Celebrating Small Businesses in #ourhomestc

Celebrating Small Businesses in #ourhomestc

October is #smallbusinessmonth, and this week is #smallbusinessweek. In Canada, we have more than 1.2 million small businesses. 98% of businesses have less than 100 employees and 1/3 are lead or co-lead by women. 73.9% have fewer than 10 employees In Canada, small businesses employed 10.3 million individuals.

These businesses are truly the backbone of our economy and for our city to be vibrant and successful, we need to make sure that we do all we can to support them and encourage them to move to St. Catharines. We cannot ignore the pressures our small businesses face.

How can we, as a council, help?

We need to:

Support and encourage our BIAs and city staff to partner with the provincial and federal governments to provide grants like Digital Main Street to help businesses reach local customers and tourists.

Invest in Economic Development and Tourism initiatives like our Destination Marketing Organization partnership with The Town of Lincoln through innovative ideas, such as the Municipal Accomodation Tax.

Ensure our Planning and Building Department has enough staff to keep projects moving forward in a timely manner and adopt a Community Planning Permit System to streamline approval processes.

✅Support Regional Transit expansion so businesses can hire staff from across the region.

Council must understand the needs of all business owners, particularly the smaller sized ones which are the backbone of our local economy.