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Small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia’s economy, creating jobs and economic benefit in their communities.

Small Business Week 2020 (Oct. 18 to 24) is an opportunity to recognize the hard work of small business owners in Nova Scotia and their resilience and determination throughout the pandemic.

“COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on small businesses across all sectors,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business. “Our small businesses create jobs, fuel innovation and play a key role in our economy. I encourage everyone to buy local. Supporting our small businesses this week – and every week – is good for all of us.”

Small business owners and entrepreneurs develop new products, services and ways of working. This has been especially true as many small companies in Nova Scotia adapted their business models during the COVID-19 pandemic to produce hand sanitizer, protective barriers and non-medical, washable face masks. Others saw opportunities to help Nova Scotians stay safe or stay home by developing shopping websites, online platforms for concerts and home product delivery.

Nova Scotia’s Crown corporations are helping small businesses become more competitive through the pandemic by helping them access and adapt to digital technology. This includes the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative, programs to help small businesses adapt to the changing pace of business, online sales training, vendor connections (Innovacorp) and events like the in-person/online holiday Evergreen Market (Develop NS).

QUOTE: “Small businesses play a critical role in our economy, especially now as we recover from the impacts of COVID-19. These companies have shown resilience as they changed their models to include e-commerce or home delivery and they’ve made their businesses safe and welcoming for customers. I encourage everyone to rediscover what your neighbourhood small businesses have to offer and make buying local your first choice.”

  • Wendy Luther, president and chief executive officer, Halifax Partnership

My tartan products business was supposed to supply the cruise ship pavilion and a number of other events that were cancelled because of COVID-19, so we knew we had to come up with something else. We shifted all production to masks and also started raising funds for charities through a percentage of sales of the masks. I have made about 16,000 masks and raised $15,000 for charities since April 8. Our biggest issue is keeping up with the orders. Sherri Kearney, owner, Maritime Tartan Company

QUICK FACTS:

  • Nova Scotia has five Crown Corporations connected to the Department of Business: Tourism Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Business Inc., Innovacorp, Events East, and Develop Nova Scotia
  • most Nova Scotia businesses are small businesses (1 to 99 employees)
  • as of June 2020, Nova Scotia had 32,329 small businesses
  • businesses with fewer than 50 employees make up 45.4 per cent of private sector employment

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