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CELEBRATE SMALL BUSINESS WEEK OCTOBER 16 to 22 VICTORIA NEWS • OAK BAY NEWS • SAANICH NEWS • GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE • PENINSULA NEWS REVIEW 

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Victoria celebrates Small Business Week Spotlight shines on innovation and ambition in Canada’s small business community Jennifer Blyth Black Press

From its ever-growing craft brewing and winery industries to high-tech successes, Greater Victoria’s small business are central to the local economy. Certainly sectors such as government and the military have a significant economic impact here in the Capital Region, but supporting those large-scale employers – and their employees – are myriad small businesses. Accountants, retailers, doctors and aestheticians, they all help fuel the local economy. And we haven’t even mentioned Victoria’s eclectic array of restaurateurs and fashion designers. Small and mediumsized businesses are the engine of the Canadian economy. They account for 99.8 per cent of all Canadian companies and employ more than 60 per cent of private sector workers. To celebrate this contribution and support entrepreneurs in building successful, innovative businesses, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) hosts Small Business Week® activities across the country.

Celebrated each year during the third week of October, Small Business Week 2011 runs Oct. 16 to 22. For more than 30 years, BDC has provided opportunities to share success stories, talk to leading business experts, exchange innovative ideas and participate in events held across the country. This year, look for ideas and inspiration under the theme Power Up Your Business. Invest. Innovate. Grow. “Small Business Week is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges Canadian entrepreneurs must face and how we can support them,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde. “Innovation is a hot issue in Canada, which is why we have chosen to place it at the centre of our discussions. By presenting inspiring success stories, we want to show that, in business, innovation does not depend on intuition, but Continued on page C4

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Investing in your business, looking for innovations and growing can be good for business owners and staff, but also for the local economy.

Whether tourism or high-tech, retail or service industry, small business is key to Greater Victoria’s economy. And for those looking to continue along a path of business success and growth, the theme of this year’s Small Business Week of Invest, Innovate, Grow is timely.

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Canada’s Business Development Bank, BDC, has almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country. It offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium-sized companies whose success is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity. Here in Victoria, visit the BDC office at 990 Fort St. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Call 250-363-0163 for more information.

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Improving business productivity can be as simple as investing in tangible assets like new electronics and machines, and as well as time for skills training and development of new products and processes. Howevr 2010, only one in five Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises were planning to invest in new production technologies, says the Business Development Bank of Canada. (BDC) How can businesses get started investing in their business? • Start with a strategic plan that outlines a longterm company vision and practical steps for achieving it. Make sure employees are on board and remember to invest in training. New equipment or technological solutions won’t help if employees don’t know how to use them.

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While Canada ranks 14th ou tries in terms of innovation, innovation is easier to achieve And according to a 2010 Ang tion is a priority for 74 per c preneurs. Innovation generally brings new gadget or technological br per cent of real-world busine mental innovation”— using solve new problems or to do m the BDC. For example, find s ing an existing product, orga improving processes to cut co

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CELEBRATE SMALL BUSINESS WEEK OCTOBER 16 to 22 VICTORIA NEWS • OAK BAY NEWS • SAANICH NEWS • GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE • PENINSULA NEWS REVIEW

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of equipment with the money saved. It can also mean trying a new marketing idea. It can occur in all areas of operations and doesn’t need to be a magic silver bullet – focus on continuous incremental improvements. To develop an innovative mindset: • Business managers must forge an innovation strategy with staff, who are often a business’s best source of ideas. In addition to employees, listen to clients, suppliers, financiers and other market participants. • Take steps to educate and inform yourself, studying innovation, change and creativity. • Encourage research and development.

Grow Here in Victoria, and across Canada, growth of small and medium-size businesses creates employment, increases tax revenues and helps fuel the economy. For businesses, growth directly impacts a company’s productivity and competitiveness, explain the experts at the BDC. According to a 2010 Angus Reid survey, a full 78 per cent of entrepreneurs believe it’s important to see their company grow, but when it comes to growth, obstacles such as lack of money, time, knowledge and skills and

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concerns about risk can be stumbling blocks for small business. An expanding business may be harder to manage, funding can be difficult to obtain and finding competent administrators and other experts can be difficult. However, growth can reduce business risk by diversifying a company’s product and client base. Reviewing financial plans and improving business fundamentals can help overcome some of the obstacles, ensuring your business is competitive and efficient. So, how do you get ready to grow? • Most fast-growing small and medium-size businesses have specialized know-how, innovate and manage technology effectively. They are also more likely to invest in research and development, and seek financing. • Building closer relationships with existing clients and suppliers helps. So does listening to their needs. It’s easier to expand sales through existing contacts and customers than to develop new business relationships. • Consider expanding regionally or going global. Only eight per cent of Canadian small and medium businesses export their products and/or services. This doesn’t necessarily mean trading overseas – look to sell into global supply chains by working with a locally based multinational.

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C4

CELEBRATE SMALL BUSINESS WEEK OCTOBER 16 to 22

VICTORIA NEWS • OAK BAY NEWS • SAANICH NEWS • GOLDSTREAM NEWS GAZETTE • PENINSULA NEWS REVIEW

• Friday, October 14, 2011

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The Business Development Bank of Canada aims to help create and develop Canadian businesses through financing, venture capital and consulting, with particular focus on small and medium-size enterprises. Solely dedicated to Canadian entrepreneurs, the BDC has a nationwide team helping more than 29,000 businesses reach their full potential. Here in Victoria, reach the BDC 990 Fort St. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; call 250363-0163 for more information. A financial institution owned by the Government of Canada, the BDC boasts more than 65 years of serving Canadian entrepreneurs. BDC experts help build Canadian business capacity through: • Financing: long-term loans for projects and working capital; • Subordinate financing: hybrid debt and equity financing; • Venture capital: direct and indirect investments in high technology companies; • Consulting services: tailored and affordable, quality consulting services; • Securitization: a business line created in 2009 as part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

According to the Small Business Profile 2010 study from the Government of British Columbia and Western Economic Diversification Canada, there were approximately 395,900 small businesses operating B.C. last year – up three per cent from 2008. Locally, Vancouver Island showed significant growth in net new small businesses between 2007 and 2009, with an increase of 4.8 per cent, or 3,300 new businesses. Other highlights from the profile include: • Small business provides nearly 57 per cent of all private-sector jobs in B.C., the highest rate in the country. • B.C. ranks second in Canada for the number of small businesses per capita, with 88.9 businesses per

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1,000 people. • Women make up 35 per cent of self-employed people in British Columbia, the fourth-highest rate in the country. • Small business accounts for 32 per cent of B.C.’s gross domestic product, above the Canadian average of 28 per cent. • For the third straight year, British Columbia’s share of selfemployed workers was the highest in the country, accounting for 19.7 per cent of total employment. • The number of self-employed people in B.C. rose 14 per cent between 2004 and 2009, well above the national average of 10.1 per cent. For more information, visit www. gov.bc.ca/sted and www.wd.gc.ca Small business is a growing sector on Vancouver Island, according to last year’s provincial Small Business Profile.

Celebrating small business Continued from page C1 on courageous strategic decisions made by ambitious entrepreneurs. Their success is crucial for Canada’s economy and we will have to redouble our efforts to help them carry out their projects. “The theme of Small Business Week 2011 is a call to action for today’s entrepreneurs. It’s time to attack challenges with renewed decisiveness, market awareness and creativity. And it’s time to invest in the new technology your team needs to get the job done.” For more information, see www.bdc.ca/sbw

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Oct 14 2011 Celebrate Small Business Week