- Left to right: John Buck, Executive Director, CEDEC, Cameron Gagnon, Owner of Ebenisterie Public Woodworking, Ann Marie Boulanger, Owner of Traduction Proteus Inc., Louise Garai, Owner of HomeStagingLG, George Grant, Owner of Brossard Bagel, Peter McAuslan, Owner of McAuslan Brewry
On May 16, 2012, CEDEC celebrated the fifth anniversary of its CEDEC Small Business Support Network (SBSN) with a new brand identity, website and province-wide campaign to promote its English-language business development services to Quebec entrepreneurs. Moderated by Sonali Karnick, CBC Radio Host, the press conference that took place at the Montreal Science Centre, one of ten held across the province, also highlighted CEDEC’s upcoming Love Your Local Business contest.
John Buck, CEDEC’s Executive Director sees great potential for Quebec’s English-speaking community to play an important role in the growth of the province’s economy. “Our aim is to empower small-business owners across the province with opportunities to enhance their skills, expand their network, and be a pivotal part of a healthy economy,” said Mr. Buck. “Through our new website and online member directory, members of the CEDEC Small Business Support Network will have new tools to promote their businesses and grow their network, locally and beyond.”
Peter McAuslan, owner of Quebec’s foremost micro-brewery, McAuslan Brewing, spoke of the unique opportunities that English-speaking entrepreneurs have in Quebec, especially when it comes producing innovative products. He explained that “consumers in Quebec have tastes and interests that are very different which allows more freedom to create something different—and that’s an edge, a huge edge,” he said.
François Charron, Quebec’s leading Web expert and regular technology commentator on TVA’s Salut, Bonjour!, chimed in at a distance and commented that small businesses need help to promote themselves. “There’s currently a crisis in Quebec—one SME in twelve does not have a Website—that’s incredible!” He added that of those who do have a website, at least fifty percent don’t turn up on Google and lose business as a result. Charron commended CEDEC for its work and called out to other organizations to help entrepreneurs acquire the tools they need to succeed.
Ann-Marie Boulanger, owner of Traduction Proteus in Châteauguay, Quebec and member of CEDEC SBSN since 2010, commented that “as a small-business owner whose first language is English, I was thrilled to hear about CEDEC SBSN and the unique training and networking opportunities they offer. Navigating the world of entrepreneurship is much less daunting when you can do it in your language!” said Boulanger.
John Buck added that the official details of CEDEC’s “Love Your Local Business” contest will be made public in August. Until then, he encouraged business owners to sign-up as members, and regularly visit CEDEC’s new website for updates.