Mayor Keith Hobbs proclaims small business week in Thunder Bay.
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Small businesses are the backbone of Thunder Bay’s economy, says Business Development Canada’s John Guarasci.
Guarasci was joined Friday by Mayor Keith Hobbs at city hall, where small business week was officially proclaimed.
Without the contributions of small business, no community would survive, he said.
“It allows for employment in the area. It’s something that everyone can be involved with in some degree or form,” Guarasci said.
“It brings innovation to the centre. Thunder Bay will grow by having small business develop. The biggest factor is it builds our economy. It’s a backbone to the economy. When you look across Canada, small business accounts for 80 per cent.”
It’s easy to overlook the importance of small businesses, especially in places where large companies tend to dominate the landscape.
In Thunder Bay Bombardier and Resolute Forest Products are two of the biggest private-sector employers.
But with more than 4,000 small businesses in Thunder Bay, storefront or out of people’s homes, it amounts to plenty of jobs, Guarasci said.
“If you look at it, if you have 100 businesses that employ two people, there’s 200 jobs. So when you have 1,000 businesses employing two people, there’s 2,000 jobs,” he said.
“It’s on the volume scale. Sure, you’re not getting an employer that has 200 people working for them. However, you have companies that have anywhere from one to 100 people working for them. If you focus on growth in that area, in turn that’s what’s going to lead to job growth.”
Several events are scheduled to celebrate small business week over the course of the next seven days.
On Monday Thunder Bay Ventures is visiting local high schools to spread the word.
Tuesday features Brand Like a Rock Star presented by the Chamber of Commerce and the Community Economic Development Corporation, while Thursday brings a growing your business event sponsored in part by the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre and the CEDC.
Hobbs said small business is too important to overlook and deserves a week dedicated to celebrating what it brings to the community.
“They’re economic drivers for the city, for the district. I’ve been to many openings in the city. Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the City of Thunder Bay.”
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