OTTAWA – Mayor Jim Watson proclaimed Oct. 18 to 24 Ottawa Small Business Week on Monday (Oct. 19).
“Now more than ever, it is time to support small businesses in your neighbourhood and recognize their vital contributions to Ottawa’s economy and to our communities,” Coun. Eli El-Chantiry released in a statement yesterday (Oct. 20). “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to almost every facet of our lives. Ottawa’s small businesses are experiencing challenging times along with the rest of us, and they need our support. Small businesses are the foundation of Ottawa’s economy, providing important services and a variety of employment opportunities.”
More than 35 per cent of jobs in Ottawa come from small businesses. In 2016, more than 93 per cent of all businesses located in Ottawa were small businesses.
“Small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of our city,” El-Chantiry said. “They bring life and vibrancy to our neighbourhoods and main streets, offering unique retail, restaurant, and service experiences that contribute to the quality of life in Ottawa. Innovative local entrepreneurs enhance Ottawa’s reputation as a hub for new ideas and creative thinking.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a huge strain on local restaurants and small businesses,” Mayor Jim Watson said. “This week and every week, please support small businesses in your neighbourhood; they need your help to get through these challenging times. These businesses are an integral part of Ottawa’s economy, they bring life and vibrancy to our neighbourhoods, they provide jobs to our families, friends and neighbours, and they enhance Ottawa’s reputation as a great place to live and a vibrant destination to visit.”
To help support Ottawa’s diverse and vibrant small business community, city staff have assembled a page of useful links and resources.
“Please support them today in any way you can, including ordering takeout and delivery, shopping online with curbside pickup, and purchasing gift cards,” El-Chantiry said. “Ottawa Public Health has resources available for businesses that are permitted to be open, to help them keep their workplaces safe for staff and customers. Local business owners who want to set up an online store or expand their digital presence can get help for free from Invest Ottawa through the Digital Main Street program.”