In 2014, both large Canadian pension funds and the energy industry were rocked by several economic factors, while small Canadian businesses had steady upward growth. Small business has long been credited for being responsible for providing the bulk of employment in any market. It's also a lot easier for small businesses to scale and grow than larger ones. Furthermore, disputes between large retailers in Alberta have grabbed most of the spotlight recently, with stories such as Edmonton's Remedy café and their plans to add many new locations of over the next 12 months. Small businesses in general are adding far more new net jobs and are bolstering local economies, while the largest retailers are still downsizing and consolidating. Toronto has had its entrepreneurial hub, but now Edmonton has taken over as Canada's new equivalent of Silicon Valley. This brings a new air of optimism and life to the city. Edmonton's currently vibrant and buzzing startup scene is complimented by a multi-billion dollar barrage of new commercial real estate developments. Together this energized startup and revitalization is driving population growth, resulting in more consumers spending and more money within the local economy. In turn, this offers great promises for retailers and commercial property landlords that own local shopping plazas. When combined with the existing activity in the Alberta market, the impact of small businesses should continue to fuel strong rents, low vacancy rates and high investment returns, especially in the local retail space.