An Open Letter to Canadian Business Owners

Dear Entrepreneur,

Whether you are just starting your journey, or have been a business owner for some time, I’d like to say: congratulations! You have decided to embark on a voyage like no other; one that creates opportunities to employ, to innovate, to grow your community, and so much more.

You may have started your business because you have decided to take your career in adifferent direction, or perhaps you were laid off. You could be taking over the family business, or maybe you’ve mastered your art and have decided to start your own venture – regardless of how you got here, it’s a big step, a bold step, and a brave step. Once again, congratulations.

You may not be familiar with my name or what my job responsibilities are, and that’s okay. My name is Cesar J. Gomez and I am a Business Counsellor at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). What’s that, you ask? Let me tell you.

1) We are passionate for things you need to know

We are a team dedicated to getting you the information you need, when you need it. How does that help you? Consider us a resource for questions you may not know the answer to, such as:

  • How do I set up my business structure?
  • How do I hire my first employee?
  • What type of training do I/my employees need?
  • Which government rules and regulations impact my business?
  • How do I prepare for a tax or workers compensation audit?

This is just the beginning. Say for example you have a revolutionary idea – you’ll need to understand and navigate through the potential red tape you may encounter and that’s where your local business counsellor can help! We are not a call center and we are not scripted, we are ateam whose services are tailored to your needs. We believe in providing solutions so that you can get back to running your business.

2) We understand what connects all our members

Our organization represents businesses across all sectors and industries. The one thing that connects all of our members is the provincial and federal obligations they need to comply with, including:

  • Provincial regulations, such as Employment Standards and Occupational Health and Safety.
  • Licence or permit requirements to conduct business in your municipality/province
    • For example: did you know that you may even need a permit to have music playing in your business? Or that you may need a license to sell pop and chips at your retail shop? Your municipality may even have rules regarding how you advertise your business on sidewalk, even when your business is on the second floor.

Do not fear the unknown. As a member of the CFIB, your business counsellor can listen, asses your situation and conduct research on your behalf!

3) We understand you need support, at the time you contact us 

We understand how frustrating it can be when you are looking for the right contact person at a local government agency or searching through the web for answers, losing valuable time. Our business counsellors have dedicated phone numbers, extensions and email address that can be shared with you. Some members prefer emails while others  like to speak to us over phone. We serve you, the way you wish to be served, in a timely manner. It’s your opportunity to speak to someone on a variety of topics.

In closing my entrepreneur friend, we are a team that listens to your concerns. We understand what you are going through, and we are on your side. In my years of being at CFIB I have had the privilege of talking to members about their victories and what inspires them on daily basis. I have also heard from members about the important concerns they have and issues they face. That is the journey of the entrepreneur. You don’t have to do it alone, you can count on us – a team that wants you to be successful.

We are your biggest fans, cheerleaders and supporters! No other organization will boast more of your accomplishments and you’re potential. When you saw a need, you started a business and that is leadership. We are here to help you succeed.

The road ahead is guaranteed to be bumpy, but that’s okay. When you start your day from your home office, open up the shop since you’re the only employee, or you are on road making new connections – trust that you have resources in us. A whole team, right behind you, you have resources!

Author:

Cesar Gomez- Garcia
@josuegomezg

CesarCesar Gomez-Garcia has been with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business for six years. His current role at the CFIB and the My Startup program by CFIB, is helping its members, who are small business owners, with questions about compliance. These questions cover such areas as Employment Standards, Health and Safety, as well as complicated red tape situations that small businesses face. His passions are reading and writing about entrepreneurship. Learn more about Cesar by clicking here.

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