October 21, 2021, FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business and the minister responsible for Opportunities NB, in recognition of Small Business Week, Oct. 18-22:
We all either shop at a small business or know someone who runs one, but have you ever considered just how important they are? It may be something that has crossed your mind during the pandemic and as we navigate through the COVID-19 recovery.
Small businesses have a significant impact in New Brunswick and supporting them is essential. There are more than 26,000 small businesses operating in our province, employing more than 200,000 people. This accounts for almost 60 per cent of employment.
There is no denying COVID-19 has been devastating to many of New Brunswick’s small businesses. We can all have a major impact on how quickly these key cogs in our economy get back to running at pre-pandemic efficiency.
Shopping locally is without a doubt the best way to show your support. Your dollars are a way to thank the hard-working people for their courage and resilience during a very difficult time and a vote of confidence for the future.
We can also use word of mouth and the power of social media to have an impact. By sharing a post on Facebook or leaving a positive review online, we tell others around the globe about the world-class companies and entrepreneurs who call New Brunswick home.
Government, too, has an important role to play. It is government’s job to create conditions that allow businesses to succeed and grow. For example, New Brunswick’s small business tax rate is 2.5 per cent, tied with Nova Scotia for the lowest rate east of Manitoba. This gives small businesses the opportunity to invest to a greater degree in their own operations.
During the pandemic, non-repayable grants of up to $5,000 have been available through Opportunities NB to qualified small businesses to offset the effects of COVID-19. Phase 2 of the program, however, is coming to a close. I encourage those who haven’t taken advantage of the grants to learn more online at www.onbcanada.ca/covid-19 or through one of Opportunities NB’s business navigators (1-833-799-7966 or firstname.lastname@example.org) before the Oct. 31 deadline.
As we mark Small Business Week this year, I thank each small business owner in New Brunswick for what they contribute to their communities and to the provincial economy.
David Kelly, communications, Opportunities NB, David.Kelly2@gnb.ca.