Local small business deserves our support

By Shaye Anderson, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont. First published in the Leduc Representative Fr. Oct. 22 2016

The third week in October marks Small Business week in Canada.

 Without small businesses many charities, sports teams and arts groups wouldn’t have the funding they need.

Small businesses make up over 95 per cent of all business in Alberta. In 2014 they accounted for 32 per cent of the GDP in the province and 36 % of all private sector employment, almost 535,000 people I am happy to support the government‘s initiatives to lower the small business tax from three per cent to two per cent on January 1, 2017 to help with the adjustment to the carbon levy. I was also pleased to see the Alberta Jobs plan including access to capital for start-ups, the Capital Investment Tax Credit and $30 million to attract and support regional economic development initiatives in Alberta.

None of these initiatives would matter if it weren’t for the hard working business owners across the province, and right here in Leduc-Beaumont. Recently I toured the John Deere Reman facility, and learned that a small business can grow in to a major employer with the right support and very hard work. I had the opportunity to eat breakfast at Nisku Eatery on 8th, where you’ll find workers from Nisku and surrounding area, coming to warm up with a good strong cup of coffee.

I was reminded this week how small business owners are tied to the community. Without small businesses many charities, sports teams and arts groups wouldn’t have the funding they need. In Beaumont, the owner of Jef’s Café also sits on Town Council. Embroid-Me in Beaumont sponsors local events all throughout the constituency while providing high quality promotional products. Local Meats in Leduc just recently partnered with LA Nissan to host a free thanksgiving dinner for families hit hard by the economic downturn. Go-led Leduc, LED light specialists just recently helped the Leduc # 1 Energy Discovery Centre reduce its electricity cost and usage in a major lighting overhaul.

Entrepreneurial spirit is in every corner of the constituency and small business owners are not on their own. The Leduc Chamber of Commerce and the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce connect their members to training, networking opportunities and many kinds of support. The Leduc Nisku Economic Development Association provides opportunities for all businesses, enhancing the overall economic health in the region. The Town of Beaumont, Leduc County and City of Leduc offer small businesses in the constituency information, licensing and direction from the beginning of the start-up process.

Small businesses can also reach out to one of the 260 service providers available to help through Business Link, a partnership between the Government of Alberta and the federal government through Western Economic diversification.

This week and every week, please go out and shop local to show your support for small businesses in our community.