Small businesses play a major role in local, regional, and national economies. Research show that Canadian small businesses are not prepared for potential emergencies mainly due to the lack of resources and capacities that are needed for development and maintenance of business continuity plans. In one hand collective capacity building efforts are needed by all stakeholders in various levels to enhance the resiliency of small businesses. On the other hand students of the newly established graduate and undergraduate disaster and emergency management programs at York University need to get practical experiences in business continuity planning.
This project aims to bring together York University faculty, students, volunteer experts, and alumni to develop and implement a business continuity planning toolkit (YU-BCPT) to be used by small businesses in Canada. YU-BCPT will be a unique university based business continuity planning training and experiential education program that will enable small business in the GTA, Ontario, and Canada to prepare and implement business continuity plans. This will help small businesses to mitigate the risks of potential incidents, prepare for emergencies and business disruptions, and respond to and recover from emergencies quickly and with minimum possible direct and indirect losses. At the same time this program provides an opportunity for students to learn, teach,
and implement business continuity plans for small businesses and improve their practical skills and experiences.
The YU-BCPT will be a highly interactive, training and capacity building program that encompasses: periodic training workshops at York University; on-site training and support by graduate and undergraduate students, and online training and education.