In the past several months, Calgary and the surrounding area has experienced a great deal of additional stress to the local economy, says national accounting, tax and business consulting firm MNP in a release issued today. Small, medium, and large businesses have been affected by COVID-19, the global slowdown and the ongoing challenges of the current oil-influenced economic downturn, it adds.
According to the company, these challenges have affected employment, profitability and business sustainability. As of August, Alberta’s unemployment rate stood at 11.8% with Calgary leading the province at 14.2%
“One would think with all of this economic uncertainty that it would not be a great time to start a small business, but it is not all doom and gloom,” says Troy Deck, the leader of MNP’s Self-Employment Program in Calgary. “There continues to be a steady stream of Albertans transitioning out of full-time employment and entering the realms of self-employment and succeeding.”
MNP, which has had a more than 20-year partnership with the Alberta and federal governments on self-employment programs, says it is seeing increased interest in its program.
“People are still very interested in starting their own businesses due the flexibility and opportunities it provides,” says Deck. “They’re just not sure how to navigate the challenges, risks and opportunities in the current market. We help entrepreneurs identify and avoid many of the pitfalls of starting a business.”
MNP’s program helps participants through a 30-class program of practical training, focusing on market research, business plan writing, coaching and support. It also centers on “critically analyzing the current situation, considering the business landscape, pivoting where necessary and writing a business plan for success.
“Through meeting with MNP’s coaches and advisor’s, business owners are provided with objective input and options helping them identify issues, choose supports, and make an action plan that will best assist them in adapting to the business environment.”
To learn more about the program go to https://www.mnp.ca/en/consulting/self-employment