World Economy

Small-Business Loans

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Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is playing down the impact of energy on the overall Canadian economy, noting that other sectors will help keep growth strong during hard times for the oil patch, Globe online reported. The PM, who has previously promoted Canada abroad as an emerging energy superpower, stressed the importance of small business, manufacturing and innovation during an event in St. Catharines, one of many Southwestern Ontario communities that have lost manufacturing jobs in recent years. His comments, which followed an announcement to expand a program for small-business loans, marked his first public response since Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz shocked markets Wednesday by cutting interest rates in response to lower-than-expected growth and inflation.