New Team Working to Support Calgary’s Small Businesses

As Calgarians celebrated Small Business Week Calgary Oct. 21-25, a new program at The City of Calgary is making it easier for businesses to do business.

One size does not fit all when it comes to providing business support and reducing barriers to success. That’s why the new Business and Local Economy team is cutting red tape by streamlining processes, reducing the time and money it takes to run a business in Calgary.

“The City is focused on three core areas to support Calgary’s economic recovery: supporting our local businesses, revitalizing our downtown, and ensuring we are as fiscally responsible as possible in all we do,” said David Duckworth, City Manager, in his presentation to Council on Oct.7, 2019. “Our local businesses are integral to our success. You’ve heard us talk about being business friendly and this is what supporting businesses is all about.”

Touching on everything from idea to open, Council direction and enabling business innovation, the Business and Local Economy team is focused on making The City of Calgary more business-friendly by streamlining the experience for entrepreneurs.

“The Business and Local Economy Program is about making sure we are not only attracting great new businesses, but keeping our current businesses up and running,” said Sonya Sharp, Program Lead for Business and Local Economy. “It’s the opportunity to join all the pieces of work both within our corporation, and with our external partners, to ensure that we are the most business-friendly city in Canada and, we’re hoping, North America.”

The team has been working hard during Small Business Week Calgary to launch the program and create connections with the business community as they dive into determining the best way to help The City do better for businesses.

“We want our business community to see us not as regulators, but as facilitators,” said Sharp, who has owned several private businesses in the past. “We don’t want to be a barrier, we want to be an enabler. How can we get you to ‘Yes’? We all want to go to that new restaurant and to that new coffee shop. It is important we animate those vacant buildings, support vibrancy and investor confidence in our City.”

For more information on what The City is doing to support businesses, visit

Calgary is a dynamic and resilient city and The City of Calgary and its partners are committed to our economic recovery to make life better every day for citizens, customers, communities and businesses. To learn more about our efforts to support “Calgary’s Comeback,” visit