Dream big with small and digital power

by SueT

October is the month of autumn, a colorful season with mild weather and beautiful foliage, a busy period of ripening and growing, a harvest time for farmers and also for business owners. Here comes the annual Small Business Week which runs from October 16-22, time to celebrate entrepreneurship, startups, small and medium businesses in our communities.

Small business can be seen every where, we visit them, we talk to them, have a health checkup regularly at a medical clinic close to home, order the food with their delivery to the door, get the services and goods from them…so what is about a small business? how they fuel the economy and impact the community?

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Dream it, do it

Small business is powerful. It may be a micro company that has fewer employees and less annual revenue comparing to a regular or large enterprise. It can be a privately owned consultancy, an independently operated law firm, a local grocery store in your neighborhood, a walk-in clinic down the street, or a coffee shop at the corner…They provide the products and services we need, create jobs and employ millions of people across the industries.

Small business is big in Canada. There are more than 1.2 million small and medium-sized businesses from professional and technical services to construction and retails, they help the trades work and marketplace stay active and competitive, they’re at the heart of our communities and the backbone of our economy. If we look at some provinces like Ontario and British Columbia, there are about half a million small businesses in one and the other to represent a strong business community. In BC, approximately 1-in-10 people are small business owners or entrepreneurs to make the province a home of entrepreneurship.

It takes action, passion, commitment, entrepreneurial spirit and much more to start small get big, and make dreams come true.

Small business is all about entrepreneurship and opportunities. Many successful owners started small with only 1 or 2 people but have a big idea and a willingness to work hard and grow. By becoming bigger businesses, they provide more and more opportunities for people and give back to the community with inspirational entrepreneurship. Every year, Small Business Week brings thousands of aspiring business owners, entrepreneurs and founders together for the opportunities of learning and sharing, networking and celebrating. Digital literacy, innovative solutions, green technologies, business ecosystem and sustainable community, it’s a group of dreamers and doers to work hard and change the world with the ambition and big ideas along the way.

Start local, think global

There’s no doubt that small businesses are important for many reasons: job creation, selling varies goods and services to benefit people and sparking innovation. How many of us got our first jobs at a family business down the street? Were you ever helped by a trade worker in the area? Have you been any block parties sponsored by a local business? Did you take any practical advice from a small business owner in the neighborhood? Plenty of small businesses start from local, focus on local and have a big impact on local to thrive, prosper and grow together, they’re lifeblood of our communities.

This week, we celebrate the contributions small businesses make to our neighborhoods and local communities. Let’s support them as much as possible to eat local, shop local, buy local and act local…

To start and grow a business is never easy, and one thing always stands out, the passion and dedication of entrepreneurs. Many small business owners dare to do things differently with courage and innovative thinking. They conduct import and export with overseas partners, collaborate with others to work together for digital transformation, hire a marketing consultancy to research and develop new markets, invest in green business and digital projects with professional advice for growth…

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Nowadays, we’re facing many changes due to the pandemic and economic issues. I personally saw a few businesses in my area has disappeared, like one day I went to a familiar store but only saw the closed door…they may be gone in silence without too much attention but I know it’s not the good sign for small business, our community and our life. Certainly, some small businesses are finding ways to succeed in tough times, and some are struggling to survive with physical distance and safety.

The economic downturn is real, it hits international market and local business, no exception to the mall businesses. If you confront challenges like reduced cash flow, declining sales, labor and buyer shortage…we’re here to help each other out, provide digital solutions and personalized plan for your business, work with creative practices and online strategy to solve your problems, build resilience in global community for a win-win collaboration.

Be the change

Small business is the cornerstone of our economy, plays a significant role in local and global communities. Doing business is not only to achieve financial success and independence, but also help people including women and minorities to benefit the community at large: create job opportunities, help local economy, promote entrepreneurial spirit, encourage collaboration and partnership.

We see the pandemic hit hard on our businesses and economy, inflation and tax increases continue to hurt. Over the past 2 years, while small business owners have faced many challenges, such as rising costs, lack of workers and supply chain disruption, can we find better ways of working?

Any business can be an impact business, let the digital power and green impact be your strength.

Power up your growth with digital technologies is now more than ever. The economic recovery has brought new changes for entrepreneurs, services providers, restaurant and shop owners, digital services are on the rise. So what are you waiting for? Get online and go digital, improve your online presence and e-commerce business, work with a digital advisor to enhance your digital literacy for a sustainable business. Technologies empower small business, when small business succeed, our economy grows, jobs are created and communities thrive. So we live in a changing world now and disruptive innovations are on the way, be part of it to make our businesses more inclusive and sustainable, improving our digital strategy while driving the economy.

Give back

October is in the middle of fall season, it’s annual Women’s History Month and Small Business Month. Small Business Week is also underway till this weekend, the giving season and holiday season are coming right after. This harvest time is in full swing, I saw my neighbors already stored some pumpkins and potatoes for Halloween, I plan to light the candles for my late family members and pray for them on All Souls’ Day, Thanksgiving is also coming up next month…It’s a season full of diversity and sustainability about harvesting food, celebrating life and giving back to the community.

Food is essential for our life. When we celebrate the harvest festival, we celebrate the food culture and sustainability. World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year on the mid-October, which is the founding date of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. You can join the event to visit a local farm or food business, check out a community garden close to home and grow your own food, help food security and sustainable agriculture, donate your time or money to food bank or charities to give back the community.

Recently I joined a regional conference about arts and culture over a weekend. The theme is braving the future together with a focus on EDI topics and issues. It gathered the participants from varies backgrounds, there are small business owners and program funders, executive members and staff from public services and non-profit organizations. By meeting and talking with them, I feel to open a dialogue between different social groups, a peer conversation to express and share freely, a space to collaborate and promote equality, diversity and inclusion among members.

This year, Indigenous Peoples’ Day occurs on October 10, a time to honor the beautiful traditions and cultures of the native people, an opportunity to celebrate and recognizes their histories and valuable land for living with diversity and sustainability. From culture to business, from non-profit organizations to public services, from startup founders to financial funders, giving back and giving more are all about building communities and resilience through collaboration and partnership. We all need help and we all can help, keep helping each other and working together is a good way for the benefit of everyone in our communities.

Go digital, go global…LefTech offers consulting services to help small businesses with digital strategy and solutions, we promote green business and technologies, we support entrepreneurship and community for sustainable practices and living.

Happy harvest, happy fall! Let’s celebrate small businesses that make our neighborhoods vibrant, support diverse entrepreneurs with Small Business Diversity Forum, build an inclusive business ecosystem with more public services and programs. Whatever you want to start your own business, transit your startup to a small business, finance your company with some funding and boost your business with technology, there are some tools and resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners to recover and grow:

Digital Adoption Program: help business owners to adopt new technologies and grow the e-commerce with a micro-grant

Small Business Financing Program: access to the fund, loan and materials to finance and grow your business

Regional education and free webinars for Small Business Week

Regional and national events for Small Business Month