Statement on Small Business Week

LONDON – Small and independent businesses help sustain local communities, produce local jobs and ensure Canadians’ hard earned dollars remain in their communities. As small business week comes to a close, New Democrats congratulate small and independent businesses for all the valuable contributions they provide to communities across Canada.

Small businesses contribute one-third of Canada’s GDP and represent more than half of all private sector employment. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ 100,000 plus members give back to their communities by donating to local charities, sponsoring sports teams and supporting cultural events. That includes many family owned businesses in my own riding of London-Fanshawe such as Coulter’s Pharmacy, the Malibu Restaurant, Polhill Automotive, or the Scotian Isle Bakery to name just a few.

They are also the incubators of new ideas and new technologies like Purifics, or the reinventors of past successes such as the Forked River Brewing Co.  Small businesses help build into our vast regions, increase business opportunities and create local employment; they are the backbone of Canada’s economy.

Given the recent economic forecasts, it’s clear that small business is facing big challenges – not least of which is hidden credit card merchant fees. Despite a Throne Speech branded with a ‘consumer focus’ no action was taken to rein in the ever increasing credit card processing fees that are increasing consumer prices, hurting job creation and hurting small businesses. New Democrats will continue to advocate for effective changes to merchant fee regulations.

This small business week, New Democrats remind Canadians that buying from local small businesses supports local families, local Canadian jobs, and strengthens the local economies of our communities. We encourage all Canadians to celebrate these entrepreneurs by spending their dollars locally to support your neighborhood small business.