October 14, 2016, FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following message was issued today by Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also minister responsible for Opportunities NB, in recognition of Small Business Week, taking place October 16-22:

Small business has a big impact in New Brunswick. There are 25,000 small businesses operating in New Brunswick, employing 96,000 people. This accounts for 32 per cent of employment in the province.

As a small business owner, I know that the impact of this employment reaches far beyond what the numbers tell us. Before becoming involved in politics, I worked with my husband in Saint-Jacques where we own and operate a tourism business. Like many entrepreneurs we started small, dreamed big and worked hard.

As minister responsible for Opportunities NB, I have the privilege of meeting many new entrepreneurs and small-business owners throughout the province. They are passionate, innovative and driven to succeed.

The passion is found in companies like Distellerie Fils du Roy, based in Petit-Paquetville, where Sébastien Roy started a small distillery three years ago.

The innovation is found in companies like Fredericton-based Resson Aerospace, a company that uses high-technology drones and advanced bioinformatics to do what farmers have traditionally done on foot. Resson, created in 2013 by two University of New Brunswick graduates, has become a leading precision agriculture company working with some of the world’s largest food producers.

And the drive is found in entrepreneurs like Matt White, the owner of Sussex Beard Oil, who successfully pitched his business idea on Dragon’s Den and secured funding.

We will continue to support entrepreneurs and small businesses like these to grow our economy. As a government it is our job to create conditions that allow businesses to thrive and succeed. We have reduced the small business tax to allow businesses to invest more in their own operations. Our ultimate goal is to establish a 2.5 per cent business tax, the lowest rate east of Manitoba.

In addition to this, Opportunities NB is working with businesses across the province to develop new high-growth opportunities. They have business development executives in five regional and six satellite offices and they are an excellent first point of contact for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Opportunities NB has assisted hundreds of companies to develop growth plans, make connections to export opportunities, make links to a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and gain access to funding.

Our government remains focused upon job creation and supporting families. Supporting small business is essential to achieving those goals. Thank you to each and every small business owner in the province for what you contribute to your community and the economy.


Valerie Kilfoil, communications, Opportunities NB, 506-453-8168, Valerie.kilfoil@onbcanada.ca.