The Strength of Small

October 15, 2012 2 Comments

Celebrating Small Business Week in Red Deer

Owning a small business reminds me a lot of my exhilarating affair with skydiving. Sleepless nights, sweaty palms and nausea are apparently symptoms of both the entrepreneurial spirit and jumping out of an aircraft at 12,500 feet. Don't get me wrong - I'm having the time of my life! Taking the leap to owning my own small business is one of the best decisions I've ever made. For every sleepless night there is a day packed full of exciting decisions. For every wave of nausea there are butterflies over an exciting new project. My appreciation for small businesses began when I got my first job at 14 years old. I worked in a 400 square foot, family owned and operated pharmacy for eight years. Since then, I've been a small business devotee and a huge fan of the rebellious nature inherent in entrepreneurs. "Shop Local" is my mantra, owner-operated businesses are my Kryptonite and "Dragon's Den" is regularly recorded on my PVR. Supporting small businesses and shopping local is much more than a passing trend - it's absolutely necessary to our economic stability on a national, provincial and local level. Just take a look:
  • 98% of employers in Canada are small businesses  (2010)
  • 41% of employed Canadians work for businesses with less than 20 employees (2005)
  • 28% of Canada's total GDP came from businesses with less than 50 employees (2009)
  • 96% of  businesses in Alberta are small businesses (2009)
  • 29% of Alberta’s total GDP was generated by small businesses which is the highest ratio in the country per capita (2009)
  • 97% of all businesses in Central Alberta are small businesses which is the highest ratio in the province (2009)
  • For more information click here
These statistics are impressive, but I find that the real strength of small businesses lives in the positive impact they have in our very own community. Small businesses help give Red Deer its unique character and the people who own these small businesses are more than just business people. They are community volunteers, philanthropists, advocates, fundraisers, leaders and friends. I'm honoured to be playing in the same sandbox as these inspiring people and hope that you join me in supporting our businesses. Here are just a few unique small businesses in Red Deer: [gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="rand"]  

2 Responses


June 05, 2014

I had no idea how much of an impact small businesses really have on our community. Working with BJ over the past year and meeting so many of the talented, successful people that she rubs shoulders with has really helped me to appreciate what these people contribute to our communities. There is A LOT of hard work that goes into these businesses. More than I ever understood. Our small business owners live and breathe their business but they are breathing life into it. The passion they have is tangible and contagious. I am so priviliged to get to be a part of even a small piece of that. Happy Small Business Week BJ and all of our other small business owners here in red deer!


June 05, 2014

Small businesses flavor a city or town. Look at Calgary downtown – you don’t get people passing by saying hello, and rarely have I encountered friendly “chit chat” in a downtown Calgary elevator. But here in Red Deer, small business owners understand the importance of customer service, and they project that positive attitude when they are on the streets! I love how friendly our city is, and how easy it is to support locally – you don’t have to look far! You are doing such a fabulous job, BJ, and I am so proud to be part of a fantastic local store!

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