Small Business Week celebrates local efforts

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More than 100 local businesses were recognized this year with nominations for the different categories celebrated for Small Business Week.

“We had more than 100 nominations in eight categories. There were 75 finalists and that’s a record for us,” said Jennifer McCurdy, president and CEO of St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce.

The above may be a testament to how small businesses are growing locally or it may simply be that there is more awareness about the annual celebration, McCurdy said.

The week, which officially began Oct. 11 and continues through until Oct. 22, provides an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to come together to talk about their work. It’s also an opportunity to recognize the efforts of the owners who collectively make up the bulk of St. Albert businesses.

Small Business Week is a national initiative begun by Canadian Business Development Bank. That organization estimates that 99.7 per cent of Canadian businesses are small to medium-sized companies that employ some 90 per cent of all workers.

Locally the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce co-ordinates all activities. The theme this year is Think Global! Think Local!

“I think that theme is important because our competitors are not just down the street anymore. They are around the world. The signs of that are in the way local businesses market themselves on the Web and on social media.

“As local businesses it’s important to make sure we are part of the community and offering service to the community as well as globally. I think the nominees for the local business awards are very much a part of their community,” McCurdy said.

This week’s events include: the Northern Alberta Business Institute Oktoberfest, to be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the NABI offices at #118, Carnegie Drive from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saint City Rotary Networking event also takes place Oct. 17 from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Albert Inn.

A Small Business Week Breakfast (7:30 – 9 a.m.) will be held Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Little White School House at 2 Madonna Drive.

The Business Awards of Distinction ceremonies are at the Arden Theatre Thursday, Oct. 19, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

A new award this year is the Lynda Moffat Woman of Distinction. The award honours former Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynda Moffat and will recognize an extraordinary St. Albert business woman.

“She will be named at the gala,” McCurdy said, adding that the winner of the Chairs’ Award of Distinction will be named the same evening.

Pre-registration and tickets for Small Business Week events are available through the chamber: www.stalbertchamber.com.

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About Author

Susan Jones has been a freelance writer for the St. Albert Gazette since 2009, following a 20-year career at the St. Albert Gazette. Susan writes about homes, gardens, community events and people.