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NDP and CFIB kick off Small Business Week

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s not something you see often, but the provincial New Democrats and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business got together Saturday to kick off Small Business Week.

The political party and the non-profit business group launched the Small Business Saturday campaign, which is a day to encourage consumers  to support local shops and restaurants. It takes place at participating independent businesses on October 20th.

The launch of the campaign was held at a restaurant in Vancouver’s Point Grey neighbourhood.

“When it comes to issues that are so important to BC communities and the BC economy, there are absolutely opportunities for people with different policy points of views to come together on something where there is a shared vision and shared support,” explains Shachi Kurl with the CFIB.

BC NDP leader Adrian Dix says the province should help boost the local economy.

“I think government can play a role in promoting small business in making it easier for [them], as well as buying things. Consider small businesses first… the domestic market is so important, if we have a consumer market that supports local businesses, then we’ll be a lot stronger,” says Dix.

“The best thing to do is keep budgets balanced and to create and promote a thriving enterprising economic system… keeping taxes reasonable for small business owners,” adds Kurl.

Alessandra Quaglia has been running Provence Mediterranean Grill for 15 years, but with intense competition and rising prices, she says it’s not easy to survive.

“As much as I’d love to go out and be able to shop [locally for ingredients], it’s just impossible for the amount of volume we do, therefore we have delivery. Of course, the gas prices go up, it’s always a constant challenge… It is tough, but we try to buy smaller quantities in season. It does make a difference in the end; ultimately, we want a better product and really the better products are closer to home,” says Quaglia.

She notes all of her ingredients are from BC.

Kurl points out a third of BC’s jobs stem from small businesses. “To sweeten the pot, we have business owners who are actually offering promotions for [Small Business Saturday]. We are just asking everyone to make that conscious decision.”