This series of articles is part of an ongoing effort by Statistics Canada to bring data to municipalities via its new Centre for Municipal and Local Data, following its established partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Check out the first six articles in the series:
- Statistics Canada and Montréal: Serving the city’s residents
- Portraits of French-speaking communities across the country
- A data-driven case for prosperity in Atlantic Canada
- Statistics Canada and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu: Businesses eager for data
- Statistics Canada and Greater Sudbury: forward planning for a large municipality
- The Centre for Municipal and Local Data: An essential resource
“Not having Statistics Canada data would be like driving on the highway with no steering wheel and not knowing where you’re going,” laughed Maryse Fredette, Director of Development, Businesses and Services at the Société de développement économique de Drummondville (SDED), a non-profit organization deemed to be the “economic arm” of the city and 16 neighbouring municipalities.
Close to 70 employees strong, SDED's mission is to create conditions favourable to the economic development of the roughly 2,410 businesses in the industrial, commercial, tourism and service sectors on its territory.
“I myself was an entrepreneur, and at the time, I knocked on SDED’s door,” said Maryse. “I’m very results-oriented, and I’ve always been very aware of the importance of having reliable data—thanks, here, to Statistics Canada—to help our businesses thrive.”
“Now that I’m on this side of the fence, I see that many businesspeople don’t know that we have so much data to help them grow their business. Every year, we guide around 60 new businesses, in addition to others. When starting a business, data are helpful to build a solid foundation. We put down roots based on facts, not fiction.”
In addition to using census data, the SDED team purchases cross-tabulated data from Statistics Canada to provide businesses with personalized service. “For example, the sales index gives us information on sales per square metre in different sectors. Recently, an immigrant settled in the area and wanted [to start] a business targeted to his community. We can find out where that community is located, develop a statistical profile, find out the income and expenditures per household, the education and demographic growth of its members, and so on.” In addition, the Small Business Hub of Statistic Canada is a resource to help existing and aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs plan and run their enterprises.
The SDED supports entrepreneurs in the different stages of their journey, including start-up, development, or relocation. “Clients come to us at different stages of their business life, so the needs are constantly changing,” she said. “We can provide personalized service using Statistics Canada data, which really reassures them. The added value of the data is that they’re an essential tool for informed decision-making.”
Maryse Fredette stated that different types of entrepreneurs use their services. “There’s the visionary, the dreamer, the innovator, and many more. They all need reliable data to guide them in the start up or growth of their business. We’re aware of everything that’s available to help them improve. For them, data is worth their weight in gold; they use it to reposition themselves and better manage priorities. The purpose isn’t to bore entrepreneurs with data. Numbers talk! They give a clear picture, the real story, and they’re vital for entrepreneurs to develop or adjust strategies to ensure their future.”
For more information, contact the Statistical Information Service (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; email@example.com) or Media Relations (firstname.lastname@example.org).