Business

Nanaimo Economic Development Update

By Sasha Angus

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation is leading an initiative to support local companies.

A collaborative team including members of the NEDC, Innovation Island, Community Futures, the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association is actively interviewing local business owners to gain vital knowledge about the various challenges and opportunities of doing business in Nanaimo and region.

This program, titled Nanaimo Business Counts, focuses on providing solutions to business challenges faced by our locally-based companies.

Research shows business retention and expansion makes the largest impact on generating new employment and building a thriving local economy.

Existing businesses generate up to 80 per cent of new employment in a community. It’s incredibly important to keep the businesses you already have and grow them, as well as to attract new business to the community.

Creating a supportive environment for existing businesses will help in our business attraction efforts.

This program is delivered by way of face-to-face interviews with business owners, and is accompanied by a short survey to reinforce the conversation.

When an interview results in challenges expressed by the business owner, those challenges are promptly addressed by strategically connecting relevant community resources to the business owner.

All of this comes at no cost to the business owner.

The Nanaimo Business Counts team members represent a vast degree of expertise in the areas of business management, real estate, leadership, transportation, municipal services, training and education, finance and technology.

When a business owner can benefit from knowledge in even one of these areas, this program can make a significant difference for the success of that business.

Nanaimo has an enormous wealth of resources to support local business owners, and this program represents a step in the direction of pairing those resources with business leaders that could benefit from them.

Roughly 50 economic driver companies in the community have been identified to be interviewed, and those businesses will be contacted throughout 2013 to participate in the program.

For more information, please visit www.investnanaimo.org or call 250-591-1551.

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