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Losing ground

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s eighth annual Entrepreneurial Communities report, communities in Newfoundland and Labrador are falling behind.

At 68 out of 121 communities ranked Grand Falls-Windsor slipped marginal from a year ago with its overall score (out of 100) dipping by 1.6.

In 2014, St. John’s was ranked the best entrepreneurial city in Atlantic Canada, but is fourth in 2015 as Moncton now has the top spot in the region.

Corner Brook ranked 115th.

“It is unfortunate to see our communities losing ground to others across the region and the country,” said Vaughn Hammond, Director of Provincial Affairs in Newfoundland and Labrador. “But many small business owners in the province have had a difficult time coping over the past year or so due to the economic circumstances. Yet, there are signs of improvement – hiring plans and business health are getting stronger — as small business owners adapt to an economy less dependent on the oil sector for its growth.”

Municipalities play a significant role in economic development and encouraging entrepreneurship. For their part, municipalities must plan and prioritize their spending initiatives, maintain a fair municipal tax system, and nurture strong relationships with small business owners that facilitate open dialogue.

“The contribution of the municipalities will be needed now more than ever as the latest provincial data on business growth shows Newfoundland and Labrador lost over 1,060 businesses in 2014,” added Hammond.

“There is a lot to be accomplished if economic conditions are to be improved. It is imperative that municipalities find ways to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in their communities.”

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