Panelists will focus on small business at Nanaimo chamber of commerce expo

NANAIMO – Ninth-annual event gathers speakers addressing issues and questions.

An array of panelists have confirmed their presentations on government and private sector support for small businesses at Nanaimo’s ninth annual Business Expo at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre on Oct. 20.

Panelists will address issues and answer questions on topics and programs providing insight and tips on how to grow business.

For those interested in selling to the public sector, one panel will bring together purchasing specialists from different levels of government who will help explain the processes around government contracting in order to prepare businesses to start bidding.

For those who have an awesome idea for a business they might like to start, the ‘Pillars of Startup’ panel will bring together experts who can help navigate the complexities of starting a business and provide information on the various government programs available.

Another panel, ‘Access to Finance’ will discuss sources of capital, bringing together government representatives with information on various financing resources – loans, grants, and programs available.

These breakout sessions are in addition to more than 100 exhibitor booths featuring local innovators, entrepreneurs and business veterans of many sectors ready to meet people face-to-face. More than 20 of those booths are focused on Public Works Canada’s presentation of the ‘Small Business Info Expo’ – government agencies, programs and support groups for small business.

This year, the Business Expo is also celebrates National Manufacturing Month.

Exports are becoming a bigger focus of mid-Island businesses — software developers, educators, agri-food producers and processors, craft distillers, wineries and others will benefit from the support of experts in the field.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Association will present a luncheon with a keynote speaker on the subject of enhancing international trade and export from Vancouver Island.

This event is popular for its great business draws and special deals, too.

This year, London Drugs holds the premier spot in door prizes with a $4,000 prize package including a 49-inch 4K LG Smart TV, Blu-ray, tech package and an outdoor living set.

The Business Expo is free (except for the luncheon).

For more information about the event, please visit

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