Beyond the vibrant autumn hues of red and gold leaves, October in Canada means many things, and it carries great significance for the small business community – it’s Small Business Month!

Whether you call it Small Business Month or Small Business Week, the month of October is when Canadian small businesses are recognized and celebrated nationwide for their entrepreneurship, resilience, and collective contribution to our country’s success.

From job creation to fostering innovation, Small Business Month encapsulates the heart and soul of Canada’s entrepreneurial spirit. This annual celebration stands as a testament to the invaluable contributions of small businesses to Canada’s economy and local communities. 

After all, government data shows Canuck small businesses (those with one to 99 employees) comprised 98% of all employer businesses, employing more than 10 million people. Furthermore, small businesses contribute an estimated 36.7% to Canada’s gross domestic product.

In the spirit of the month, below are resources Canadian small business owners, entrepreneurs, and early-stage startups can explore to grow their entities and thrive:

Small Business Month

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Learning Resources for Canadian Small Businesses

Below is a short list of learning and growth resources for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups:

  • Startup Canada helps early-stage startups and entrepreneurs connect with industry experts, peers, and resources to build successful businesses.
  • The Canadian Chamber of Commerce provides a range of learning resources, including business continuity planning, information on Canada’s anti-spam legislation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
  • The Retail Council of Canada offers information including industry research, health and safety guides, a jobs board, training programs, and support to small retail businesses.
  • The Zensurance Small Business Insights blog’s Essentials section offers many articles with marketing tips, apps for business owners, productivity tips, risk mitigation and safety recommendations, and how-to guides for starting a small business or entering a profession.

Financial Resources for Canadian Small Businesses

After enduring the financial impact of the pandemic, economic conditions in 2023 have compounded the challenges small business owners face. 

The annual Zensurance Small Business Confidence Index survey in 2023 found inflation, rising interest rates, the cost of fuel, managing cash flow, and mitigating liability risks to be among business owners’ top concerns. Inflation was cited as the No. 1 concern by 89% of the survey’s respondents. That’s quite a jump from the 51% of respondents citing inflation as a top concern in our survey in 2022.

Here are a few resources to help offset the financial challenges facing small businesses: 

  • Small Business Grants: There are many grants available for small businesses and startups to apply for to fund and grow their ventures. New to our list is the Zensurance Small Business Grant. Any small business owner, self-employed professional, or entrepreneur in Canada is welcome to apply to win $10,000 to grow their operations. The deadline to apply for the Zensurance Small Business Grant is October 31, 2023. Other Canadian small business grants that are available include Futurepreneur Canada, Government of Canada grants and financing, and a list of funding for projects connecting Canadian academia and industry through Mitacs.
  • Small Business Perks: Various organizations and governments provide perks and discounted services to small businesses. Zensurance also offers an ever-expanding partner list of money-saving offers through the Zensurance Perks program. 

Protect Your Assets and Reputation: Get Business Insurance

Business liability insurance is a vital part of any small business’s or self-employed professional’s risk mitigation and recovery plan. Without insurance, one unexpected accident or lawsuit, cyber-attack, or damage to your business, such as a fire, can upend your company and potentially lead to bankruptcy. 

Get the customized protection you need quickly and easily through Zensurance. 

Fill out our online application for a free quote. We’ll shop our partner network of over 50 insurers to get the low-cost coverage you need. Our knowledgeable brokers are available to answer your questions about what coverage you should have in your policy, the coverage limits, and provide you with recommendations to minimize your liability risks.

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About the Author: Liam Lahey

Liam is the Content Marketing Manager at Zensurance. A writer and editor for more than 20 years, he has been published in several newspapers and magazines, including Yahoo! Canada Finance, Metroland Media, IT World Canada and others.