Calgary a key stop on Scotiabank's mission to help local small businesses
CALGARY, June 16 /CNW/ - Scotiabank has taken to the highway in a
customized RV to meet with small business owners in their communities and will
host a special Small Business seminar in Calgary on June 16, 2008. Today's
event at the Scotiabank Theatre Chinook is a highlight of the five month
cross-country tour that got underway in Vancouver on June 3rd to deliver
tools, information and experts directly to small business owners in the
communities where they operate. It's all part of Scotiabank's 'Get Growing to
a Million' campaign to help small business owners identify strategies to grow
their businesses to the next level.
"We're on more than a road trip," said Kyle McNamara, Managing Director
of Small Business Banking, Scotiabank. "We're on a mission to help Canadian
small business owners grow to the next level. Small business is clearly an
important factor in the Calgary economy. We look forward to meeting and
working with these business owners and understanding their unique business
challenges and opportunities."
The Scotiabank Small Business seminar will open with successful small
business owner, Marisa Zarusky of Calgary, and Scotiabank's Director of Small
Business, David Wilton, discussing the challenges and opportunities of running
a small business in the Calgary marketplace. Ms. Zarusky is Director of Solo
Auto Leasing Inc. Celebrating 25 years in business, her company leases
vehicles to clients in the oil and gas, construction and security sectors. The
event's keynote speaker is Michael Hepworth, a leading small business expert,
coach and author, and President of Street Smart Results Corp. Mr. Hepworth
will present a workshop focusing on practical marketing strategies designed to
help small businesses increase their sales and profits.
"Small businesses are the heartbeat of Alberta communities. Our economic
growth rate, continued population increase and outstanding labour force
participation has helped to create an economy which is second to none," said
Iris Evans, Alberta's Minister of Finance and Enterprise. "Entrepreneurialism
is part of Alberta's culture. This shows in the fact that the province has 10
per cent of Canada's population, yet is home to over 13 per cent of Canada's
small and medium-sized enterprises."
According to Calgary Economic Development, 94.5 per cent of all
businesses in the Calgary Economic Region in 2007 had less than 50 employees.
Over a five year period from 2003 - 2007, the number of small businesses in
the Region increased by 7.3 per cent to 49,321. Relative to its population,
Calgary had the highest number of small businesses per capita amongst major
Canadian cities in 2007, at a rate of 40.2 per 1,000.
In addition to the cross-country tour and live speaker events such as the
one in Calgary, the Scotiabank 'Get Growing to a Million' campaign includes a
new Scotiabank Small Business website, www.getgrowingforbusiness.com and an
online contest with cash prizes totaling $50,000, all aimed at helping
Canadian small business owners get to the next level of success in their
The touring RV, hosted by Scotiabank Small Business advisors, is equipped
with Scotiabank Small Business tools and resources. Dozens of stops are
scheduled across the country to give local small business owners an
opportunity to test drive Scotiabank's Small Business tools, visit the new
'Get Growing for business' website, as well as discuss their growth plans with
a Scotiabank Small Business advisor.
"Our experience with small businesses suggests the most successful small
business owners are those who have effectively planned their business concept,
from market research and human resources planning to cash flow forecasts,"
said David Wilton, Director, Small Business Banking. "Scotiabank Small
Business advisors have unique business planning and financial diagnostic and
check-up tools. We have also made a number of these resources available on our
new 'Get Growing for business' website available 24/7 for the convenience of
small business owners. In addition, because we are so confident in the
potential of these tools, we are bringing them directly to small business
owners in communities across the country with the touring RV," he explained.
The 'Get Growing for business' website serves as an important vehicle to
deliver Scotiabank's Small Business resources. Designed as an interactive
community site it offers small business owners a place to:
- participate in discussion forums focusing on current economic and
business themes and their impact on small business;
- ask an online Small Business advisor a question;
- network with other small business owners identified by business
- access tools, including Blueprint for Business(TM) Check-up tool,
ScotiaPlan Writer for business(TM) Planning tool, Scotia Starting
Line for business(TM) Check-up tool, and its newest, Get Growing for
business Sales and Marketing(TM) tool.
In the spirit of encouraging and spotlighting entrepreneurialism, the new
website will feature the 'Get Growing to a Million' contest. Website visitors
are invited to submit a written or video entry explaining how $20,000 would
help them get their business to the next level for a chance to win a grand
prize of $20,000 or one of six regional cash prizes of $5,000.
"The 'Get Growing to a Million' tour, website, and tools have combined
elements that can help significantly increase opportunities for small
businesses. We are looking forward to taking them out to local communities and
showing owners how we can make them work for their businesses," said Mr.
Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and
Canada's most international bank. With more than 60,000 employees, Scotiabank
Group and its affiliates serve approximately 12.5 million customers in some 50
countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a diverse range of products and
services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking.
With $453 billion in assets (as at April 30, 2008), Scotiabank trades on the
Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit
For further information:
For further information: Deborah Spence, Scotiabank Public Affairs,
(403) 254-6830, cell: 612-3317; Paula Cufre, Scotiabank Public Affairs, (416)