James Burgess, Focus31, Small Business SuccessOct. 17 to 23 was once again the celebration of Small Business Week, honoring our self-employed business sector. This annual event began in 1979 when Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) branches in BC’s lower mainland pooled their resources to organize a series of business management training sessions. The first event and a follow-up event in 1980 were so successful that BDC officially launched Small Business Week across Canada in 1981.This recognition is a trademark event that celebrates Canadian entrepreneurship at the local, provincial and national levels. To add the icing on the cake, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Moncton and Charlottetown are the most business friendly cities in the Maritimes.

The list, released Tuesday, ranked Canadian cities on a number of categories that indicate levels of entrepreneurial activity, levels of optimism and business expectations, and the influence of local governments on business decision making. Not only do we have amazing entrepreneurs in our Southeast region, we also have the agencies and support in place to help our entrepreneurs become successful. Many of these agencies not only provide support, training, and counseling, they also strive to celebrate and provide some well-deserved recognition and awards to honor these small business owners. During this past week there have been too many wonderful events to list them all, but here are some highlights of the ones that CBDC Westmorland Albert had the privilege in attending and in some cases, co-hosting with our various partners in Economic Development.

James Burgess, Focus31, Small Business SuccessSmall Business Week got off to a roaring start on Monday, Oct. 18 and Tuesday, Oct. 19 which saw a two-day summit held at the Casino New Brunswick entitled Diversity in the Technological Workplace: Opportunities for Women and Employers. This special event was hosted by Enterprise Greater Moncton and covered such topics as HR Gaps: Challenges and Opportunities, Winning Strategies for Business and Career Growth, and Why So Few? Attracting and Supporting Girls and Women in the Technology and Skilled Labor Sectors.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, the Greater Moncton Entrepreneurship Expo was held at the Moncton Coliseum, which was organized by the Momentum Group. This event had over 100 trade booths, a networking lunch, breakout sessions featuring several local business experts, as well as featured speaker Richard St. John, author of “8 to Be Great,” a book about the traits that lead to entrepreneurial success.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Greater Sackville Chamber of Commerce and New Brunswick Securities Commission hosted a morning seminar for entrepreneurs entitled Access to Capital at the Marshlands Inn in Sackville.CBDC Westmorland Albert and Enterprise South East hosted The Entrepreneurship Gala 2010 on Oct. 19, at the Memramcook Learning and Vacation Resort’s Chapel, in Memramcook.

During the evening four prestigious awards were presented, the Raymond LeBlanc Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Gaston LeBlanc of G.L. Sawmill Ltd., and G.L. Construction Ltd. of Haute Aboujagane, and the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Marc Arsenault of Arsenault Cylinder Heads Ltd. of Shediac. Other special awards went to Jack Stewart and Paul Gunn of Soricimed Biopharma Inc. from the Greater Sackville Chamber of Commerce, and to the late Amance LeBlanc from the Chambre de Commerce de Cap-Pelé/Beaubassin-est.

This morning, CBDC Westmorland Albert, Enterprise Fundy, and the NB Association of CBDCs hosted a Networking Breakfast for entrepreneurs at the Hillsborough Golf Club, with Bev Crossman, owner of Positive Vibes, as the featured guest speaker.

As you can see from this diverse partial list of events, small business owners are a much valued part of our region’s overall economy. On behalf of CBDC Westmorland Albert, we salute all our entrepreneurs and wish them continued growth and success for many years.


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