Even though Small Business Week is not its initiative, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is a big supporter.
“We are just very active participants for it,” said Jaysen Knight, the manager of business development programs with ITI.
Knight said the department’s main goal for Small Business Week is to stimulate business activity.
“There’s a lot of people who think about starting up businesses all the time and there are businesses where all they think about is how to grow their businesses,” he said. “For us, Small Business Week is very important because it allows us to promote our programming for both groups of people – those who are looking to start up a new business and those who are looking to expand their business.”
Small Business Week is an initiative of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
Still, Knight said ITI heavily promotes Small Business Week in all regions of the NWT.
“We get involved every way we can,” he said.
ITI uses the week to promote its programs.
“It’s pretty easy to slap your name on everything, but it doesn’t mean anything if there’s not a direct connection to be made, and you do that through the programming and you do that through the people,” he said. “So a lot of it is really developing connections with people so that they know who to talk to when they want to take that next step.”
Knight said small business is important to the economy, noting it makes up roughly 90 per cent of all enterprises in the NWT.
“When you look around, there are small businesses everywhere,” he said, adding that small and medium-sized businesses drive the economy.