Honourable Minister Ng’s Roundtable on Supporting Small Business and Export Development.

August 23, 2018

Written by Lee Brighton - CSO, Virtro

The roundtable with the Honourable Mary Ng and Deputy Minister Paul Thompson

I love the fact that Canada is really listening. Yesterday, along with 15 other Vancouver businesses the Hon Minister Mary Ng and her team met with us all and the team from the Vancouver Economic Commission.

Our host Bryan Buggey, the acting CEO at The VEC and the Minister shared some amazing facts.  Did you know that;

  • 98% of businesses are small businesses across the country.
  • When you count in medium-sized businesses, that brings it to 99%.
  • Together, they employ 90% of our workforce in the private sectors making them the real job creators and elevating us to an integral part of the Canadian economy.

With that hearing, we began. In true Canadian style, everyone had the opportunity to speak and share their challenges and ways they felt that the government could improve the experience for small businesses in Vancouver. Mary Ng took an active interest and constantly opened the path for more suggestions and comments about the ways they could ameliorate current protocols and provide support

We threw in the challenges we faced having emigrated to Canada on a Start-Up Visa. We are seeking finance and investment to grow Virtro and Argotian our AI/VR conversational language learning platform.  We had not factored into our thinking that emigrating to Canada would cause us to have a neutral credit score in arrival, equivalent to that of a recent grad. My financial concerns were met warmly by Mary Ng, who responded with her concern to include more financing support to help women in tech and immigrants with small businesses.

It is refreshing to meet people, real people who have faced the same challenges we have, and that has not only overcome them, but have paved the way for others to follow suit. Just another reason why I am glad to be in Vancouver and in Canada!

Roundtable with the Honourable Mary Ng


Roundtable with the Honourable Mary Ng

Special thanks to:

Innovation, Science And Economic Development

The Honourable Mary Ng

Paul Thompson Associate Deputy Minister

Graham McIntyre - Economic & Policy Analyst

Team members and Federal Government specialists

Vancouver Economic Commission Team

Bryan Buggey

Nancy Basi

Ingrid Valou

Meg O’Shea

David Shepheard