Minister Mary NG, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade in an exclusive interview with CanadianSME shares her advice on how to succeed past COVID-19.
Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a passionate community leader and advocate with a proven track record of results in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship.
As Member of Parliament for Markham—Thornhill, Minister Ng helped to facilitate the Government’s commitment to invest in Canadian ideas and innovators in her riding by advocating for the inclusion of Markham’s tech-innovation hub, VentureLabs, in the Southern Ontario Supercluster. The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is expected to have a GDP impact of more than $13.5 billion in the next ten years and create more than 13,500 good, middle-class jobs in the region.
As part of her work on the Standing Committee of Industry, Science, and Technology, Minister Ng worked alongside her committee colleagues on intellectual property best practices. This work guided the Government’s launch of Canada’s first comprehensive intellectual property strategy, providing tools to support the growth of Canadian businesses domestically while ensuring their ideas are protected in the global marketplace.
Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister Ng worked as Director of Appointments in the Prime Minister’s Office. She also served as the Director of Policy in provincial education where she built relationships, negotiated with teachers’ unions, and served students while helping to improve Ontario’s education system.
Minister Ng also served in the President’s Office at Ryerson University, helping to shape new initiatives that connected students and their innovative ideas with businesses, creating quality jobs for young Canadians. She has been a speaker and panelist on topics ranging from business, innovation, women in leadership, and Canada-China relations.
What is your key advice to small business owners during these challenging times? And what steps should they take to keep their small business afloat during the current crisis?
Right from the beginning, our government knew that the only way we could help small business owners through this pandemic was to listen and to respond to their urgent needs as quickly as we could.
Every single day over the past months, my office and I connected with thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, industry leaders from every region and every industry across the country.
It was by listening and adjusting that we were able to deliver the single largest economic support package for Canadians in our history.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy has supported over 3.5 million employees, helping small businesses keep their valued teams together – and will be extended until next summer.
Over 750,000 business owners keep able to keep up with their operating expenses with the Canada Emergency Business Account – and we helped over 3.2 million entrepreneurs and business owners keep more money in their ockets by deferring GST, HST, and customs duties payments.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance has meant over 100,000 small business owners could cover the high cost of rent. We also supported hundreds of thousands more with targeted investments to help businesses in rural communities, women entrepreneurs, Indigenous business owners, businesses in tourism and agriculture, and more.
Over the last few months – whether they’ve taken advantage of our emergency supports, adapted their business models, or looked to new markets for opportunities for growth – small business owners have been innovative and nimble, and have shown true resilience.
So my advice to small business owners is this: keep pushing, keeping innovating, and keep providing feedback so that we can give you the support you need during this challenging time. We’ll continue to do whatever it takes to support you – and the millions of Canadians you employ – throughout this crisis, as long as it lasts.