The City of Chestermere celebrated local business owners within in community during the Annual Small Business Week from Oct. 20 until Oct. 26.
Initially, Small Business Week was organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), in 1979 to celebrate like-minded Canadian entrepreneurs, learn, network, and share ideas.
“We had Small Business Week last year, it was really our first time for hosting events locally. Through that we learned a lot, we gathered feedback, and that feedback indicated that the event was well-received by the community,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers.
“It provides entrepreneurs with the opportunity to learn about trends, best practices, help them grow opportunities, and it also provides a stage for recognition and connection with their peers and members of the community,” he added.
There were multiple Small Business Week events that were hosted throughout the region, along with local businesses being featured on the Chestermere Economic Development Facebook page.
“Small and medium businesses are really the foundation of our economy nationally and regionally,” Chalmers said.
“It also gives municipalities a regional stage to recognize and celebrate some of the amazing products, services, and the positive connections that these businesses bring to our community,” Chalmers added. “It’s all about recognizing them and propping them up.”
Small Business Week is an opportunity for innovators and business owners to come together, network, celebrate successes, and discuss lessons that they have learned through their journeys.
Not only does Small Business Week celebrate small business owners, but it also gives residents an opportunity to learn about and support businesses that they might have not known exist within their own community.
There really is one way to support your local businesses, and that is by attending them and purchasing their service, Chalmers said.
“At any time that we in the community get a chance to go to these different storefronts or home businesses, we should certainly try to make that effort and support them versus running to the big city,” Chalmers said.
Adding, “There are stores in the big city that we don’t have here for sure, and we might have to go there, but for what we do have here at every opportunity we should be trying to support them.”
By buying locally, the money stays in the community, allows residents to have jobs, pay taxes, and live in the community.
Chestermere has a significant amount of home-based businesses.
“We have a lot of home-based businesses that would truly love to have a store front opportunity, but there are limitations in our community in the present time,” Chalmers said.
Every day the City of Chestermere is recognizing small businesses while helping business owners learn about each other and use the best practices to be successful.
“We need to support our local businesses, for them to survive they need the support. These businesses provide jobs and pay taxes, and we need them to be successful and survive,” Chalmers said.
“Being a small business owner is not for everyone, a small business can be very volatile, and nothing is guaranteed. You bare your soul and stick your neck out to expose yourself to the unknown for an opportunity to contribute your product or services for the greater good of the community and the economy,” he said.
Adding, “Small business owners are families, friends, and neighbours. Every one of them has taken the leap of faith, and of course, the hope is that everybody makes it.”