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Rolling Pin sees large luncheon for Small Business Week

Posted on October 26, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman
Commentator/Courier Photo by Anna Smith The Backbone of Bow Island: Mayor Gordon Reynolds addresses gathered business folk in the Rolling Pin Bakery for the Small Business Week Luncheon.

By Anna Smith

Thursday, Oct. 19 saw nearly thirty business owners pile into the Rolling Pin Bakery in Bow Island.
Hosted by the Bow Island and Burdett Chamber of Commerce, the event in question was a luncheon celebrating Small Business Week. Far from the same six individuals as usual, noted Bow Island Mayor Gordon Reynolds, it was some small way of thanking those who staked their time, effort, and personal finances into perhaps the greatest part of small town charm.

“Small business is big for Bow Island,” said Reynolds. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and make up our largest employers. This year, we issued 159 business licences. And the vast majority of those are small businesses.”

Also in attendance was MLA Grant Hunter, who was present to answer any questions that may have been on business owners’ minds and to speak briefly on his time as the Red Tape Reduction Minister, when he worked to reduce the bureaucratic burden on owners.

Lunch was provided by the Rolling Pin Bakery, while special guest speaker JD Gaetan, a marketing specialist with Community Futures Entre-Corp in Medicine Hat, offered ideas as to how to improve employee retention.

He mused that while compensation is a strong reason that employees may seek other offers, far more often, it can be a search for a company or business that has a culture they can see themselves working at long term.

“There were recent surveys done just this year, 2023, by a law firm out of British Columbia, it was a nationwide survey, but they found that upwards of like a quarter of Albertans were actually planning on moving to a new employer within the next 12 months. So it really is still a relevant topic today,” said Gaetan. 

Gaetan stressed the importance of creating a workplace where people feel their work has value to the company, and that has opportunities for upward growth, as these can both be vital for retention. He also suggested utilizing exit interviews, and of course, Community Futures is there to support businesses as they implement any of these changes, or to help identify where a business owner may want to focus their development next.

“Don’t assume what the employees want, it’s important to have that open communication,” said Gaetan. “We often don’t have these conversations about what they’re looking for in a workplace; lots of times as employers we assume we know what they want. And a lot of times, that’s not the case. So it is important to have those conversations during their time with us.”

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