For Small Business Week, the City of Martensville is working in partnership with Square One, a company that works with assisting entrepreneurs learn the required steps in starting or expanding a business in Saskatchewan. This event will take place on October 15th from 3pm-4pm at the Canalta Hotel and will invite business representatives to come learn about the opportunities, trends and demographics for the City of Martensville. There will also be a presentation by Meagan Barabash of Bravo Dance Company, who will discuss her experiences of owning a business within Martensville. “The idea of this presentation will be to increase awareness about the smaller centres outside of Saskatoon and what the benefits are of looking at these communities for business versus Saskatoon. We think that having Meagan come in to speak will be very beneficial to potential business owners, as people can get a lot of value from listening to someone who has been through it before and has seen success very quickly,” Dillon Shewchuk, City of Martensville Community Economic Development Manager (CEDM), explained. For more information on this event, or to register, visit www.squareonesask.ca.
In his position as CEDM, Shewchuk has experienced firsthand just how important businesses are to the community. “Just broadly speaking, they help improve the quality of life here for our residents. That convenience of being able to get the goods and services you need so close to where you live, I think that makes our community better,” Shewchuk said. There are many advantages to supporting local businesses and by ensuring that these businesses succeed helps to ensure the success of the entire community. These local businesses are the ones that contribute back to the people of Martensville by supporting the local sports groups and community groups, by providing scholarships for local graduates, providing job opportunities, paying taxes and much more. “Our business community has played a big role in helping to shape the future of the community. I am certainly grateful that we have been able to see growth and more people involved in business within Martensville. Looking back several years, there were many people that thought a business community couldn’t succeed in a community like ours, but we are starting to evolve and change and we are starting to have a very thriving and diverse business community,” Shewchuk explained.
With Martensville’s close proximity to Saskatoon, creating that thriving business community has not always been an easy task, as businesses situated in Martensville are often forced to compete with larger, more established businesses in Saskatoon. Through research, Shewchuk noted that approximately two thirds of the people that moved to Martensville came from Saskatoon, where they had already settled into consumer patterns and routines. In previous years, the City of Martensville created surveys and asked residents what they would like to see in their local business community and if these options were provided, would they choose to instead shop within Martensville, or would they continue to purchase their goods and services in Saskatoon. “It is an obstacle to ask people to abandon some of their typical patterns and we aren’t quite at a stage where you can get every single thing here in Martensville. Saskatoon has numerous options to offer; however, things have improved here. People can now purchase their basic needs within the community and by doing this, it has made Martensville a better place to live,” explained Shewchuk. By providing more business options, it has not only increased convenience for local residents, but also for a market outside of Martensville. Motorists travelling on Highway 12 now have the option to stop in Martensville to purchase items that they may require, or utilize the local services available.
Local businesses also contribute to commercial taxes, which in turn, help the community to purchase additional items such as recreation and cultural amenities. While residential taxes help to cover the core services, taxes paid by businesses can allow the community to look at expansion in other areas. “By supporting a local business, you aren’t just supporting a business owner, you are supporting local families and yourself. If businesses succeed, it brings more businesses, which improves the community overall.”
With a major hurdle in place of working to communicate to new residents and provide information on the numerous options that Martensville has to offer, Shewchuk has seen firsthand residents utilizing Saskatoon businesses, when the same service is available down the street at a comparable cost. “For me, I see it as that by supporting local, you are helping economic development. If local businesses thrive, it gets more attractive for additional firms to come in, and then it helps local firms expand. You have to break down those barriers, to not think about Saskatoon anymore, get out of those usual patterns. It takes consistent effort, but we are on the right track and it is gaining momentum.”
Number of Businesses Store Front Home Based
2007 80 81
2012 123 127
2017 153 137
* Commercial Assessment has grown from $8.2M in 2007 to over $95.6M in 2017, the number of businesses, size and value of business is growing
* There are approximately 400 businesses licensed to operate in Martensville, in 2007 there were 199