Mayor Deb Higgins said small businesses are a big part of Saskatchewan and a huge part of Moose Jaw.
© Austin M. Davis
Joel Pinel, owner of Wow Factor Media, in the printing area/basement of the corporate office on Stadacona Street West
“I think Saskatchewan people are, in particular, very innovative and progressive,” Higgins said, “and if they see a need that is there in their community, they’re often more than willing to step forward and fill that need.”
According to a provincial government press release, 98.4 per cent of Saskatchewan businesses have less than 50 employees. Small business accounts for 28 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product (GDP), the highest in the country.
The Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) small business week in the province from Oct. 20 – 26.
“It’s a good opportunity to recognize the impact that small business has on our community and on the province,” Higgins said.
She said it’s also a good opportunity to recognize the people who have become entrepreneurs and filled needs in their communities.
In Moose Jaw, Higgins said, small business creates “some unique shopping experiences” and has a huge impact on jobs.
“I think small business is recognized as being a huge creator of not only economic activity, but also creating jobs in the community,” Higgins said.
Not only does Moose Jaw have a lot of small businesses, there are young entrepreneurs finding success in this market.
“I often say to people that you need to take a little bit of a closer look around town — and especially on Main Street — and many of the shops and businesses that are located in our community are run by young entrepreneurs who bring a new set of attitudes, new enthusiasm and just a different perspective to small business,” Higgins said.
She said these young businesspeople are “changing the face” of Moose Jaw.
One of those forward-thinkers based in the Friendly City is Wow Factor Media’s Joel Pinel.
“I think Moose Jaw is a very good place to do business,” Pinel said. “I grew up seeing a family business be very successful in Moose Jaw.”
Pinel went to post-secondary in Edmonton, but always wanted to come back to his hometown to start a business.
As he started Wow Factor, he was trying to get clients in Edmonton. He discovered that local was a more lucrative route, for many reasons.
“The cost of doing business is really low here. It’s a small enough community, but it still has a lot of amenities,” Pinel said. “If you need to run errands in town, it doesn’t take you an hour like it would in a big city. And every second really counts when you’re running a business or starting a business as a young entrepreneur.”
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.