Celebrating Small Business Week 2018

By Bridget Brown; Posted Oct 04, 2018

The Canadian business community celebrates Small Business Week and the 10,000 entrepreneurs who are a part of it, every year in October.

 

There will be more than 300 Small Business Week events across the country this year between October 15 and 19.

 

Here at InOrbis, we must say the Calgary Chamber is Commerce Small Business Week events are the most exciting for us this year, because we’ve been selected as a finalist for a Small Business Week Award.

 

This year’s awards ceremony and gala is October 19. We decided to connect with Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dr. Sandip Lalli to learn more about the week, and an all the Calgary Chamber of Commerce events happening.

 

Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dr. Sandip Lalli

InOrbis: What is Small Business Week all about?

 

Sandip: Small Business Week was started by the Business Development Bank of Canada.The first Small Business Week was held all the way back in 1979. Originally, it was a way for like minded entrepreneurs to connect. Now, there are events in communities all across the country where small businesses can come together to learn and to celebrate their successes.

 

InOrbis: Here in Calgary, what can business owners expect?

 

Sandip: There is so much going on. We’re holding our Small Business Expo on Oct 18 at the BMO Centre, which is a great learning and networking opportunity for anyone working in small business.

 

It’s Alberta’s largest B2B expo, with 100 exhibitors and 1500 or attendees. So if you’re looking to ask your peers how they started their business, how they scaled, how they increased the number of customers, these are all subjects on the agenda. We’re really excited about our keynote speakers, two very dynamic CEOs, one from The Ten Spot and one from shoe company Poppy Barley, a success story right here in Alberta. There are still a few tickets left, so there’s still an opportunity to take part.

 

InOrbis: If someone has a small business but has been thinking it might be too small to get involved with the Chamber, what would your message be for them.

 

Sandip: Oh, the Chamber of Commerce can really benefit any size of business.The mission is to nourish, empower and inspire business and to think locally, but inspire the work. The size of the business that can do that doesn’t matter. We are about putting business first, commerce first and speaking with one voice.

 

I call it intelligent networking. We all have enough friends to have dinner with. What we need are critical conversations, “How did that happening your business,” or “How did you handle this regulation.” “Why expand to Saskatchewan versus B.C. versus Montana.” The Chamber of Commerce creates a safe environment to have those conversations.

 

InOrbis: What are Small Business Week Awards all about?

 

Sandip: The awards recognize small businesses in Calgary that are achieving exceptional things in eight categories: Small Business of the Year, Emerging Growth, Company Culture, Hometown Hero, Innovation, Indigenous Entrepreneurship, People’s Choice and Social Entrepreneurship.

 


 

The finalists and then the winners are selected by a panel of judges, who use an established set of metrics to evaluate each business. The results are then compared to the other judges. None of the evaluators get to talk to each other until their evaluations are complete.

 

It’s really interesting, sometimes they will see the same qualities in a business and other times it’s really in the eye of the beholder.

 

We’ll hand out the awards at our Small Business Week Gala, which is a fun, lighthearted evening at the Grey Eagle Casino.

 

Even though there’s only one winner in each category, no one goes home sad. Everyone always has a really good time and a great networking opportunity in keeping with our theme: It’s Grow Time!

 

Tickets for the gala are still available and are $99. Interview has been condensed for length.


 

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