This post is sponsored by First Calgary

It’s Small Business Week in Calgary, and while I’m a big supporter of small businesses 365 days of the year (especially because I am one), Small Business Week serves as an important reminder of the importance of this city’s entrepreneurs, and how much they and their businesses add to Calgary. 

Many of Calgary’s businesses are able to pursue their goals thanks to First Calgary, which is well known for helping and supporting entrepreneurs from concept to execution, and all the steps in between. 

So in honour of Small Business Week, I’ve teamed up with First Calgary to highlight some fantastic businesses in Calgary. And we’re celebrating with a special contest.

This Saturday, post a selfie with a small business and you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card. Post the photo on Instagram and/or Twitter, @firstcalgary, #SBW2019 and the business you’re at! That’s it – it’s a win-win! Not only will you be supporting a local biz, you’ll also be helping your network find new small businesses. 

I actually got a chance to chat with some of the small businesses that work with First Calgary to hear why they love doing business in the city and why a credit union helps their business grow!  

WOW Lighting

Tell us about WOW Lighting 

We are a manufacturers representative for commercial, institutional, industrial, and residential lighting and lighting controls products. We operate in Alberta with exclusive contracts with our manufacturer partners

What is the best part of owning your business?

In the past I have worked in the industry on the corporate side of the commercial lighting business.  This corporate experience was valuable however I felt that many individuals, including myself, were not recognized for their contribution, hard work, and extra effort. As a business owner I have the ability to reward and help individuals grow to meet there personal and professional aspirations. It is rewarding to see personal growth and confidence in our staff as they find their role in our company systems, structure, and corporate culture. In addition we have our corporate core values that are posted within the facilities that help remind us of this daily. 

Why Calgary?  What makes Calgary a great place to run a small business?

We have offices in both Calgary and Edmonton. I grew up in Alberta and believe it is one of best places to live and work.  I believe that Alberta s as a whole respect hard work, success, and entrepreneurial spirit and that there is a sense of community that we are all proud of as Albertans

What’s the advantage for a small business owner to work with a credit union like First Calgary?

I felt that working with First Calgary was a more personal experience than perhaps than that of a national financial institution. I was treated as an individual with an importance and commitment to help me achieve my goal to purchase our building in Calgary. 

What’s your 2020 goal for your business?

Albertans have been faced with significant financial challenges and uncertainty over the past few years. In order to adapt and continue our goals to go grow, we had to significantly change the way we were doing business. That being said our goals for 2020 are to maintain to grow our market share while improving our operational efficiencies and overall bottom line. We will also be selling products and selling into markets that we had not previously participated in.

Rocket House

In a few sentences, tell us about your business?

RocketHouse is a full-service Calgary-based production company specializing in interactive corporate events and fundraisers. Our core team all comes from a theatre background and we collaborate with a wide body of performers, athletes and technologists to create unique experiences. You may know us as the Android and Astronaut from Beakerhead, the emcees of the Ride To Conquer Cancer, the producers of the PechaKucha speaker series, and, hopefully soon, the creators of a new, highly immersive athletic fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society called Spin For Life.

What is the best part of owning your business?

Choosing our collaborators and constantly learning and growing (as individuals and as a company).

Why Calgary?  What makes Calgary a great place to run a small business?

Calgary’s art scene welcomed us with open arms when we started RocketHouse. And YYC’s art scene transects with the communities of technology, finance, startups, and even energy — and every aspect of all of these is filled with creative people who are trying to push the envelope in the industry they know best. No matter the medium, Calgarians are constantly trying to iterate and are happy to collaborate. That works well for RocketHouse because any project we do ends up pulling from diverse skill sets — whether that’s because a new performance needs parkour and traditional painting to be mixed or because a new app we’re developing to track fundraising participants needs technology that’s never been combined before.

What’s the advantage for a small business owner to work with a credit union like First Calgary?

Our credit union representatives have been to our shows. We’ve produced events for First Calgary. So when we talk to them about our business goals and challenges, they’ve experienced what we create first-hand. This goes a long way to grounding our financial discussions. 

What’s your 2020 goal for your business?

We are very excited about RocketHouse’s growth outlook in 2020. We have more emcee dates lined up than ever before, our stand-alone event apps and technologies are being booked for repeat events and installations, and our athletic fundraiser, Spin For Life, will gather together over 1400 participants and should set a world record while raising over $1.4 million for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Bradbosh


In a few sentences, tell us about your business?
Bradbosh landscaping and snow removal was founded in 2003 by childhood friends Micah Bradley and Herb Bosnjak. Hard work and perseverance has enabled Bradbosh to grow into one of Calgary’s premier landscaping and snow removal companies. Bradbosh has three main divisions. Landscape maintenance, landscape design and construction and snow removal servicing both residential, commercial, retail, industrial and government properties in Calgary and surrounding areas..

What is the best part of owning your business?
We love every aspect of our business. Being able to work outside and amongst friends makes every part of our job enjoyable.

Why Calgary?  What makes Calgary a great place to run a small business?

Being born and raised Calgarians (one born both raised) makes it a no brainer. Calgary is our home, always has been always will be, we have been extremely fortunate to grow our business in Calgary.


What’s the advantage for a small business owner to work with a credit union like First Calgary

Being a local company, it is only natural to work with a local bank as they have a better understanding of what effects our business most.  

What’s your 2020 goal for your business?

Continued growth and prosperity


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Mike Morrison

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