Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

May 12, 2009 15:30 ET

Federal Government Opens New Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Office in the National Capital Area (NCA)

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 12, 2009) - The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today announced the opening of a walk-in service for businesses in the NCA. The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises' (OSME) NCA Regional Office, located in the heart of Gatineau, serves as a one-stop shop for small and medium business owners interested in doing business with the federal government.

"Canada's small and medium sized businesses form the backbone of our economy and this Government is ensuring they have fair and equal access to Government contracts, "said Minister Paradis. "These businesses provide a vast amount of services to government and are critically important, especially during these times of economic volatility."

Michael Burnatowski, manager of the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation's Entrepreneurship Centre, recognizes the value this walk-in location will be to the regional business community at large. "As an enterprise centre that regularly consults and works with various SMEs in the region, we rely on the expertise and resources of our strategic stakeholders in order to help foster business growth and opportunities."

"This new office allows NCA area SMEs to consult with experts one-on-one and utilise in person services to help them use the federal procurement system," added Minister Paradis. "Our collaboration with industry associations, individual businesses and local levels of government is continually strengthening SMEs' access to government procurement and this is yet another positive step onward and upward for Canada's SMEs."

Open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the NCA Regional Office provides an array of information services for business owners, including:

- advice on how to find and access federal government opportunities

- guidance on navigating the procurement system

- ideas on how to market products and services

- seminars on doing business with the Government of Canada and using MERX, the Government Electronic Tendering System

- a fully-equipped centre for hands-on workshops and business seminars, and

- a referral service for complaints.

Today's announcement follows the establishment of five other OSME regional offices across the country, in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. The Toronto and Halifax offices also feature walk-in services for local small and medium business owners. The six regional offices have already helped thousands of SMEs - close to 18,000 last year alone.

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/medias-media/index-eng.html


BACKGROUNDER

Government of Canada Opens New Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Office in the National Capital Area (NCA)

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) recently announced the opening of a walk-in service centre to better assist small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the NCA Region. Run by the department's Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) and located in the heart of Gatineau in Place du Portage, Phase III, the new premises serves as a one-stop shop for small and medium business owners interested in doing business with the federal government.

Headquartered in Gatineau, OSME actively promotes government procurement opportunities, helps suppliers navigate the procurement system, and advises the Government of Canada how to develop procurement plans that address SME challenges. The one-on-one support that business owners can find at OSME's new NCA Regional Office can help them grow their businesses.

Ongoing outreach activities have played a vital role in strengthening OSME's relationship with smaller, local businesses. In 2007-08, the NCA Region Office organized over 50 events and information sessions for Gatineau- and Ottawa-based businesses and helped more than 3,000 local suppliers and individuals. PWGSC's efforts to work in co-operation with SMEs are paying off. Last year, 49 percent of the total value of contracts awarded by PWGSC to businesses located in Canada was awarded to SMEs, an increase from 46 percent the previous year.

PWGSC created OSME to support the Government of Canada's commitment to a procurement system open to small, medium and regionally based businesses. OSME maintains a network of six regional offices across the country to ensure support for small and medium suppliers regardless of their location. Its priorities include:

- analyzing the relationship between government procurement and the economy

- bridging the gap between suppliers and government departments

- developing support tools for SMEs, and

- influencing positive change within government acquisitions on behalf of SMEs.

SME Overview

- SMEs are defined as enterprises with fewer than 500 employees. Small enterprises have less than 99 employees; medium enterprises have between 100-499 employees.

- Canada's 2.3 million SMEs are an important engine of Canada's economy.

- In 2007, SMEs employed approximately two out of every three Canadians in the private sector.

- In Canada, SMEs accounted for about 60 percent of all new jobs created in the private sector in 2007.

- In 2007-08, OSME directly assisted close to 18,000 business representatives across the country.

OSME Contact Info

More information on OSME and its initiatives can be obtained by calling the toll free InfoLine at 1-800-811-1148, by visiting http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/app-acq/pme-sme, or by e-mailing rcnbpme.ncrosme@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

Ce texte est egalement disponible en francais.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Christian Paradis
    Minister of Public Works and Government Services
    Mary-Ann Dewey-Plante
    Press Secretary
    613-218-6961
    Mary-Ann.Dewey-Plante@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca
    or
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations
    819-956-2315