It's Small Business Week - a time to stop and take notice of just how much our local entrepreneurs contribute to our communities and the local economy.
Most Atlantic Canadian business, except for perhaps Irving, would be considered small businesses, even though many of them, including some P.E.I. companies, are taking on the world and succeeding.
Recently Progress magazine released its annual Top 101 companies in Atlantic Canada, based on how much revenues they generated. The top three P.E.I. companies on that list are based right here in the Summerside area - Vector Aerospace Engine Services Atlantic, Amalgamated Dairies Ltd. (ADL), and P.E.I. Mutual Insurance Co. Vector generated almost $227 million in revenue for 2013, representing a seven per cent growth in one year. They have slipped three spots in the rankings, but they're still in the top 20 at Number 19.
ADL is a familiar name on the top 101 company rankings. This Summerside-based dairy records close to $133 million in revenues annually.
P.E.I. Mutual rose four places this year to Number 63 on the list with $20,651,000 in revenue.
Vector's 504 employees and ADL's staff of 288 make up a large chunk of the local workforce, which keeps much of their money here.
Both of these companies are also familiar sponsors and corporate partners in community projects or events, so is P.E.I. Mutual.
These businesses are major cogs in the gears of Prince County, but there are also many smaller companies responsible for keeping our local economy moving.
Some of these in the greater Summerside area were just recognized recently by the chamber of commerce. The Business Excellence Awards serve to honour those business people who are excelling and who are also making noticeable contributions in their community.
And how do we pay homage to these entrepreneurs great and small? We support them by buying local, purchasing their goods and services, offering constructive feedback, and encouraging young business people in their new endeavours.
In a survey of the some of the leaders of these top 101 businesses in Atlantic Canada, they felt their responsibility was "to create a better economy by advocating for change, mentoring young talent, engaging in education and health initiatives and working co-operatively in our region. We must adapt and adjust to a rapidly changing global economy for the region's prosperity."
We should be proud of the successes that our local businesses have reached, continue to help them prosper, and assist those in the development stages to grow.