Celebrating Small Business

By Debbie Jabour, MLA for Peace River. Fiirst published in the Peace River Record Gazette on Weds. Oct. 19 2016.

I’d like to take the time during Small Business Week to thank the thousands of small business owners across the Peace River constituency who contribute so much to our communities. There is no doubt the dramatic drop in oil prices is having a major impact on families, communities, and businesses. However, businesses in the north continue to demonstrate innovation and resiliency in the face of this challenge. They are responding to the economic downturn by starting up new ventures and exploring different business opportunities. This makes it especially worthwhile to celebrate them this week.

Small businesses are truly the lifeblood of our economy, and I’m pleased to take this time to honour them and thank them for their contributions in moving our province forward.

I saw this spirit of innovation and resiliency in action last week when I was fortunate enough to attend the 7th Annual Business Awards Night in Manning. The diversity of businesses nominated for awards this year reflects the vast entrepreneurial spirit of the area and the wonderful support for small businesses in the community. The county’s economic development mission is to "promote entrepreneurship, attract economic development, and enable business development with the County of Northern Lights ", and this has strong parallels to what our government is doing for small businesses across the province. We believe in Alberta‘s small businesses. We know they are capable of great things in technology, renewable energy, oil and gas, retail, transportation and more.

Our government consulted with small business owners and heard that they wanted tax credits similar to those enjoyed in other provinces, restoration of training programs and supports for new and established entrepreneurs, help with diversifying and expanding to new markets, increased access to capital, and reduction in the small business tax. We listened and took decisive action.

Small businesses mean big money for Alberta. They inject about $100 billion dollars a year into our hometowns and neighbourhoods and provide over half a million Albertans with good jobs. Small businesses are truly the lifeblood of our economy, and I’m pleased to take this time to honour them and thank them for their contributions in moving our province forward.

If you are a small business owner or looking to start your own business, smallbusiness. alberta. ca is a wonderful resource for information on the supports available to you.