BDC CEO Michael Denham and Minister Ng kick off Small Business Week
October 19, 2020, Montreal—BDC Small Business WeekTM (SBW) is going completely virtual this year with exclusive events taking place this week, highlighting the resilience and innovation of entrepreneurs in the face of today’s unprecedented challenges. In a recent survey, BDC found out that 63% of entrepreneurs cite innovation and creativity as necessary to survive the current situation.
“The coronavirus pandemic has caused one of the most important economic disruptions in history. It has also transformed the business environment, bringing new trends or accelerating them”, says Michael Denham, President and CEO of BDC. “This year, for BDC Small Business Week, we’ve decided to focus on the benefits of adapting to these new consumer and work trends in order to build for the future.”
“Every day, Canadian small business owners continue to face down this pandemic and demonstrate their grit, hard work, and incredible resilience,” says the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “To them, I want to say thank you for everything you do. As we continue to work towards a sustainable and resilient economic recovery, know that we are with you every step of the way.”
A BDC study reports that Canadian entrepreneurs are shifting priorities and taking advantage of new trends brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Top solutions include putting finances in order, given the intensity of the economic contraction, and taking advantage of technology to stay competitive. The pandemic has also changed Canadians’ habits such as the will to pay more for local products or purchase more online.
SBW is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship now in its 41st edition. Every year, close to 10,000 business owners take advantage of the many opportunities to learn, network and celebrate the people who build businesses across the country.
For the first time, participants can join any of BDC’s events from any location with an Internet connection. They include:
- On October 19, a one-hour conversation hosted by Michael Denham, featuring the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. This kick-off event will also welcome entrepreneurs Sami Hayek from Pitbull Energy Services and Joanna Griffiths from Knixwear who will share their personal accounts of innovation and resiliency.
- On October 20, an interactive session with Pierre Cléroux, Vice President, Research and BDC’s Chief Economist, who will share his economic outlook and answer participants’ questions live.
This year, BDC has also worked shoulder-to-shoulder with partners such as Google, Digital Main Street, Futurpreneur, Shopify and WEConnect International to offer a variety of additional events tailored to the many different kinds of entrepreneurs we serve. For more information on these events and more, visit: bdc.ca/sbw
Stepping up for Canadian entrepreneurs facing COVID-19 challenges
BDC was among the first organizations to deploy additional measures to support entrepreneurs through the current health crisis, providing more access to capital including working capital loans, flexible terms and payment postponements, bridge financing for venture-backed companies and several tools deployed by the Advisory Services team.
To date, BDC has provided $2.5 billion in direct lending to viable businesses impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic. The investments BDC has been making over the past few years in digital solutions were a key factor in helping the Bank respond to a high volume of financing requests with additional speed. For information on available BDC support, visit bdc.ca\coronavirus.
BDC is the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. It provides access to financing, as well as advisory services to help Canadian businesses grow and succeed. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers a wide range of risk capital solutions. For more information, visit bdc.ca.