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An Early Christmas Card to Small Business

I had the opportunity recently to facilitate a resilience workshop with a group of small business owners. Here’s the thing though – If you’ve owned and operated a small business for three years or more, you already know a lot about resilience. Even if you’ve only just started your business, I’m sure I’ll catch you nodding:

  • You and your business survived a pandemic. You and your employees masked up, Zoom conferenced, and social distanced your way out of COVID. It wasn’t easy. Along the way, you mediated your fair share of workplace disagreements about Government health mandates – not only between employees, but between customers too, and also between customers AND employees. You may even have survived a customer boycott because of this.

  • Many of you moved a portion of your business online and now manage a brick-and-mortar as well as a digital storefront.

  • You dealt with supply chain shortages that lasted for months and affected ev-er-y industry.

  • You saw the Prime Interest Rate move from 3.45% to 7.22% and listened as grey-hairs told you not to worry - after all, in 1981, the Prime Rate was a whopping 21.75%. Note: They didn't mention that the average house price in '81 was $ 180,000.

  • You’ve seen the Inflation Rate move from 1.7% (Jan 2018) to 3.1% (Oct 2023).

  • You invested in social media and ‘put yourself out there’ with DIY productions on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and learned about 'likes' and 'follows' and, in some cases, haters.

  • You created an onboarding program only to defend your onboarding program because it wasn’t diverse enough, inclusive enough or thorough enough.

  • You invested time in learning about Truth and Reconciliation and how the Indian Act continues to affect our Indigenous Peoples. (Note: Incidentally, there is no ‘Caucasian Act’)

  • As you invent and adopt work strategies for today’s changing workforce, you’re now learning how AI will change the workplace forever.

  • As you did all these things you managed relationships with the home team - your partner, your children (their teachers, their coaches), your parents, and the extended family.

  • You're dealing with burn out while, in many cases, managing a business during a mental health crisis that is estimated to cost Canadian business $ 20B annually.

To the small business owners - you are special. You are dealing with a mix of things no other generation of small business owners has ever dealt with.

If you’re reading this and wondering why I champion small business, it’s because small business makes our world go ‘round:

  • In 2021, 12.1 Million Canadians were employed in the private sector, 8.2 Million (67.7%) worked in small business – employers with less than 100 employees.

  • Another 20.4% (2.5 Million) worked in medium-sized businesses – employers with 100 – 500 employees.

  • Here in BC, the SME number is higher, it’s 91.9% - that’s because Small Business employs 73.1% of British Columbians in the private sector.

  • The SME sector is responsible for nearly 50% of Canada’s goods exports (47.1%, 2021).

  • Small Business is responsible for 38.1% of Canada’s GDP (2015-2019 Average)

You may have to re-read these numbers a few times before they take hold - it’s obvious that Canada’s small business sector punches way above it’s weight class. So, as we head into the Holiday Season, let this be an early Christmas Card to all the small business owners. I value you and I value your contribution to our country. I ask every reader to examine their Black Friday spending and their holiday spending. When you buy local, a small business owner does a little dance! When you buy local, a little person gets dance lessons, or a team jersey. Your purchase helps an employee and an owner put food on the table, pay rent, make a car payment, make a minimum payment, or pay a mortgage. You contribute to an education, and help someone believe that, someday, their dream can come true.

While these are all trite expressions that you often see posted in social media, they are all, nonetheless, true - not all superheros wear capes.

Share this with your network, and support small business this holiday season!

Where did the statistics come from? "Key Small Business Statistics - 2022",

Norm Adams is a Certified Professional Business Coach with more than 25-years business experience in both Canada and the US. Join Norm and and Dave Fuller on January 10th 2024 for Pivotleader's 7th Annual Strategic Planning Day. c Click here to Register. Formal promotion of this event will start in November but if you'd like to receive some information now, feel free to email Norm at


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