Don’t overlook small business

Take a moment to consider the importance small business plays in the community.

So another week goes by and you happen to hear that it’s a special week to recognize a particular group or cause.

Yes, we can hear the collective yawn as it seems we can’t get through a single day on the calendar without hearing the rallying cry for one cause or another. Well, this week and month are no different, but before you jump off this page, take a moment and think about what life would be like without small businesses.

From auto repair specialists to doctors, from tattoo artists to computer repair specialists, having someone local that is able to respond to your needs is critical, and the benefits to the economy are immense though quite often that aspect goes unnoticed. That’s why this month is Small Business Month in B.C. and next week is recognized as Small Business Week across the country.

It’s our chance to recognize the tremendous contributions made by small businesses. They support families and keep local economies strong and are in essence the heart and soul of communities like ours. The owners are parents, coaches, entrepreneurs and volunteers who make a positive impact on the community every day.

Ninety-eight per cent of businesses in B.C. are small businesses, and they create opportunities for more than a million of their employees. The small business sector has a huge impact on the province’s economy, and ultimately on the quality of life for millions of British Columbians.

At the national level, small- and medium-sized enterprises represent 99.9 per cent of all companies in Canada, and they employ more than 60 per cent of private sector workers.

Almost half of the members in the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce are small businesses with less than 10 employees. That gives you a sense of how entrepreneurial the city really is.

During Small Business Week, the Vernon chamber and Community Futures North Okanagan are teaming up to put on a few business development workshops. These no-charge seminars are put on each year to provide additional resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners in the city and region in order to help them grow and prosper.

If you have a chance to attend the sessions at Community Futures, please take advantage of the opportunity and in the meantime, perhaps take a moment and thank those entrepreneurs who are running small businesses across our region. They are making a huge contribution to the well being of our city and region, and they do indeed deserve to be recognized with their own special week.

Dan Rogers is the general manager at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.