Small businesses opportunities during the COVID 19 Crisis – CANADA

We are happy to welcome back our community in a new publication for cell phone store owners. In this opportunity, we bring to our community in Canada this article where we will introduce new proposals and opportunities offered by the government to expand the horizons of small businesses.

We take as a reference to the new podcast series hosted by the Financial Post’s Emily Jackson. An interesting proposal to think and rethink business during and after the historical crisis caused by the COVID – 19 pandemic.

Small businesses make up the vast majority of Canada’s business community and employ the majority of Canadians. Given the size of the community, it’s no surprise that all levels of government pay a lot of attention to what small businesses have to say. But now the federal government is trying to convince small businesses to listen to it. As Ottawa pushes for more of them to do business outside of Canada.

The Financial Post’s weekly podcast Down to Business episode 10 received Mary NG member of parliament and minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. She said firstly, that ninety nine percent of all businesses in Canada are small or medium sized enterprises.

It’s a tough time to convince small businesses to expand beyond Canadian borders thanks to hide and trade uncertainty with our two largest trading partners, the United States and China.

But Minister administering is determined to get more companies exporting. 

“99 percent of all our businesses in Canada are small and medium-sized businesses when I travel around the country, I think most people know that we have a lot of small and medium-sized businesses. But when you say ninety-nine percent of all our businesses are a small and medium or ninety-eight percent or small, people actually paused for a moment and think, jeez, I can see myself in that.”

It is such a big number, that small, medium-sized businesses with less than 500 employees make up 90 percent of the labor force in this country. That said, most of these businesses are locally focused. Statistics Canada recently put out a report saying that only 12 percent of small businesses are exporting. Why do you think there is that reluctance for small businesses to expand outside of Canada’s borders?

12 percent of businesses that export, 70 percent of that 12 percent go into the one market, which is the U.S. “So you could see that even within that, we’re not diversifying very much. We’re not exporting very much.”

Mary NG said: “I think that the issues that I hear from businesses are very practical ones. how do I begin to export? How do I know what markets I should be going by business into? I don’t know what kind of risks there are for my business in growing it internationally. I don’t understand the language. What you know, how do I do this? So these are very practical questions that I think businesses are asking”.

Mary NG said they want businesses in particular, small, medium-sized businesses to see themselves in these trade agreements. During her meetings with businesses across the country, she affirms this is about customers. She says business owners want access to customers and there are one point five billion customers in the global marketplace that comes directly from Canada’s present trading agreements. Pacific Rim countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, just to name a few, and the Pacific Rim and through the European Union, through FITA. And, of course, the North American market. That’s one point five billion customers in the global marketplace that are Canadian businesses get access.

Small business can access them with these trade agreements that the government has pushed for. But they’re not accessing them. What is the government doing about that?

As she said, the government have doubled down on a plan to help Canadian businesses diversify their exports into the global marketplace. Mary NG also said to be helping small or medium-sized businesses become more export-ready. Puts funding out into, across the country about 15 million dollars worth of funding to help Canadian companies become export. This means coming up with an export plan, figuring out where the business might grow, and into which market. The government of Canada has some support to help small and medium-sized businesses do that.

Can Export is a program that helps business owners take a trip to the country where they want to grow the business into. In order to see how that growth could be done, evaluate what customers are over there, etc. Can export actually provides the opportunity so that the business owner can  take a look at how to expand into that marketplace. When she or he gets there, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service will help navigate through customers, through the local economy and opportunities and connect with contacts that might be helpful to the business. That’s the kind of work that it’s being done right now to help Canadian businesses get the tools. Some of the investments that they need to go abroad.

Mary NG shared an example of where this has actually worked. 

It was a trade mission of about 30 female entrepreneurs, and it took a few months to put that trade mission together. This particular one actually was focused on the care economy. What they did there was look at entrepreneurs who were in that space who wanted to grow because they had products or services or technology in the care economy that could actually grow into Japan. The company is called a linker. 

What the business had to do was to go over to Japan prior to the trade mission just to do some early planning to assess what kinds of customers might be there. So can export is the program to help an entrepreneur go abroad also the program is responsible for adding a greater capacity in the trade commissioner. As the entrepreneur starts planning with the Trade Commission service here in Canada. Then when they got to the designated country, they utilized that trade commission sorest so that they could introduce them to potential contractors. In fact, in the case shown of LINKER, they introduced to a designer that ultimately is going to reframe her product so that it fits the Asian marketplace.

The trade mission itself helped 30 women entrepreneurs go over into that market so that they could look for potential customers. And so that they can grow into that market.

Even though this is a very tough situation for everyone, it is time for us to start looking at the future with different eyes, trying to figure out creatively ways of improving our businesses, and ways of moving forward.

We hope this article was useful and enjoyable, 

Stay safe and well!


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