Exhibitors provide information about their businesses at last year’s Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Business Expo at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Business Expo offers prizes and pointers for profitability

2017 Business Expo will pack in more than 100 exhibitors and a mini new car showroom

The Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Small Business Month in B.C. with the 10th annual Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo.

Small businesses represent 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. and employ more than one million British Columbians. This year’s event, which recognizes the important contributions entrepreneurs make in communities throughout B.C., happens at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Thursday (Oct. 5).

This year’s expo will feature more than 100 business exhibitors from across the mid Island region showcasing new products and services for consumers and opportunities for entrepreneurs to network and grow their enterprises.

Kim Smythe, Nanaimo chamber president and CEO, said Harris Kia will dominate the conference centre lobby.

“I think the overtaking of the lobby by Harris Kia and their determination to dress it up really great and turn it into a mini auto dealership … I think that’s kind of cool,” Smythe said.

Returning for 2017 is the Public Works Small Business Info Expo of 20 exhibitors from government and related agencies to provide information on ways to get funding, support programs and other assistance available for small businesses.

“As well, we will have the Ocean Discovery Centre display,” Smythe said. “I think everybody’s pretty excited about the potential for that coming forward.

Two discussion panels, How to Sell to Government, 11 a.m. to noon, and Access to Financing, at 2 p.m., will feature panelists from all levels of government procurement offices and businesses familiar with selling to government offering insider information that can boost success in landing government contracts and purchases and guide entrepreneurs to funding from private and government sources.

“Plus the fact that we’re jam-packed. We couldn’t fit another booth in that building,” Smythe said. “We have 107 or 108, plus the Harris lobby.”

An after-party and awards reception is held for networking, to honour the best booths and give away draw prizes from exhibitors, including a London Drugs electronics package valued in excess of $2,000.


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