Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute small business in this country and to recognize Small Business Week.
Today in Canada all but approximately 2,000 of the more than two million businesses fall within the self-employed or small and medium size business categories. Ninety-nine per cent of the new businesses started up in the last decade have been SMEs.
Today in my riding the CFDC, in partnership with the BDC, local chambers and others, is conducting a conference for existing and new entrepreneurs. I applaud this community initiative to help the small business community adapt and take advantage of market opportunities.
On a national level, our federal government is working to help small businesses compete by streamlining regulations, improving access to capital and enhancing export opportunities. Canada is a great place to do business. Today I salute the small business men and women across this country for their entrepreneurial spirit.