We hear a lot of talk about small businesses in Calgary – especially since the COVID-19 restrictions started in March of 2020. We all know SO many of our small businesses have struggled in some way or another. Many continue to face challenges today.
It is critical that we find a way as a city, and as neighbours to support local businesses as they attempt to adapt and evolve in response to the ever changing economy and restrictions
I’ve heard some people say – why do small businesses matter so much? Well here is why. 95% of all businesses in Calgary, are small businesses – that means organizations that employ 1-50 people. Many Calgarians depend on small business for employment and income. Our small businesses are tech companies, retail stores, professional services, homebuilders, restaurants, manufacturers- the list goes on. In fact, over 125,000 Calgarians are self-employed small business owners. It’s a critical time for these businesses, and I want to make sure they have what they need to not just survive, but thrive.
Here are three ways I would help small businesses if elected to City Council:
- I would work with small businesses across Ward 11 and the City to find out what THEY think they need. There isn’t a one size fits all solution and I think its important to engage business owners to really understand what their challenges are.
- As a City, we need to make sure City policy and processes aren’t creating unnecessary hurdles or obstacles preventing growth, adaptation and innovations. We need to make sure we are giving our businesses as much predictability as we can in these uncertain times.
- We need to tackle the problem of our property taxes. This means working with the provincial government to reform the residential and commercial property tax programs so that they are a sustainable source of City operating cost funding, while not placing an unreasonable burden on homeowners and businesses.
How can you help? Shop local when you can. Buy gift cards or order curbside pick-up. Learn about the various business services in your community and keep them in mind for future needs and projects. Follow businesses you love on social media, like and share their posts.
Small businesses are the heart of our city. We need them to be strong in order to move Calgary forward in the right direction.