A salute to small business owners
Small business owners toil day in and day out to make ends meet and ensure their doors stay open. They are often the first to say yes to sponsoring a sports team or a community event. Nonetheless, the contributions they make to the economic and social fabric of Newfoundland and Labrador may go unnoticed.
According to the latest Statistics Canada data, small- and medium-sized enterprises account for 99 percent of all businesses in the province and employ a little over half of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.
Small business owners operate their businesses because they can be their own bosses, make their own decisions, and have a more flexible schedule. They willingly do whatever it takes to be successful. The ultimate multi-taskers and risk-takers, they are passionate about what they do and they love the freedom to take whatever path they want.
They are also business owners, not surprisingly, for the opportunity it presents. And in Newfoundland and Labrador, there seems to be plenty of opportunity if one wishes to take advantage of it. Our Monthly Business Barometer shows small businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador are consistently among the most confident in the country. In fact, our small businesses were the most confident this past September.
Certainly, there is much to be confident about. New oil and mineral discoveries. Tourists flocking to our shores in the tens of thousands. Some of the best fish and seafood to offer the world.
Yet, owning a business is not glamourous, as business owners are often overworked and underpaid. Though, they don’t do it for the glamour or even the recognition. Rather, they know it makes a difference, whether it is meeting the demand for a good or service or providing much-needed employment in our communities.
However, there are constant pressures that threaten their survival. High taxes, red tape and excessive credit card fees are the bane of many small businesses.
Despite this, our province’s entrepreneurs have the vision, passion and drive to be successful and the more support they have, the better it is for all. That’s why the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has launched Shop Small Biz, the first Canadian permanent online directory and deal finder devoted to independent busi- nesses.
Last October, thousands of independent businesses and consumers celebrated Canada’s Small Business Saturday. For consumers, it was an opportunity to learn more about their local independent merchants and support the businesses that make their communities alive. The directory, available at shopsmallbiz.ca, is the product of the success from last year’s Small Business Saturday.
We say it often because it is true: small businesses are the engine that drives our provincial economy and they are the backbone of our communities. It is incomprehensible where we would be and what we would have without small independent businesses.
That’s what Small Business Day is all about – celebrating these contributions, for which everyone should be thankful. So on Oct. 25, shop small and make a big difference.