The Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) says job losses in Tuesday’s provincial budget are tough to take, but positive economic indicators may prompt more women to go into business for themselves.
Paula Sheppard, the organization’s executive director, said the shock of the job cuts — nearly 1,200 positions were eliminated in Tuesday’s budget, including some vacant positions that will remain unfilled — should be lessened by the strong provincial economy.
All good indicators for business
“In terms of the impact it’s going to have on business owners, the forecast they gave for the economy in general — disposable income has increased, retail sales have increased — they’re all good indicators for business owners,” she said. “Right now, in these times, I think entrepreneurship is a good alternative, because now you’re looking at being able to create something for yourself.
“We still have a strong economy, despite the cuts we have in the budget, and I think the private sector is now the place where you’re going to be able to generate your own revenue and your own income.”
Sheppard acknowledged that there will likely be some at least short-term pain businesses might feel with reduced spending.
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“Obviously a lot of families are going to be affected, and a lot of people are not going to be out and they’re going to be pretty guarded about what they’re doing in the short term,” Sheppard said. “But I think in the long term, you’ll see people making some good investments, and people are going to be smarter about how they spend their money. But I definitely think that if the economy is still growing as a whole, you still see that there’s probably going to be enough to go around.”
Sheppard said her organization urges consumers to buy locally as much as they can to help boost Newfoundland and Labrador-based entrepreneurs.
As for the budget itself, Sheppard said she’s confident the government will continue to support entrepreneurs.
“If you look at the way that (Innovation, Business and Rural Development) has streamlined their services, to us, it really looks like they’re giving better access to entrepreneurs, and some of the things that they’re doing is making it easier for people in the earlier stages of business to access some of their programs.”
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