Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 19, 2009 13:58 ET

Canada's Economic Action Plan Improves Services for Small Businesses Through Funding for the Canada Business Network

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 19, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), today announced that Canada's Economic Action Plan is providing $15 million per year to improve services offered to small- and medium-sized business owners through the Canada Business Network (CBN).

"Small businesses are the engine of the Canadian economy. Even in recent recessionary times, SMEs outperformed the rest of the economy," said Minister Ablonczy. "Their success fuels economic growth and job creation. Through the Economic Action Plan, our Government is continuing to deliver for Canada's small businesses to help them grow and succeed."

The Canada Business Network provides business owners and entrepreneurs with access to reliable, up-to-date and relevant information to help them start and grow their business. CBN integrates resources from all three levels of government and not-for-profit groups. It provides fast and easy access to information and services online, in person or by phone.

Funding provided through the Economic Action Plan is being used in part, to improve and enhance the Canada Business Network website. Content on the new site focuses on the key areas for helping small businesses and can be tailored to address the priorities of each user. Additionally, the new site offers time-saving tools and ease of navigation. Funding also supports the national toll-free telephone service and in-person service centres in each province and territory.

In addition to CBN funding, the Government of Government has introduced a number of initiatives to help small businesses innovate, create jobs and generate wealth in every region across our country. By increasing access to financing, lowering taxes and cutting red tape, our small businesses will drive our country's economic success.

"The Canada Business website is a valuable resource in our day-to-day interaction with clients who contact the Business Enterprise Centre," said Heidi Brown, Manager, Small Business, Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre. "The combination of both federal and provincial information provides a reliable and current source of information on a variety of business topics for prospective, new, and existing small businesses".

The Canada Business Network is managed in collaboration with the provinces and territories, and the following four lead departments: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED-Q), Industry Canada, and Western Economic Diversification Canada (WED).

Please visit the CBN website at for more information, including locations of service centres, or call the Canada Business Network at:

Telephone: 1-888-576-4444
(9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, in every time zone)

TTY: 1-800-457-8466 (for the Deaf or hard of hearing)
(8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern Time)


Canada Business Network Funding

Canada Business Network (CBN) is a long-standing program that provides single-window access to government information and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs. It currently offers information through a national website, a national toll-free telephone line and 13 regional service centres. CBN integrates information across multiple levels of government and services all segments of the small business community, making it a unique service for helping small business owners and entrepreneurs with the challenges of starting up and running a business.

Budget 2009 - Canada's Economic Action Plan is providing $15 million per year to CBN to both ensure the continuation of and enhance the services provided by CBN.

CBN was first established to assist businesses burdened by volume and overlap in federal/provincial/territorial information services. Originally, its mandate was to provide a one-stop information service for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs through its service centres.

In 2008, the government carried out a review of CBN, with extensive public consultation, to determine how CBN could best meet the needs of small businesses today. Renewed funding will refocus CBN efforts in helping small businesses grow and be more productive and competitive.

Key elements of the new, enhanced service from CBN include:

- more emphasis placed on the needs of existing small businesses to help them survive the critical first three years, and grow their business, while also continuing to offer assistance to start-up businesses;

- one national website with provincial/territorial views that offers clients a tailored view of the information they need - by industry, geographic location, topic of interest and stage in the business life cycle;

- changes in how the national telephone service is managed so as to improve service to clients; and

- broader regional/local partnerships and a marketing strategy to increase use of the service.

CBN will continue to provide businesses with up-to-date and relevant information. This can help boost productivity by reducing the time and effort required by small business owners to find the information they need.

In Canada, 139 000 new small businesses are created each year. Statistically, only half survive the first three years, and only 25 percent are still operating after nine years. In the context of the current economic environment, the contribution of CBN is more important than ever.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Diane Ablonczy
    Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)
    Catherine Godbout
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations