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Celebrating Ottawa’s savvy small businesses

Sueling Ching, president and CEO of the Ottawa Board of Trade

In the heart of Canada’s capital, a diverse, resilient, and vibrant community of small businesses plays a central role in shaping the city’s economic and social fabric.

These enterprises are more than brick-and-mortar establishments; they are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, offering unique products, services, and experiences while contributing significantly to our local economic stability.

Small businesses are the backbone of Ottawa’s economy, and their importance in our lifestyle cannot be overstated.

They create jobs, employing a considerable portion of our population. They promote a sense of community, support local causes, and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship that enriches our city. You know the entrepreneurs and employees of these businesses. They are our friends, our neighbours, and our young people.

These enterprises often specialize in niche markets, offering products and services that reflect the cultural diversity of our region.

Whether it’s a cozy family-owned café in the Glebe, an artisanal bakery in Wellington West, or a boutique clothing store in the ByWard Market, each small business adds a unique flavor to the city’s commercial landscape.

Small businesses contribute to the vitality and identity of our neighborhoods. They create gathering spaces where residents can connect, fostering a sense of belonging and pride in our communities. These local establishments often support community events, sponsor sports teams, and participate in charity initiatives, enhancing the overall well-being of the area.

Moreover, small businesses tend to source their products and services locally, which has a positive ripple effect on other small businesses in the area. This interconnectedness creates a robust local ecosystem, reducing our reliance on outside corporations and bolstering Ottawa’s resilience in times of economic uncertainty.

Small businesses matter

Supporting small businesses isn’t just about fostering local culture; it also has broader economic implications.

When you choose to shop at a locally owned store or dine at a neighborhood restaurant, a more significant portion of your money stays within the community.

This “multiplier effect” means that these dollars continue to circulate, supporting other businesses and jobs, ultimately enhancing the overall economic well-being of the city.

Additionally, small businesses often prioritize sustainable and ethical practices. They are more likely to use local and environmentally friendly products, reducing their carbon footprint and contributing to a greener Ottawa.

Small business support

You can positively impact our local economy by making it a priority to support small businesses in your daily life and encourage others to do the same. Just a few ideas to ponder:

1. Buy local: Make a conscious effort to patronize local businesses whenever possible. Whether you’re buying groceries, clothing, or gifts, choosing local establishments helps keep dollars within the community.

2. Spread the word: Word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful. Share your positive experiences at small businesses on social media, leave reviews online, and recommend them to friends and family.

3. Participate in local events: Attend local markets, fairs, and events that showcase small businesses. These events are not only enjoyable but also provide a platform for entrepreneurs to showcase their products.

4. Join loyalty programs: Many small businesses offer loyalty programs or memberships. These programs often come with exclusive discounts and perks, making it a win-win for both customers and businesses.

5. Consider gift cards: Gift cards from local businesses make excellent presents. They not only support the business but also introduce others to the unique offerings in Ottawa.

6. Engage in online shopping: Many small businesses have adapted to the digital age by offering online shopping options. Explore their websites and consider online purchases if you can’t visit in person.

7. Advocate for local initiatives: Support policies and initiatives that promote the growth and sustainability of small businesses in Ottawa. Get involved with your local Ottawa Board of Trade who is dedicated to advocating for business success.

Small businesses in Ottawa play a pivotal role in shaping our city’s identity, fostering economic growth, and creating vibrant communities.

By actively choosing to support these businesses, you contribute to the prosperity and well-being of our neighborhoods and our entire city. Let’s continue to cherish and uplift our local small businesses, recognizing their vital importance in making Ottawa the wonderful place it is today for citizens, employees, and visitors.

And build a strong foundation for our next generation.

Yours in prosperity,
Sueling Ching
President & CEO | Ottawa Board of Trade

About the Ottawa Board of Trade

The Ottawa Board of Trade is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan member driven business association.

We are the voice of business and a key advocate for economic growth in our Nation’s Capital.

Our mission is to cultivate a thriving world class business community in Ottawa by influencing economic development through leadership and partnerships. One that drives affordable, inclusive, sustainable city-building.

We represent businesses at all three levels of government and support business growth through relevant benefits and programs.

Join us today!