Variety of events planned to celebrate local entrepreneurial spirit

‘There is nothing small about Small Business Week Calgary,’ says Calgary Chamber president and CEO Sandip Lalli

Mario ToneguzziThere’s nothing small about small business and next week the Calgary Chamber will kick off a celebration of the big and great things that entrepreneurs do in this city.

A number of events are planned for the BDC Small Business Week from Oct. 15 to 19. It will offer great networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in the city as well as opportunities to grow their business. The week will also provide organizers, like the Calgary Chamber and ATB Financial, an opportunity to recognize and award the city’s top businesses.

The Chamber says there are 55,000 small businesses in the city.

“There is nothing small about Small Business Week Calgary,” said Calgary Chamber president and CEO Sandip Lalli. She said that more than 2,000 people are expected to attend a variety of events in the city.

Sandip Lalli
Sandip Lalli
President and CEO
Calgary Chamber

“These businesses and their passionate, driven and motivated owners and employees make a huge contribution to our community and to our economy. This week is both an opportunity to help these businesses grow as well as to celebrate their many achievements and innovations.”

Curtis Stange, president and CEO of ATB Financial, said Calgary’s small business owners, like ATB, are the ones who will drive change through innovation and disruption.

“Small Business Week is a chance for business owners to connect and collaborate. This is where big ideas will take shape, partnerships will be formed and plans will be made. We are excited to be part of it,” he said.

Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC, said the week will help entrepreneurs harness digital solutions to enhance financial performance and, ultimately, boost growth.

“In our increasingly connected, automated and data-driven world, we want to help Canadian businesses act now so they don’t risk falling behind,” he said.

The Chamber said small business is the cornerstone of the Canadian economy, creating almost 90 per cent of the jobs nationally. Most businesses in Calgary are small businesses; of Calgary’s total businesses in 2017 (58,033), small businesses accounted for 95.3 per cent (55,333). Small businesses account for 95 per cent of all business activity in Alberta and are a driving force of the economy, accounting for almost 30 per cent of gross domestic product.

There are approximately 39 small businesses in the province for every 1,000 people, far exceeding the Canadian average of 31. Locally, this number is also higher than the national average, with 37.2 small businesses per 1,000 population in Calgary, higher than Edmonton, Saskatoon, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Full event listings and tickets are available at

Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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