Premier Darrell Dexter is encouraging smaller businesses to prepare for future opportunities, to become more innovative and productive, and help provide Nova Scotians with the skills they need for good jobs. Premier Dexter today, Oct. 15, acknowledged the start of Small Business Week in Nova Scotia, as he met with local business and community leaders in Amherst. “Small businesses across the province will benefit greatly from the opportunities on the horizon in Nova Scotia,” said Premier Dexter. “For example, it’s not only shipbuilders who will benefit from the shipbuilding contracts. It’s the coffee shop owner who will now have more customers, it’s the hairdresser that will have more clients, it’s the farm in rural Nova Scotia that will have more mouths to feed.” The premier also proclaimed Oct. 20 Small Business Saturday in Nova Scotia — the first premier in Canada to do so — encouraging Nova Scotians to “shop small” in some of the vibrant, innovative small businesses in all areas of the province. “Anytime Nova Scotia can lead an initiative that supports small business is a good thing,” said Leanne Hachey, Atlantic vice-president for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “And to the have our premier be the first in the country to encourage all Nova Scotians to ‘shop small’ on Oct. 20 is definitely a move we should all applaud.” Through jobsHere, the province is supporting hundreds of businesses of all sizes as follows: for the third year in a row, the province has reduced the small business corporate income tax rate the province’s Productivity Investment Program has helped 20,000 more people in 353 businesses get additional workplace training the province has invested $10 million to expand and improve the Credit Union Loan Guarantee Program, which gives many start-up businesses, small businesses, new immigrants and social enterprises greater access to capital the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program helps small businesses improve products, and refine operations the province has increased funding for the Business Development Program, encouraging new businesses and helping small businesses expand. Businesses and new entrepreneurs who attend Small Business Week events benefit from information on business issues, government programs and services, and have an opportunity to network and build local contacts. For information and a list of events, visit www.shopsmallbiz.ca . Small businesses can find out what programs are available in one central place at http://business.novascotia.ca .