They are the local pizza place, the dry cleaner, the Chinese restaurant, the cobbler, antique store, gift shop, hairdresser, bakery and jewelry store. We often take them for granted as part of our daily or weekly routine. But they seldom take us for granted.
Small businesses are the life blood of thriving communities. Not only are they responsible for creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Canada, they create liveable neighbourhoods in small towns and big cities.
Here in Burnaby, they line streets such as Kingsway and Hastings. Their storefronts are sometimes pretty basic, and at other times, showcases of love and creativity.
If they are successfu, it's almost guaranteed that they go out of their way to make you feel valued. If they see you running to their door after closing time, they'll stay open for you. If you always want extra cheese on your pepperoni classic, it will be there before you ask. If you need that special birthday cake you forgot to order, they'll come in early to bake it for you.
They are often family-owned and know that their reputation is critical to their success.
Yes, we're biased here at the NOW newspaper. Although owned by a newspaper organization, we've always considered ourselves a local, relatively small business. And one that largely depends on the success of other small businesses in our city.
This Saturday, Oct. 20, is Canada's Small Business Saturday.
Take a moment to consider the small businesses you deal with in the city, and, perhaps, thank them for their tenacity in the face of sometimes daunting competition and an always challenging business terrain.