More than 100 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo on Thursday (Oct. 20) at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

More than 100 exhibitors are expected at this year’s Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo on Thursday (Oct. 20) at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Business Expo connects business owners

NANAIMO - Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce hosts annual event at conference centre.

Connect with products and services, learn the ins and outs of starting a business or even how to expand into foreign markets at the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

The ninth annual event happens at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre Thursday (Oct. 20) where more than 100 exhibitors  and presenters will break down the nuts and bolts of what it takes and what’s available for new entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners.

“You’re going to see a lot of businesses that you wouldn’t have a chance to visit and learn about because they may not have a retail or storefront operation,” said Kim Smythe, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer. “Because it’s autumn, you’re going to see new products, new innovations, new services being introduced and one of the big highlights this time around is that we’re including Public Works Canada’s annual Small Business Info Expo.”

This expo within the expo includes more than 20 exhibitors presenting programs and tools that deal with money and resources the government makes available for business.

Exhibits range from retail products, such as the latest home electronics from London Drugs, on promotion for the Christmas shopping season, to products such as copiers and other productivity tools.

“It’ll be a real mix and I think there will be a level of interest to people who are considering an entrepreneurial approach to business – starting their own small business or utilizing their talent to earn money rather than go work for somebody,” Smythe said.

Free breakout panel sessions with Public Works Canada focus on fundamentals to help people start up new businesses, how to access financing and how sell to government.

“It’s helping people who are deciding it’s time to start a business and helping them understand what some of the first steps in doing that are and what some of the support programs look like for people starting a business,” Smythe said.

October is Manufacturing Month, which will also be celebrated at the expo with a luncheon by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association featuring keynote speaker James Steele, the association’s B.C. memberships manager, who will present Enhancing International Trade and Export from Vancouver Island.

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo happens 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free and there will be more than $4,000 in draw prizes from London Drugs.

To learn more, please visit http://nanaimochamber.bc.ca.