Northern Ontario celebrates Small Business Week

To the Expositor:

This week, Canada celebrates Small Business Week, October 16th to 22nd. As Minister for FedNor, let me take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate all of the hard-working entrepreneurs of Northern Ontario. Simply put, the men and women who dream and dare to become business-owners are the backbone of our nation’s economy.

Small and medium-sized enterprises account for approximately 98 percent of all businesses and employ the majority of workers across the country. That is certainly a contribution worth celebrating. It’s also why FedNor, through its Northern Ontario Development Program, will continue to work with a variety of partners to help Northern Ontario businesses have the tools they need to thrive in today’s competitive and international business world.

Also, thanks to the support, Northern Ontario’s 24 Community Futures Development Corporations invested more than $21.6 million last year to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in Northern Ontario. A truly impressive performance and a tribute to the region’sentrepreneurial spirit.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping this important sector of our economy. We are lowering taxes for small businesses; limiting the increase of employment insurance premiums; and continuing our support of initiatives such as BizPAL, the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and the Community Futures Program, to name just a few.

In addition, our Government has established the Red Tape Reduction Commission. The Commission recently released the “What Was Heard” report that focussed on priority red tape irritants identified through extensive public consultation. The awaited Recommendations Report will then propose to government concrete steps we can take to address these irritants. We have already taken steps to reduce administrative and paperwork requirements for Canadian businesses. That way they can focus on what they do best: creating jobs and wealth for our country.

So please, join me this week as we recognize and celebrate the vital role small businesses play in the economic well-being of Northern Ontario and indeed the entire country.

Tony Clement,
minister of Industry and
minster responsible for FedNor
Parry Sound-Muskoka