Saskatchewan people are business positive.

Author:Whetstone, Arthur
Position:Action Saskatchewan Movement

Part Six of our series on the Action Saskatchewan Movement explores our attitudes towards entrepreneurship and business. Action Saskatchewan articles are based on research conducted through polls and focus sessions.

There's a broadly held belief that Saskatchewan is less positive about business than other provinces. And while our research tells us that Saskatchewan's political and regulatory environment is seen as less business friendly, it also tells us that the people of Saskatchewan are more business positive than the people in both Manitoba and Alberta.

Saskatchewan people:

* Lead Albertans and Manitobans in believing they would be better off with less regulation of business;

* Are more likely to admire people who do well in business than both Manitobans and Albertans;

* Are more likely to focus on creating a big economic pie than simply sharing the one that exists;

* Are most likely to think it's best when prices are set by supply and demand;

* Are no different than their neighbours in preferring job security to job opportunity.

Despite being business positive, Saskatchewan people are less likely to want to start a business. Younger respondents and male respondents are more likely to want to start a business and as might be expected, union members are less likely to want to start a business.

Table 2 shows how respondents valued the level of contribution of several occupations. Saskatchewan people value the level of contribution from business more than Manitobans and Albertans. Aside from the rating for tradespeople in Manitoba, the high rating for business people in Saskatchewan is the only instance where an occupation in any province is markedly different from the rating given it elsewhere.

The people participating in our research generally felt that enterprise played a key role in creating jobs and that they contributed to the community. A few felt that their role was to create wealth. "Small business is the backbone of the Saskatchewan economy and will continue to be," was commonly expressed.

People were asked to describe a model business and business owner. For Saskatchewan people, model businesses were generally viewed as ones that:

* Were started in Saskatchewan and were oriented to innovation, growth, service, and risk taking.

* Showed a commitment to Saskatchewan by remaining in Saskatchewan, while they exported or expanded elsewhere.

* Created a healthy workplace that...

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