Ward 13 Councillor to Hold Small Business Roundtable

Councillor King will be holding a Small Business Roundtable on Wednesday, April 29 at 1 pm via Facebook Live (http://facebook.com/rawlsonking).

Michael Wood, owner of Ottawa Special Events, has been invited by Rideau-Rockcliffe Councillor Rawlson King to participate in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 concerning the challenges that small businesses are facing as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. Wood is a strong proponent for small and mid-size enterprise in Ottawa and has been a leading voice for SMEs with the provincial and federal governments since the pandemic began.

The virtual forum will take place on April 29th at 1:00 pm via Facebook Live at http://www.facebook.com/rawlsonking. The roundtable will feature a number of local business owners, along with the Quartier Vanier BIA. 

Elected officials attending will be from the Ottawa-Vanier district and will include: Beacon Hill-Cyrville Councillor Tim Tierney, Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury, Ottawa-Vanier MPP Lucille Collard and staff from the office of the Honourable Mona Fortier, MP, who currently serves in the federal Cabinet as Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance.

While economic growth in the National Capital Region has been historically driven by the federal government and high-technology, the fastest growing sector of Ottawa's economy over the past number of years has increasingly been small business, which constitutes 28.6 percent of the City's gross domestic product.  From 2003 to 2017, 85.3 percent of all new employment nationwide, totaling 1.2 million jobs, was created by small-to mid-sized enterprises. 

"Though small business has been a key influential factor driving Ottawa's growth, we expect the coronavirus outbreak to create severe economic challenges, which potentially could contribute to the loss of many small businesses, thereby undermining economic recovery after the pandemic passes," stated Rawlson King, Ottawa City Councillor for Rideau-Rockcliffe.  "In this unprecedented period, it is incumbent upon us to stand together with entrepreneurs and small businesses, who are doing everything possible in the face of significant challenge. We can make a difference by supporting them today."

Business owners are community builders, employers and innovators. They shape the communities we live in and the country we call home and are a major economic driver for all Canadians. The purpose of this roundtable is to have local residents and business owners engage directly with government to provide input on how they can help small businesses survive during this challenging period and thrive after.

"With the cancellation of events, festivals and other gatherings in a "festival town", businesses like Ottawa Special Events has zero revenue for the foreseeable future," says Wood. He goes on to say: "As an example, we are going to ask the federal and provincial government to absorb the personal guarantees on outstanding loans for small business before people face an even bigger crisis."

Michael Wood is a college professor who is a “Forty Under 40” recipient and won the "CommunityGiver" Award at the 2019 Febe Awards. For more information or to speak with Michael Wood, please call 613-265-9967.

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