Minister Ed Fast Appoints New Chair to His Advisory Board on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Board plays key role in advocating the interests of business owners as we continue to create new jobs and opportunities, says Minister

October 25, 2013 - As part of the Harper government’s celebration of Small Business Week, the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade, today announced that Jim Reynolds, President and CEO of Padre Software Inc. of Waterloo, Ontario, has agreed to serve as chair of the minister’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) Advisory Board.

“I am very pleased that Jim Reynolds has agreed to guide my SME Advisory Board as we continue to deliver the most ambitious pro-trade plan to open new markets for our exporters in Canada’s history,” said Minister Fast. “I also want to thank outgoing chair Murad Al-Katib for his leadership since 2009 in ensuring that the voice of small and medium-sized enterprises was heard.”

Mr. Reynolds is a senior business executive with over 25 years’ experience in the information technology industry, both in Canada and abroad. In 2001, he joined Padre Software in his current position, and he currently sits as a member of the minister’s SME Advisory Board.

“In the year that I have served on the minister’s SME Advisory Board, I have come to know all the members and recognize the excellent advice they have to offer,” said Mr. Reynolds. “I look forward to continuing to provide service to the board and Minister Fast, and to providing practical advice and recommendations to address new trade and investment challenges.”

Members of the 18-member SME Advisory Board are private-sector business owners involved in global commerce and represent various industrial sectors and regions of Canada. The board provides advice and recommendations to Minister Fast on trade priorities, policies, programs and government services. It also informs the minister of business challenges and issues of concern to SMEs in the area of international trade.

Earlier this week, to kick off Small Business Week, the Harper government officially launched a Benefits for SMEs website, alongside Dan Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. The site shows how Canada’s critical small-business sector will benefit from the historic Canada-EU trade agreement announced last week by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s annual Small Business Week started this year on October 20. SMEs account for 99.8 percent of all Canadian companies, and those with fewer than 100 employees make up 86 percent of all exporting companies.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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