It’s official! The weekend of August 28 to 30, 2020 will be Canada United Weekend in Sault Ste. Marie.
On Monday afternoon, at the meeting of City Council, Mayor Christian Provenzano signed a proclamation inviting all Sault Ste. Marie to join the Canada United movement by buying and dining local, including celebrating and supporting local businesses.
“We’re grateful to the Mayor and to Council for supporting this endeavor,” says Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. “We know that they recognize the importance of our local small business community and its contribution to the fabric of our economic and social well-being.”
Canada United is an initiative spearheaded by RBC and supported by the Chamber of Commerce network across Canada. As part of the movement, RBC has brought together more than 50 of Canada’s leading brands in a call to ‘show local some love’ for Canada’s homegrown local businesses.
A highly visible Canada United online campaign is helping build a fund that will provide small businesses with grants of up to $5,000 to cover expenses related to personal protective equipment (PPE) renovations to accommodate re-opening guidelines and developing or improving e-commerce capabilities. Each time Canadians watch the Canada United videos online at GoCanadaUnited.ca, like posts from @GoCanadaUnited on social media and use #CanadaUnited, from now until August 31, 2020, RBC will contribute 5 cents, up to a maximum contribution amount of $2 million, to the new Canada United Small Business Relief Fund.
“As a Chamber, we are excited to be a part of Canada United, to help local small businesses and Canada’s economy come back strong,” says Ring. “The business community still has some big hurdles to overcome in order to get back on track, and COVID-19 has demonstrated just how fragile the economy really can be. I think our local businesses have given consumers a reason to be proud. Local businesses have stepped up protect jobs and to support the community and each other. Many businesses have transitioned to help provide PPE and support front line and health care workers.”
From Industry Canada:
- As of December 2018, the Canadian economy totaled 1.2 million employer businesses. Of these, 1.18 million (97.9 percent) were small businesses.
- As of 2018, small businesses employed 8.4 million individuals in Canada, or 69.9 percent of the total private labour force.
- Between 2013 and 2018, small businesses were responsible for the majority (56.8 percent) of net employment growth in the private sector.
- In 2018, SMEs contributed 41.1 percent of the total value of exported goods.
- In 2015, small businesses contributed 41.7 percent to gross domestic product (GDP) generated by the private sector
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization comprised of 700 plus businesses and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and is strongly committed to promoting activities that support local business. The Canada United campaign strongly aligns with other initiatives supported by the SSMCOC, including the Algoma Marketplace, an online hub connecting Sault Ste. Marie and area businesses and customers, developed locally by Superior Media and Kapptive Studios in response to COVID-19.