Here at the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) October is Small Business Month. It’s an opportunity to celebrate those who tirelessly invest and work to make our downtown area thrive.
In BC, 98 percent of all businesses can be classified as small businesses. These businesses are owned by our friends, family and neighbors. They also employ thousands of Greater Victoria residents. You give so much to our community and this month you can show your support by doing local shopping.
Small businesses are also a significant part of our province’s economic engine as they generate 34 percent of BC’s GDP. This activity supports public services such as health care and education. But small businesses are more than just statistics; they are essential to our community.
Small businesses are the elixir of life in our inner cities and industrial areas. Its owners are the creators, investors, dreamers, and doers who make the inner city thrive, and each one makes a unique contribution to the fabric of our community. Check out a charity auction and you will see donations from small businesses. See who is first on Monday morning and last on Friday evening, it’s the small business owners.
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When COVID-19 struck for the first time, our phones in the DVBA office kept ringing. Small business owners called with questions and concerns; but not about them. The main concern – what kept her up at night – was with her staff. For many, their employees are like family.
It was these overarching concerns for their employees that made me proud to be part of this great community of entrepreneurs. The experiences that our small businesses offer their customers bring the city center to life. However, I was overwhelmed by the dedication small business owners showed to their teams.
So this month we’re celebrating all of these business owners and their teams. I invite you to be part of the celebration. Come downtown and spend an afternoon. Browse the unique shops and boutiques of Lower Johnson. Discover what hidden gems are open on Fan Tan Alley. Shop in the Hudson District, explore Broad Street, Fabulous Fort, Bay Center and other streets with incredible shopping and dining.
Follow the Downtown Victoria Business Association on Facebook and Instagram to meet a different small business owner every day in October. To read interviews with various small business owners in downtown Victoria, visit downtownvictoria.ca/blog, where we will be posting articles later this month.
During the pandemic, the Great Victorians were amazing at shopping locally and making targeted purchasing decisions. If you haven’t been downtown in a while, October is a perfect month to explore and support small businesses!
Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.
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