In 2008, my demographic studies put small businesses (under 50 employees) in Niagara at 75%. The Labour Market Plan 2009 - 2013 by our provincially mandated local board - Niagara Workforce Planning Board - put that number at 99% - with 50% of those as owner/operator - zero employees.
The hot new job in Niagara seems to be entrepreneurial!
Many in the Niagara Region are screaming for Leadership...from grassroots to Regional Integrated Economic Development Commission. There are businesses that want to invest in Niagara. They want to build their business in Niagara and they want to raise their family in Niagara.
We can have the best of both worlds; living and working together; collaboratively instead of competing against each other. Partners in (your industry here), Competitors in the Field (borrowed from the Niagara Industrial Association.)
It raises my eyebrows each March when the Sunshine List is delivered to us via the local media. We have also been called the "Call Centre Capital of Ontario". There is a huge gap between minimum wage at $10.25 an hour and over $100,000 per year.
How many jobs are left in Niagara that cover that gap? The gap between 40 hours of work at minimum wage which earns $21,320 and over $100,00? If you don't work for a government, government funded or non-profit funded organization; what are your chances for more than minimum wage?
These are my opinions and observations. I learned a long time ago that we can make numbers into what ever story we want told.
I would love to hear some feedback from you. I know you have an opinion. You might not have been looking for a rant on the HRNC Blog - but employment IS our business.