This is Small Business Week. We are celebrating the small businesses in our community. The definition of small business is 100 employees or less which captures a lot of the workforce in Peterborough. The
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce has almost 900 members and 93% of them are in this category.
Recently, we celebrated over 50 businesses at the Peterborough Business Excellence Awards night. The videos profiling all finalists are available on YouTube and are a shining example of the great work and workplaces we have in Peterborough. Check them out and learn more about the businesses in our community.
Often the most telling part of that evening is the comments from the recipients. The first people to be thanked are usually the team and it goes without saying that the work team is crucial. However, we’d like to broaden the thank you to the owners and franchise owners and say thank you for taking the risk. Thank you for making the conscious decision to give back to your community in the form of employment opportunities and sponsorship of community events, sports teams, the arts and so much more.
Often, and as is the case with the current municipal election, the creation of jobs is a topic that receives a lot of attention. So, we feel it’s worth understanding what it takes to create a job…
As Chamber President and CEO Stuart Harrison explains: “Simply having an employee in the building costs roughly 50% more than that employee’s salary. There is the cost of the building, the utilities to run it, the multiple taxes, the cost of regulation compliance (let alone the fees for the privilege of complying), and this doesn’t even scratch the surface. Most small businesses operate on a profit margin of 10% or less. This means that for every dollar that goes into the cash register it costs the owner 90 cents. That leftover dime is typically sunk back into the business for expansion, new equipment, building improvements, new employees, etc.”
“This is above and beyond any government legislated cost increases such as when hydro rates go through the roof, and when wages get a legislated increase,” adds Harrison. “It leaves a business owner with very few options, and only 10 cents to solve the problem.”
All this to say that, unless you’ve sat in the chair of a small business owner and faced the responsibility of mounting expenses, take a moment before judging.
We need our small businesses to thrive and be successful and to have an environment in which there are fewer barriers, so that they can create more jobs and have more opportunities to give back.
The strength of the community is reflected in the strength of the business community.
We’re stronger together.