreneurship and small business development. Here are some of the many reasons we love small businesses and entrepreneurship in our community:
Small businesses are the heart of our local economy in many ways, including hiring local workers, collaborating with other local businesses, and more. They bring growth and innovation to support the local economy.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are typically fuelled by passion, resulting in a higher quality of products and services.
Small businesses are often unique and really help develop the personality of the community with personal, memorable services and products.
Entrepreneurs can contribute new ideas to economic development initiatives.
Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the sources of innovation in products, services, and techniques.
Small businesses develop skills for local workers and can create jobs.
Here are some useful contacts and links to keep in mind at any stage of your business planning and operations:
BDC's Key Steps to Starting a Business - a useful article with additional links to resources to check out when you are thinking of starting a business.
BizPal - an innovative online service that provides you with simplified access to information about business permits, licenses, and other requirements needed to establish, operate and grow your business.
Community Futures Sun Country - provides services and program supports to small- and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs living in rural areas with services including business planning support, small business training, a variety of small business loans, and more.
Government of Canada- Resources on business taxes, permits and regulations, intellectual property, business support, and how to sell to the government. This site also includes services and information on all stages of business development from starting a business to maintaining and growing your business.
Small Business BC - provides comprehensive business information and planning resources for starting and growing a business in British Columbia.
Find more useful business resources here.
Do Your Research
There is no question that starting a business requires a lot of prep work. To get you started, here are some links regarding Clinton's economic profile and some identified business opportunities:
- Village of Clinton Community Profile - a snapshot of Clinton's economic profile
- Village of Clinton Investment Information - an overview of niche business opportunities in the community, including the Clinton Advantage
Prior to starting your business, it is important to have a strong understanding of your desired industry and the market you will be operating within. It is a good idea to look into the three following focus areas when researching your proposed business idea (via UBC Small Business Accelerator Program).
- Industry Analysis - Here is BC Stats Data on various industries
- Competition Analysis - Both within your industry and within the community. Check out the Village of Clinton's Business Directory here for a list of current businesses in the community.
- Customer Analysis - When analyzing your customer base, it is important to consider both Clinton and the surrounding region. Here is a quick glance at census information for Clinton and the region.
Click HERE for more information on completing business research from UBC's Small Business Accelerator Program.
Develop a Business Plan
Starting your business confidently requires a strong plan. By considering and planning for every aspect of your business, your chances of success will increase.
Business plans are roadmaps that paint a clear picture of what your business is, how it will run and compete, and all other details you will need to operate successfully. By completing your business plan, you will be able to determine if you are ready to start your business or not. As you operate, you can use your business plan as a reference to gauge your success.
Not sure where to start? Click HERE to access Small Business BC's Resource list for business planning, which includes guides, templates, samples, and contact information in case you need additional help.
Here are some other resources and organizations to help you with business planning:
Create a Financial Plan
It is essential to assess the cost of establishing and running your business prior to operation. A clear financial plan must be included in your business plan to give you a reliable estimate of your financial requirements.
Your small business may be eligible for one of these following funding assistance programs:
Government of Canada Funding Concierge Service is a useful tool for searching for other funding options
Complete Operational Requirements
Before opening your doors, it is essential to make sure you are following all mandatory requirements to operate, including local, provincial, and federal business requirements. All businesses, large and small, are subject to laws and regulations and must follow government requirements.
In the Village of Clinton, it is important that you thoroughly read through the Business Licensing Bylaw and the Zoning Bylaw Information. All businesses within the Village require a business license to operate.
Provincial and Federal Requirements
Here is a link to the Government of Canada website that includes information on taxes and registering your business. If you are unsure of what requirements must be met, we recommend that you consult an expert to make sure you are not missing any steps.
BizPal is also a handy innovative tool for checking which permits and licenses you may require when starting and/or operating your business.
Establish an Online Presence
A compelling online presence, including through a website and social media, will increase customer interest, expand your market, and could lead to increased sales. Without a website, your business will be invisible to a growing sector of the market and you will miss out on these sales.
Getting your business online can be overwhelming at first if you are not used to the digital world. Here are some resources to help you build your online presence:
- Small Business BC
- Destination BC Learning Centre - a variety of webinars and tools to help you navigate the digital world, for businesses in the tourism sector, from claiming your Tripadvisor listing to understanding SEOs
- Love Clinton program - part of the larger "Love Northern BC" funded by the Northern Development Initiative Trust, is an online marketing program promoting locally owned, independent businesses in Clinton.
Current programs or training available (as of February 10, 2021):
- DER3 (Innovate BC) - a program designed to help businesses get online and navigate the challenging digital world.
- Launch Online (Province of BC) - provides funding to B.C.-based businesses to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business. This program is part of StrongerBC through the Provincial Government.
- BC Marketplace (Small Business BC) - a free online marketplace available to BC-owned small businesses to market their products and services to other audiences across BC.
Canadian Federation of Independent Business has new research on the importance of an online presence for Canadian businesses.
"Small business owners say their online presence (51 percent) and selling online (38 percent) has been essential to their survival through the pandemic."
Read their findings here.
Links to more business resources can be found here.