Small Business BC

Tom Conway, CEO

Accessibility Leadership

Tom Conway is the Chief Executive Officer for Small Business BC (SBBC). Tom brings with him more than 25 years of senior leadership experience including advocacy, fundraising and governance.

He ventured into small business when he started a partnership with his husband and launched a food service company in Chicago, Illinois. Later they moved to California where Tom became the president and CEO of Easter Seals Central California. He then served as the Pacific U.S. Regional Director of YPO, part of a global network of over 25,000 CEOs where he managed two Boards, 60+ local chapters and a global management team. After moving to Vancouver in 2016, Conway served as the Executive Director for the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society before joining SBBC.

Our Organization

Who We Are

Small Business BC (SBBC) is a champion for British Columbia’s Small Business Community. In fact, 98 per cent of business in our province is small business. Small Business BC is the premier resource centre for these entrepreneurs. We are a non-profit organization that exists to help BC entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses. Like the entrepreneurs we serve, we are a small business made up of a small and mighty team with a passion for entrepreneurship. From starting a business, to building resiliency and long-term growth, when an entrepreneur decides to start a business, we are standing by with the products, services and advice they need to achieve their business goals. Our range of supports includes free resources like our business plan template, to seminars/webinars, one-on-one expert advisories and programs we administer such as Bizmap and Export Navigator.

Why We Are Involved

As a resource for small businesses, SBBC strives to create an open, accessible, inclusive, and equitable environment in which every individual has the opportunity to flourish. Often, individuals with visible and non-visible disabilities are overlooked when folks talk about inclusivity. Our vision is to empower entrepreneurs and contribute to the economy in every community throughout British Columbia. We are thrilled to do everything we can to not only help improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities, but also shine a light and offer support for our many entrepreneurs with disabilities by creating a more accessible consumer marketplace.

Distinction and Awards

  • Disability Employment Month Proclamation – Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Accessibility Initiatives

  • In partnership with the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Presidents Group, Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Community Futures Employees with Disabilities Program SBBC is honored to have offered/offer free education to entrepreneurs and highlighting the contributions of Canadians with disabilities while promoting the benefits of inclusion and diversity within the workforce during events like these:
    • Accessibility Week February 2018; June 2020
    • Accessibility Month September 2020, September 2021, September 2022
  •  In partnership with the BC Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, SBBC is proud to offer Workplace Accessibility Grants which provide direct supports to small business employers in British Columbia by providing direct financial assistance towards creating an inclusive work environment for persons with a disability(ies). Grant applications are currently being taken through April 30, 2022. Details can be found on the website: sbbc.co/accessibility-grant.