ECONOMIC UPDATE: Business and retention efforts expand

NANAIMO – Program brings together nine industry groups to discuss challenges and opportunities facing key business sectors

By Sasha Angus

The Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation is gearing up to launch the newest installment of business retention and expansion efforts in the region: Nanaimo Business Counts 2014.

This program will bring together nine distinct industry groups to discuss not only the challenges and opportunities facing those key business sectors in Nanaimo, but will also focus on specific topics relevant to each group.

These will be focused round-table discussions, and will address topics that business owners in the region have identified as pertinent to their business success.

Since the organization’s inception, NEDC staff has been gathering information from business leaders in all industry sectors, and have now used that ground-level information to create themes for each 2014 sector forum. A professional facilitator will be utilized in conjunction with NEDC staff to deliver the program, which will run from February to November of 2014. These sessions include:

Construction – Building Capital: Traditional and non-traditional financing;

Manufacturing – Managing efficiency and productivity;

Tourism – Preparing to welcome more non-North American-based tourists;

Retail – Leveraging social media for local community businesses;

Professional, Scientific and Technical – Importing talent versus developing homegrown;

Arts and Culture – Attracting new customers to the arts;

Real Estate – Attracting more non-North American based buyers;

Start-ups – Entrepreneurial opportunity and resources in Nanaimo;

Education – Relationship building between education and business.

We’re excited to provide great value for our business community through this program.

This is an example of the NEDC’s effort to develop our local business community through communication, relationship building and the sharing of important information.

While each sector forum will be attended by 10-12 business owners, the information taken from the sessions will be shared widely with the entire business community.

We are currently contacting businesses to take part in the Nanaimo Business Counts program.

If you are interested in gathering further details about the program, or would like to participate in one of the sessions, please contact Peter McGee, economic development coordinator, at peter.mcgee@investnanaimo.com.

Sasha Angus is CEO of Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation.

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