Small Businesses, Big Ideas, Brighter Future

There is nothing small about small businesses in Nova Scotia.

The overwhelming majority of businesses in this province are small businesses, and they employ almost half of all our workers.

For our economy to grow, we need all sizes of businesses to be successful. Every large business has to start somewhere, and we know small businesses are the big opportunities of tomorrow. That’s why we celebrate them during small business week from Oct. 18 to Oct. 24.

We believe in making smart investments that benefit Nova Scotians. That’s why government doubled the Credit Union Loan Program, and increased our guarantee to 90 per cent. So far, more than $90 million in financing has been approved for 1,864 small businesses across every region of Nova Scotia. This has helped create and maintain more than 11,400 jobs.

Through the Department of Business, we’re bringing government departments and agencies together to focus on economic growth. Nova Scotia Business Inc. delivers our business and export programs, and Innovacorp fosters innovative startups that strive to change the world.

Right now, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranks Nova Scotia highest in Canada, in terms of business confidence. We wouldn’t be at the top without entrepreneurs who are willing to sacrifice and take risks.

Many of these ambitious and talented leaders are having tremendous success. Just a few recent achievements from Halifax-area people and companies include:

— John Hamlin, Alex Gillis and Peter Moreira, winning Startup Canada awards in Atlantic Canada — Leslie Gallagher, being selected as Nova Scotia’s only representative to the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance summit, less than a year after starting WorkLocal.jobs — Admiral Insurance, reaching more than four million customers and almost 500 employees after starting in Halifax with just 19 employees in 2007 — Kinduct Technologies Inc., helping the Toronto Blue Jays and more than a dozen other professional baseball, hockey and basketball teams collect data to better manage their athletes.

Government understands the importance of small businesses, and we have one very clear objective — to make Nova Scotia the most competitive and business-friendly environment.

We are reducing red tape, eliminating unnecessary licences and placing more services online to make it easier to do business with government. We are committed to small business success.

I offer my admiration and congratulations to all of our small business success stories and to those just starting out.

For the first time in Nova Scotia this is being proclaimed small business week. I encourage every Nova Scotian to join me in celebrating small businesses, and help spread the word of all the good things that are happening in our business community.

Premier Stephen McNeil