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Celebrate and support Ottawa's small businesses

October 19, 2020
Announcements and Events

Mayor Jim Watson today proclaimed October 18 to 24 Ottawa Small Business Week. Now more than ever, it is time to support small businesses in your neighbourhood and recognize their vital contributions to Ottawa’s economy and to our communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought changes to almost every facet of our lives. Ottawa’s small businesses are experiencing challenging times along with the rest of us, and they need our support.

Small businesses are the foundation of Ottawa’s economy, providing important services and a variety of employment opportunities. More than 35 per cent of jobs in Ottawa come from small businesses. In 2016, more than 93 per cent of all businesses located in Ottawa were small businesses.

Small and locally owned businesses are woven into the fabric of our city. They bring life and vibrancy to our neighbourhoods and main streets, offering unique retail, restaurant, and service experiences that contribute to the quality of life in Ottawa. Innovative local entrepreneurs enhance Ottawa’s reputation as a hub for new ideas and creative thinking.

To help you support Ottawa’s diverse and vibrant small business community, we’ve assembled a page of useful links and resources. Please support them today in any way you can, including ordering takeout and delivery, shopping online with curbside pickup, and purchasing gift cards. 

Ottawa Public Health has resources available for businesses that are permitted to be open, to help them keep their workplaces safe for staff and customers.

Local business owners who want to set up an online store or expand their digital presence can get help for free from Invest Ottawa through the Digital Main Street program.


“The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a huge strain on local restaurants and small businesses. This week and every week, please support small businesses in your neighbourhood; they need your help to get through these challenging times. These businesses are an integral part of Ottawa’s economy, they bring life and vibrancy to our neighbourhoods, they provide jobs to our families, friends and neighbours, and they enhance Ottawa’s reputation as a great place to live and a vibrant destination to visit.”

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

Quick facts:

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises are commercial, for-profit businesses with fewer than 500 employees that bring in less than $50 million in annual revenue.

  • Small businesses have up to 49 employees, while medium-sized businesses employ between 50 and 499 people.

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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