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Small business in Canada Atlantic provinces

Small business in Canada Atlantic provinces

Canada’s Atlantic Region includes the provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Small businesses in the Atlantic Provinces account for the majority of businesses and operate across all sectors of the economy.

Small Businesses in Major Sectors

Businesses on Prince Edward Island operate in sectors such as renewable energy, information technology, tourism, fisheries, and agriculture. Small businesses account for 98.3 percent of all businesses in the province. The main industries in Nova Scotia are the seafood and oceans industries, aerospace and defense, natural resources, agri-food, and financial services. Some 97.9 percent of businesses in Nova Scotia have between 1 and 99 employees. In Newfoundland and Labrador, the major industry sectors are mining and oil, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, and services. The majority of businesses or 97.9 percent are small ones. Brunswick is the home to companies operating in industries such as tourism, mining, forestry, fisheries, and agriculture. Some 98 percent of companies in the province are small businesses.

Programs Available in the Atlantic Provinces

Government funding is available for capital investment, training and hiring, research and development, and expansion. Funding for capital investment is available through the Strategic Innovation Fund, SD Tech Fund, and Dairy Processing Investment Fund. The SD Tech Fund offers financial support to companies with a focus on climate change and clean water and air while the Strategic Innovation Fund offers funding for projects with a focus on collaborative technologies, commercialization, research and development, etc. Grants for hiring and training are also available through programs such as the Youth Employment Program, Connect Canada Internship, and Canada Job Grant. Under the Canada Job Grant Program, eligible training programs fall in categories such as food safety, financial planning, project management, customer service, and software and technology.

Loans and grants for business expansion are offered by the Strategic Innovation Fund and under the Canada Small Business Financing Program and CDMN Soft Landing Program. The Canada Small Business Financing Program targets small enterprises that need financing to purchase equipment, make renovations, or buy buildings or land. CanExport is also a government program that targets businesses planning to expand to underdeveloped and new markets outside of Canada. The program targets medium-sized and small businesses with 1 to 500 employees. Funding is available for foreign market research, travel, developing promotional materials for foreign customers, and attending international trade shows. The Canada International Innovation Expansion Program also targets small businesses with less than 500 employees that plan to implement research and development projects. The goal of the program is to encourage Canadian businesses to collaborate with partners from countries such as South Korea, Israel, India, China, and Brazil. Participants are offered research and development grants of up to $600,000. Only for-profit organizations qualify provided that they plan to expand their operations through the development of new processes, products, and services. The main focus areas of the program include manufacturing technologies and electronic systems design, information and communication technologies, water technologies, clean technology, and affordable healthcare.

There are plenty of opportunities for small businesses in Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, with funding available for commercialization and development of innovative technologies, hiring youth, training, collaboration with international partners, and more. Funding is offered in the form of low-interest loans, grants and research grants, and co-funding.


Commerce Chambers in Nova Scotia

Chambers of commerce are organizations that work to protect and further the interests of their members. Commerce chambers in Nova Scotia represent the interests of businesses operating in different trades and industry sectors.

Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

Established in 1896, the chamber works to promote initiatives, provide services, and advocate policies. As an umbrella organization for 25 corporate partners and 93 boards of trade and commerce chambers, ACC is one of the largest business organizations in Canada. Members enjoy multiple benefits such as discount rates on online payment processing, including gift cards, mobile commerce, e-commerce, debit, and credit. Additional benefits for members include dental and health insurance, discounts on fuel at Esso locations, discounts on advertising, and preferential pricing on shipping services. Further benefits for members are discounts on vehicle and home insurance, access to payroll services, and non-profit corporate and management liability insurance.

Halifax Chamber of Commerce

The Halifax Chamber of Commerce" engages in advocacy and provides services to members to contribute to business growth. It is a non-for-profit organization that partners with the federal, provincial, and local authorities to advocate on behalf of members. The chamber offers a number of benefits to its members, including fuel discounts at Esso locations, discounts on payroll services, merchant services, and discounts on office products. Members are also offered benefits such as cybersecurity monitoring, discounts on group auto and home insurance by TD Insurance, and the Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan. Affinity partners include businesses such as SONA, NTL, Avis, and Grand & Toy. The chamber of commerce also features a travel program, different networking and luncheon events, and free trainings with a focus on human resources, customer service, and growing a small business. Businesses across different industry sectors are members, including construction and real estate, finance and insurance, energy and environment, and agriculture, fishing, and forestry.

Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce

This chamber of commerce acts as the voice of local businesses, engages in advocacy, and offers educational seminars and networking opportunities. Members are offered exclusive benefits such as energy discounts, webinar services, web collaboration, and audio conferencing, and SME-oriented training. Members enjoy additional benefits such as preferred pricing on electronic payment processing, access to the UPS Members Benefit Program, and fuel discounts. The chamber has over 300 members operating across industries such as insurance, medical, construction, food and beverage, vehicle rentals, and support services.

Other Organizations

The Chester Municipal Chamber of Commerce is committed to promoting social, economic, commerce, and trade development and improving quality of life in the District of Chester. The Lunenburg Board of Trade is a non-for-profit, member-based organization that was incorporated in 1996. Members include individuals, societies, associations, corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietors. The main goals of the board are to promote and protect the interests of members at the federal and local levels of government and to contribute to sustainable development. The board collaborates with affiliate partners such as Destination Bluenose Coast, the Atlantic Chamber of Commerce, and Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Originally established in 1908 as a board, the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce works to promote the social and economic interests of businesses and acts as their voice. Members enjoy benefits such as discounts on payroll services, discount rates on merchant services, and discounts on auto and home insurance. The Musquodoboit Harbour Chamber of Commerce is also an umbrella organization that represents the interests of individuals, businesses, and community groups. Members enjoy multiple benefits such as advertising discounts, access to the ESSO Business Card Program, and discounts on courier services starting at 25 percent. They are also offered access to payment solutions such as tablet and mobile solutions, integrated POS solutions, payment terminals, and online solutions. Other organizations of influence in Nova Scotia include the North Queens Board of Trade, Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, and Weymouth Board of Trade.

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