Small businesses at the heart of the innovation economy

Small businesses have always been the backbone of Ontario’s economy, driving innovation and economic growth in the province. These resilient companies generate new ideas, create jobs and foster community resilience. The Muskoka Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), in partnership with Desjardins, are pleased to announce the annual Small Business Week campaign. Small business, big ideas. This year’s campaign highlights the impact and potential of small business innovation and the importance of supporting these businesses to move beyond recovery and towards growth.

„Small businesses play a vital role in enriching our community and economy. This Small Business Week (and always), we celebrate hard-working entrepreneurs and their big ideas that inspire innovation and bring communities together,” said Muskoka Lakes Chamber President Randy Heidt. „As small businesses continue to face challenges, actions by the government and private sector will be critical to ensure small businesses in Muskoka move from survival to growth.”

Haidt says the Muskoka Lakes Chamber is proud to offer Weekly learning sessions With innovative leadership, access to grants, personalization and its own campaign for Small Business Month, Grow and prosper, in association with Launch & Prosper and BDC. Anyone can participate in these workshops: today (October 16) there is one this afternoon titled: „Grants and Loans: There’s No Such Thing as Free Money” And anyone can register Click here.

Meanwhile, the reality is that small business owners across the province continue to struggle with the collective effects of the pandemic. Labor shortages, declining mental health of employees, rising inflation and debt repayments. However, they continue to demonstrate remarkable adaptability and resilience by embracing new business models, digital technologies, and finding innovative ways to serve their communities.

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To sustain this momentum and foster further innovation, the Ontario Chamber Network, including our Chamber, is calling on the Government of Ontario to continue to take action to foster small business success and prioritize the following:

  • Develop and scale digitization funding and training programs for small businesses and make it easier for businesses to access them.
  • Improving access to private capital and credit for small businesses through tax policies, capital market reforms and credit guarantees.
  • Provide targeted support to help small businesses invest in workplace mental health.
  • Continue procurement from not-for-profit, not-for-profit social enterprises and co-operatives to meet the provincial government’s target of $3 billion in contracts awarded to small businesses by 2026.

„At the heart of every successful company is a big idea, hardworking entrepreneurs and a supportive business ecosystem,” says Rocco Rossi, president and CEO of OCC. „We are proud to spotlight the role small businesses play in driving innovation across Ontario. With more than 97.7% of businesses in Ontario being small businesses, this presents many opportunities to invest in these businesses and help them stay competitive.

Canadian Small Business Week takes place annually in the third week of October and October is Small Business Month. To learn more about the OCC’s support for small businesses, To learn more about Muskoka Lakes Chamber learning sessions this month, visit

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