Small businesses are anything but small

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Did you know that there are well over a million small businesses in Canada? Small businesses are those who employ 99 people or less. Over half of small businesses employ three people or less. This may not seem like much, but together, all of Canada’s small businesses employ over 10 million people – more than 88% of Canada’s total workforce! A small size clearly doesn’t translate into a small economic impact.

One of the most well-known reasons why small businesses are important is that they support strong local economies. Large enterprises tend to focus on a high profit model achieved through the high volume dealing of goods and services. The main beneficiary is often senior management, most of whom do not typically live in the same jurisdiction, possibly not even in the same country!

Supporting small businesses creates a perfect “Newton’s cradle” in the sense that it keeps dollars in the local economy which can then be used to support other local business owners, employees, and their families. In a literal sense, dollars spent in small local businesses end up feeding, clothing, and housing hard-working local families.

There is no limit to how long locally-spent dollars can stretch. That $5 that you spent at a local coffee shop is spent by the coffee shop owner at the local grocery store. The grocery store owner uses it to pay for a haircut at a local salon. The salon owner puts it toward dog food at a local pet store. A pet store employee receives it as part of their wages and uses it as a tip for a meal at a local restaurant. The server at the restaurant puts it toward a clothing purchase at a local shop. Etc, etc… The possibilities are endless. 

The same dollars, when spent locally, can keep a local economy thriving for years. It’s not only business owners who benefit – far from it in fact. Every employee of a small local business makes their living and supports themselves and their families with locally spent dollars. It’s a perfect system that also helps to sustain the environment with far less travel. 

While we celebrate Small Business Week this week, Oct 15-21, remember that we don’t just support small businesses – small businesses are vital in supporting us! A thriving economy depends on them, as do nearly 9/10 of employees across the country. We may only celebrate small businesses for one week per year, but for the other 51 weeks of the year, we rely on them. Stop by one of our amazing local businesses this week – and every other week as well – for great products and services, and great customer service. You’ll be glad you did!

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