“We call them small businesses, but in all of our communities across the province, their impacts are anything but small.

“Small businesses account for more than 98 per cent of all Alberta businesses and employ more than 633,000 Albertans in almost 170,000 businesses. These businesses are not only located in our urban centres; nearly half operate outside of Edmonton and Calgary. More than just stats, these Albertans are our community builders, neighbours and friends.

“We all know people who own or work in these businesses. They contribute to our kids’ school and sports fundraisers, they hire our kids for their first jobs, they volunteer on our boards and event committees. They are an important part of what makes our communities great places to live.

“Alberta’s government knows that small businesses are having a difficult time right now with labour shortages and rising costs. We are committed to helping these entrepreneurs and job creators succeed and grow. The Digital Economy Program, which is dedicated to helping small businesses amplify their online presence, and the Alberta Export Expansion Program, which helps small businesses expand into new international markets, are two such programs that have recently had success.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our province. This Small Business Week, we are asking all Albertans to take some time to show their appreciation for these businesses in their community. We all have a part to play in their continued success, and even small actions have the potential to make a big impact.”