President + CEO
Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce
It’s BDC Small Business Week once again. On behalf of the Chamber I would like to salute the thousands of small businesses in Waterloo Region who help our Region grow and prosper! Our Chamber is comprised of business of all sizes but is primarily small business in our community. The Region of Waterloo would not be what it is today without these businesses. All of the titans of our business community—BlackBerry, Sun Life, Manulife, Sandvine, Miovision, and more—all started as small businesses here in the Region.
This week we honour those businesses that create jobs and prosperity with a dream, ingenuity, innovation, and hard work.
There are over 1 million small businesses in Canada that employ millions of Canadians. A staggering 98% of those small businesses have fewer than 100 employees. So the growth and health of small business is all the more important as they are the backbone of job creation. Even in our own membership 50% of all Chamber members are businesses and organizations that have fewer than 10 employees, and fully 70% have 20 employees or less.
While our community is home to hundreds of great tech focused small businesses, that’s just one part of our successful business community in Waterloo Region. From sole proprietor contractors to a 5-person accounting firm, we are home to amazing small businesses that make our business community the envy throughout Canada and across North America. Small businesses always face challenges in growth and that is why your Chamber and other organizations like the Business Development Bank of Canada and the Waterloo Region Small Business Centre are here to help.
The Greater KW Chamber works closely with our small business members each and every day to help them learn, network, connect, and grow whether it’s through networking opportunities, educational seminars, targeted advocacy, and member discount programs. We help you connect so the power of the entire membership of 1800 members can give you a stronger voice.
I encourage everyone to take time this week to recognize the challenges our small businesses face every day but also the amazing successes. Remember, all businesses, from the thriving sole proprietor to large, international businesses, once started as small organizations looking to grow and develop into a thriving business.
Celebrate Small Business Week. You deserve it!