Comox Valley Small Business Association (SBA)
Policies, Procedures & Bylaws
(BC Society Registration Number: S-0040422)
Part 1 - General
1) This manual contains the framework policies of the Comox Valley Small Business Association, hereafter referred to as the SBA.
2) A home-based business is any lawful business or commercial activity that is conducted, or proposed to be conducted, from residential property and is clearly incidental and secondary to the main use of the dwelling unit for residential purposes, while a small business will have five (5) or fewer employees and may be operated from a storefront or office building.
3) Policies are GUIDING PRINCIPLES designed to ensure consistent decision-making. They say what should be done and why. Procedures are developed from policies and are the operational rules that specify how things are done, when, and by whom. Policies benefit us in the following ways. They:
- Ensure consistency in decision-making,
- Suggest appropriate action and give direction,
- Set boundaries and ensure uniformity of organizational behaviour,
- Clarify responsibilities and define lines of communication and accountability,
- Provide a structure for sound management, and
- Promote our values and beliefs.
Part 2 - Revisions
1) Suggestions for amendments to the Policies and/or Bylaws are forwarded to the Board. After Board review, notice will be given to the Membership at least two (2) months in advance of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that there will be recommended Policy and/or Bylaw amendments presented for a vote. A vote in favour totalling two-thirds (2/3) of the Membership attending the AGM carries a motion for amendment.
Part 3 - Intent
1) The purpose of the SBA is to:
- Provide networking mentoring and educational opportunities for Members
- Encourage and assist its Members in their professional and personal growth
- Act as an advocate to promote the growth and acceptance of home-based and small businesses within the Comox Valley
- Participate as an interested party in future decisions that impact economic development within the Comox Valley
Part 4 - Membership
1) Members are invited to participate in monthly meetings to network with “like-minded” entrepreneurs, to share business experiences and learn from each other. The opportunity to promote their business is also a positive aspect of the CVSBA, but not a primary focus. The SBA encourages and expects our members to conduct business in a manner that reflects favourably on themselves, the business community, and the SBA.
2) Effective July 1, 2013, Annual Membership in the HBBA is $95 for one business for a period of 12- months. Members who operate more than one home-based or small business may also purchase an Additional Business membership for 50% of the cost of a full membership ($47.50). The Additional Business membership does not grant the member additional voting privileges. On-going review of operating costs may necessitate additional increases as required.
a) Membership is open to any one who currently operates, or has previously operated a home-based or small business.
b) Home-based business is defined as a business that operates in whole or in part from the member’s home. Small business is defined as a business that operates from a storefront or office building that is not located in the home, with five (5) or fewer employees.
c) Membership renewals are required from Members at the date of joining the SBA, and on or before the meeting in October of each year thereafter.
d) Membership is included for the principals of the business (e.g.: a husband and wife who both work in their business are considered members under one membership and together carry one vote). If the person or couple own multiple businesses, or change businesses, this does not affect their membership. The ‘entrepreneur’ is the member not the business. Our desire is to encourage, not restrict participation.
Part 5 - Membership Meetings
1) The AGM will be held in June of each year. Each paid-up home-based and small business membership shall be entitled to one (1) vote at the AGM. Hand written proxy voting is allowed with a minimum seven (7) days notification to the Board. 2) The monthly General Meeting will be held at a time and location as determined by the Board. 3) Only paid-up SBA Members and Guest Speakers have the right to bring materials for distribution or to place information on the appropriate display table. Material must relate to business, professional development activities, and/or upcoming business-related events. The Board must approve materials that are supportive of any causes or issues outside the realm of business before they are displayed at a meeting. 4) On occasion, the Board may arrange special guest speakers. Monthly meeting time may be lengthened; the activity may be advertised and open to the public, and other adjustments made as required. Members will be given sufficient notice regarding any changes to upcoming meeting formats. An admittance fee may be charged at an advertised special meeting, and the Board will determine the fee. 5) Paid-up Members may make an “In the Spotlight” presentation once every two years, after completing three full months of Membership. 6) The December meeting will be a Christmas party, and a barbecue will replace the summer meetings.
Part 6 - Prospective Members
1) Members are encouraged to bring visitors to monthly meetings.
2) Prospective Members may attend up to two (2) introductory meetings before joining the SBA.
Part 7 - Financial - General
1) Its Members maintain the SBA as a self-supporting organization.
2) The fiscal year-end is May 31.
3) The Treasurer will present a full financial report to the Membership at the AGM. A brief report will be presented to the Membership at each general meeting.
4) A proposed budget will be presented annually at the AGM, to be adopted by the Membership.
5) In keeping with the intent and purpose of the SBA, funds may be issued for the following purposes, as determined by the Board:
- Professional development activities, such as workshops for either the Board and/or the Membership,
- Special projects, such as newsletters, Membership Directories, public relations expenses, website development and maintenance, and trade/home shows,
- General administration, running of monthly meetings, and the provision of materials for Members, plus such items as guest speakers’ fees/gifts, stationery, Membership cards, and photocopying
- Special functions such as Christmas or summer parties, Annual Award ceremonies, and the AGM, and
- The Board is limited to an amount of five hundred dollars ($500.00) that they can spend on any individual item not included in the budget.
Part 8 - Financial - Memberships
1) The annual Membership fee is payable at the date of joining and will be pro-rated if necessary when annual membership is designated to be due at the October meeting of each year. This fee may be changed from time to time, as recommended by the Board and voted on by the Membership at an AGM.
2) Any Member who does not renew by the first meeting date in October of each year will be treated as a non-member at any subsequent meetings and will not be eligible for any Member benefits. At the discretion of the Board, Membership renewals may be allowed a grace period of up to one (1) month.
3) Members will be notified in advance of any charge for special meetings. As a benefit of Membership, the non-member fee for special meetings and events will be higher.
Part 9 - Board Responsibilities and Legal Liability
1) Board Members are expected to serve in good faith, act honorably, behave honestly, attend meetings, contribute to decisions that are in the best interest of the CVSBA, respect confidentiality, and avoid conflicts of interest.
2) Board Members are responsible for their actions, which should be in keeping with those performed by any prudent person in similar circumstances.
3) Board Members are stewards of the good name of the SBA and are required to be wise, prudent, and vigilant on its behalf.
4) Board Members are not liable for debts or liabilities of the Association/Society, though any Director, who has knowingly directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in, or participated in an illegal act may be personally liable for that offence.
5) The Board will allow no officer, individual, or committee of the Board to hinder the work of the Board.
6) The Board is further responsible for the following:
- Presenting an annual report to the Membership at the AGM
- Soliciting and collecting from the Membership responses, suggestions, information, and feedback as required to determine Policies, develop activities, and perform other SBA-related functions
- Making recommendations to the Membership to amend SBA Policies and/or Bylaw
- Arranging the monthly General Meetings.
Part 10 - Board of Directors: Election and Term
1) The Board consists of up to twelve (12) Members, including the Past President, all of whom may vote at Board meetings. The President only votes in the event of a tie. Board Members are elected for a term of one (1) year by the Membership at the AGM. Any paid-up Member may be nominated for a position on the Board.
2) If a Board Member resigns before the end of the term, the Board will appoint a replacement from the Membership.
3) A Member wishing to stand for election to the Board must have been a paid-up Member for at least three months and have shown good attendance at General Meetings.
4) Elections will be conducted at the AGM by secret ballot and will be scrutinized by two volunteers from the Membership.
Part 11 - Board of Directors: Positions and Duties
1) The CVSBA Board consists of up to twelve (12) Members, which could include the President, Vice- President, Secretary, Treasurer, Marketing & PR Director, Membership Director, Newsletter Director, Program Director, Community Events Director, Website Director, Social Director, and the Past President.
2) The following changes were made at the June 2012 meeting to the structure of the Board:
- Marketing/PR, Website and Community Events are combined under one Board position Marketing/PR. Website and Community Events will each be headed by a Chairperson reporting to the Marketing/PR Director.
- Membership, Newsletter and Social will be combined under one board position Membership. Newsletter, Social and the addition of an Awards Committee will each be headed by a Chairperson reporting to the Membership Director.
3) There are three (3) Signing Officers. Two (2) must endorse each cheque. Signing Officers are any two (2) of the following three (3) signatures: President and two (2) other Board members except the Treasurer. Signing Officers are selected at the first meeting of a newly elected Board.
4) If a Board member misses three (3) consecutive Board meetings, they may be asked to resign their position by the Board.
5) All Board members are obligated to hand over all materials related to their position to their successors.
6) The relevant related duties of elected Board Members are as follows:
1) Is empowered to Chair both Board and General Meetings, with all the commonly accepted powers of the position in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order
2) Represents the Board and CVSBA to outside parties
3) Writes articles for the monthly SBA Newsletter.
1) Advises and assists the President
2) Chairs the General and /or Board meetings if the President or the Vice President is absent.
1) Develops and distributes agendas for Board and General Meetings
2) Acts as Chairperson in the President’s absence
3) Co-Chairs monthly General Meetings
4) Investigates all matters concerning the SBA Policies/Bylaws
5) Organizes social events for SBA Members with the Social Director.
1) Takes minutes at all Board and General Meetings
2) Presents all correspondence of the the SBA to the Board
3) Maintains the meeting minutes and regular correspondence of the the SBA.
1) Deposits SBA funds and writes cheques
2) Maintains the financial accounts of the SBA in good order
3) Prepares and presents financial reports to the Board and Membership as required at monthly meetings
4) Prepares and presents the year-end budget and a proposed budget at the AGM
5) Assists the Membership Director at General Meetings.
Community Events Director
1) Organizes and oversees all events promoting the SBA.
2) Manages lending and storage of the SBA’s assets and properties.
3) Develops marketing materials to promote the SBA.
1) Maintains listings of all SBA Members
2) Collects Membership dues from Members, and produces receipts
3) Provides completed Membership cards for new or renewing Members
4) Greets Members and Guests at the General Meetings and documents their names
5) Reports changes in Membership to the Board.
1) Designs the newsletter format
2) Collects and edits articles for the newsletter from the Board and the Membership
3) Sets deadlines for the newsletter
4) Produces an e-mail newsletter once per month
5) Submits the newsletter to the Webmaster for publishing on the website.
1) In consultation with the Board, arranges for the Guest Speaker, the “In the Spotlight” Speaker, and Workshop Sessions for the General Meetings
2) Introduces Guest and “In the Spotlight” speakers
3) Maintains records on which Members have done an “In the Spotlight” presentation
4) Oversees the distribution of all information regarding upcoming “In the Spotlight” and Guest speakers to the Public Relations Director, Website Director, and the Newsletter Director.
Marketing & Public Relations Director
1) Prepare and distribute press releases about the monthly meeting and special events to the appropriate media, doing media-contact follow-up as appropriate.
2) Invites dignitaries, including media, to meetings, particularly Awards Night in May and special meetings.
3) Co-ordinate with the Events Director to promote SBA events through various media outlets including advertising and public relations.
1) With Board consultation and approval, develops and maintains the CVSBA website to promote the SBA.
1) Organizes social events for SBA Members with the assistance of the Vice President.
Part 12 - Board Meetings
1) The SBA will hold monthly board meetings between August and June.
2) A quorum is considered to be two-thirds (2/3) of the filled board positions at that time. A quorum is required to vote on Board actions. A majority vote is required to pass any motion and the President only votes to break a tie.
3) The current Board and the new Board will hold an orientation meeting prior to September each year.
4) An SBA Member may request time to bring forward an item at an upcoming Board meeting.
5) All Board meetings are open to the General Membership.
Part 13 - Directory Policy
1) A Members’ Directory will be maintained on the Association Website, and will be updated on a monthly basis, if necessary.
2) Members may notify the Website Director if information changes are required to their listing on the Website. Non-renewing Members will be removed from this directory.
3) This Directory of Membership on the Association Website is for the sole and private use of the Membership, and is not for use by any non-member business or individual.
Definition of Member Classifications
1) Membership is open to any person who currently operates, or has previously operated a home-based or small business.
a) The annual Membership fee is required.
b) A paid-up Regular Member will be eligible to:
i) Participate as a Director of the CVSBA
ii) Participate in the Mentoring Program
iii) Participate in all social functions
iv) Attend all General and Board meetings
v) Be an active participant in meetings, committees and Board of Directors discussions
vi) Vote at the general meetings and the AGM
vii) Display advertising materials at the SBA General Meeting in an area designated
viii) Have a listing on the CVSBA website
ix) Register a booth in any SBA Trade/Home Show
x) Act as an Spotlight Speaker, and
xi) Conduct a Workshop.
1) This category is no longer offered.
2) These memberships will be “grand fathered.”
3) The regular annual Membership fee will be waived.
1) This category is no longer offered, effective October 1, 2009.
2) All current Associate Members, should they choose, will be reinstated as Regular Members, with all rights and privileges
3) Regular Member fees will be charged.
Honorary Lifetime Member
1) This category is available for persons who have made exemplary contributions to the development and/or successful continuation of the Comox Valley Home-Based Business Association as the Comox Valley Small Business Association.
2) Honorary Lifetime Members are chosen through nomination by Members and a vote by the Membership.
3) Membership fees will be waived.
Final Amendments at the General Meeting of the Comox Valley Home-Based Business Association on June 6, 2013.
Marg Szafron – 2012-2013 CVSBA Vice-President July 11, 2013