A message from Rory Francis, President, Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce
As we enter Small Business Week (October 15-21), there is much for us to celebrate. This event provides the opportunity to recognize small businesses and the contributions that they make to local communities and our economy. Those contributions are anything but small.
Small businesses in Canada are defined as organizations having 99 employees or fewer. When we say small business is the heartbeat of the economy, we mean it. There are over 6,200 small businesses in PEI, accounting for 98.4% of all businesses in the province. PEI has the highest proportion of small business jobs in the country.
At the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, we celebrate small business year-round. We’re encouraged by the innovation, and ingenuity that exists, right here in our province. We see businesses that are leading and revolutionizing their industries. We see organizations that are selling their products, their services and the Prince Edward Island brand on a global stage. We see small businesses that are employing our young people and our newest Islanders.
Small business owners are resilient. We hear of their personal sacrifices – from 80-hour work-weeks, to missed soccer games, and delayed family meals. They sponsor school trips, benefits, and community fundraisers. They put their employees’ needs ahead of their own – sometimes in ways you may not expect. For instance, a member shared the story of when his wife went into labour, they stopped at his business to do payroll on the way to the hospital!
To support the success of our hard-working business community, an environment that promotes and protects growth must exist. In July, Canadian business owners came under attack when the federal government proposed major changes to the way they are taxed. The provincial small business tax rate is already second highest in the country. These realities cannot be omitted from the conversation when considering ways to support our business community and encourage entrepreneurship.
Over the past four months, we have used our collective voice to stand up for small business. During this time, we saw Islanders come together with the shared purpose of supporting our small business community. We encourage you to carry this spirit forward as you partake in the many Small Business Week celebrations across the province.
The drive that exists within our small business community is inspiring. To our small business owners, the Chamber celebrates all you do to give back to your community, build your business, create jobs, and grow the local economy.