Next week, we will celebrate Small Business Week in North Grenville and across the country. The celebration runs from October 16 to 22. Small Business Week is run annually by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) with 43 years of history in helping Canadians realize the importance of entrepreneurship in keeping the economy booming.
Just how important are small businesses in Canada? The short answer is “extremely important”. Small and medium sized businesses – collectively defined as businesses having fewer than 500 employees – account for a staggering 99.8% of all businesses in Canada. These businesses employ about 10 million people in Canada, or 88.3% of the total private sector workforce. More than half of these businesses have less than four employees, and about 75% have fewer than 10 employees. In other words, some of the smallest businesses in Canada have a huge responsibility for keeping the wheels of the economy turning by providing paychecks for a majority of the workforce.
The BDC provides some interesting facts about small businesses. Interestingly, small businesses that are owned equally by men and women have a higher chance of survival than those owned by only men or women alone. It may also be a pleasant surprise to readers that despite the difficulties of entrepreneurship, about two-thirds of new businesses in Canada survive for five years or more. Unfortunately, small businesses can be disproportionately affected by events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, 92.1% of employment loss occurred in small and medium sized businesses.
For the last several months, COVID-19 pandemic rules have been dormant, finally giving small businesses a fair playing field once again compared with large corporations. Many businesses survived the pandemic and must now focus on financial recovery, but many businesses simply did not make it through two years of closures and restrictions. While government benefit programs can provide some support to struggling businesses, the people most equipped to help small businesses are ordinary people who choose to spend their money locally, where it counts the most.
Anyone interested in learning more about the BDC or Small Business Week can visit the BDC website at https://www.bdc.ca/en/small-business-week.
In North Grenville, we are lucky to have a database of local small businesses available online through LoveNG. Despite the old adage that “everybody knows everybody” in a small town, North Grenville is fast-growing, and it is not likely that any one local resident knows all of the great local businesses that the community has to offer. A quick search on https://loveng.ca/ can help in locating a business to suit one’s need for a specific good or service. New businesses are added periodically.
The Times is grateful for nearly a decade of advertising and other support from the countless small businesses that keep our local economy thriving. Our community paper is a local small business as well, and the reality of helping each other demonstrates the heart and soul of what small businesses are really about. Shop Local! #LoveNG