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October brings us the real onset of autumn, the understanding that we’re beyond back to school and back to business, and the promise that the approaching season is among the busiest for many businesses. That’s part of the reason why October is Small Business Month in BC. an occasion celebrated to recognize the important contributions entrepreneurs make to our economy in local communities throughout BC.
As we all know, small businesses are not only the backbone of many of our organizations, but are the life blood of the B.C. economy. Small businesses represent 98% of all businesses in B.C. and employ over 1 million British Columbians.
One of the ways we celebrate Small Business Month in Nanaimo is with the Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo held on October 5th. This year we celebrate our tenth annual Expo and plan to take over the Vancouver Island Conference Centre with around 120 exhibitors representing businesses throughout the mid-Island region.
Business Expo began as a way for Nanaimo businesses to meet each other and network in an environment with their products and services on display. Consumers started to notice it was a great place to find new products and services so they began showing up in increasing numbers creating a successful environment for all parties.
Beyond the trade show format, two panels will focus on “How to Sell to Government” (Thursday morning from 11 – 12) and “Access to Financing” (Thursday afternoon at 2 pm). Panelists in the morning session will come from all levels of government procurement offices but will also include businesses accustomed to selling to government providing insider information on how to increase your chances of success. The ‘finance’ panel will include traditional funders, start-up funders and private funding sources to help businesses both big and small capitalize on their dreams.
For the second year, we’re welcoming Public Works “Small Business Info Expo” with 20 exhibitors from government and related agencies providing information on funding, support programs and other assistance for small business.
At the end of the Business Expo day, an After-Party and Awards Reception is held for networking, to honour the best booths, and give away draw prizes from exhibitors including the London Drugs electronics package – a prize with a value in excess of $2,000.
Business Expo is a great way to kick off Small Business Month in BC and find out what’s happening with business in Nanaimo now – and it’s all free! See you there.
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