As we enter a new year, there’s an opportunity for Canadian businesses to grow, reach new customers and expand their online presence. According to Stats Canada, small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of the Canadian economy, driving 50%+ of GDP and employing 85% of Canadians. But they’re also the heart and souls of their communities. I know this first hand, as both my parents were small business owners, so I understand the sweat equity that goes into running a business.
We’re currently living in a pivotal moment for our Canadian economy to be more digital first. 2022 represented a tipping point for the true potential of digital – our Economic Impact Report estimates that Google tools helped provide $37 billion in economic activity for Canadian businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators, and developers. That’s the equivalent of about 1.5% of Canada’s GDP.
We’ve seen time again that digital is the ultimate force multiplier to help SMBs grow. And the past few years have underscored that businesses that are more digitally advanced are more resilient and can sell and service customers 24/7, across the globe.
According to a survey by Deloitte, more than three-quarters of the leaders surveyed said their organizations’ digital capabilities significantly helped them cope with the challenges triggered by the pandemic.
Each day, I’m inspired to help Canadian SMBs take advantage of the digital opportunity and take their business to the next level. To help more SMBs reach their potential, there are also a number of free tools and resources Google offers. Programs like Digital Main Street’s ShopHERE powered by Google to create and optimize your website, or Grow with Google and Google Career Certificates courses for small business owners to grow their skillset. And tools to help you gain consumer insights and standouts like Google’s Business Profile, Google Trends, Google Analytics, and Market Finder.
I am in daily awe of the grit, creativity, and heart that SMBs put into running their businesses and serving their customers and communities. And very excited to see how Canada’s SMB owners and entrepreneurs expand their digital presence to thrive in 2023!
Managing Director at Google Canada for Google Customer Solutions
Natasha Walji is the Managing Director at Google Canada for Google Customer Solutions focused on helping small & medium businesses grow & thrive. Previously she was a McKinsey consultant and a software developer. Natasha has actively served the community for 20+ years focused on disaster relief, poverty alleviation, public health and co-founded an organization for children with disabilities. She is an angel investor and is an Investment Committee member for Blue Ivy Ventures. Natasha holds a BSc., Computer Science (University of Victoria), MBA (Yale University) and MSt. Sustainability Leadership (University of Cambridge). Natasha is recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN).