October is Small Business Month, but businesses of all sizes will gather to learn and share information, network, and maybe get some deals done.
The Business Expo, hosted by the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, takes place next Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
According to a chamber press release, more than 100 exhibitors representing businesses, agencies and non-governmental organizations are confirmed for next week’s expo, making it the largest business trade show on Vancouver Island.
“[The] Business Expo began as a way for Nanaimo businesses to network and show off their products and services to each other. Consumers soon discovered it’s a great source for new, breaking products and services,” noted the press release. “Today, there are draws and prizes galore to add to the attractions for both business-to-business and consumers.”
This year, organizers are supplementing the trade show portion of the event with the first-ever Vancouver Island Export Forum, in partnership with the Young Professionals of Nanaimo. Organizers note that even businesses that aren’t directly exporting might work with a business that is exporting, somewhere along the supply/client chain.
“Panels, speakers, specialists and experts from government and the private sector will lead presentations on exporting from Vancouver Island – whether it’s across the strait or to foreign shores,” the release notes.
The forum will also include a presentation featuring the Belgian Trade Commission that encourages export to Europe through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. Speakers from the Vancouver Island Foreign Trade Zone, Export Navigator, Export Development Canada and industry associations will lead the conversation.
The Nanaimo chamber says Small Business Month recognizes the contributions of entrepreneurs to local economies, with small businesses representing 98 per cent of the businesses licensed in B.C., employing more than a million people.
“Help kick off Small Business Month in B.C. and find out what’s happening with business in Nanaimo today,” the release notes.
Some of the exhibitors that will be at the expo include VITV, the Vancouver Island Symphony, Casino Nanaimo, Shaw, Eco Wash Shop, London Drugs, Used.ca, the Hub City Cinema Society, the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Black Press, Mosaic Information Technologies, Scotiabank, Legalshield, Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society, Aztec Off-Grid Solutions, Island Mobile Detailing, Coast Bastion Hotel, Bethlehem Centre, Integral Securities, McGorman MacLean, Vancouver Island Construction Association, Project Management Institute, Heydemann Art of Photography, Vancouver Island Connector, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Federal Liberal Riding Association, GT Hiring Solutions, Port of Nanaimo, Telus, LISA World Dynamic, RBC, AGS Business Systems, Vancouver Island Regional Library, Harris Mazda, Monk Office, Church Pickard, B.C. Hydro, V.I. Hazmat, Nespresso, Marketing Connect, Open Connection, Communication Connection, Island Savings, Vancouver Island University, The Wave 102.3FM, Apteryx Management, Harris Kia, Parkshore Projects, Island Group Benefits, Global Real Estate Vallarta, Sands Funeral Chapel, LogoWest, the Salvation Army, Medix EMS, B.C. RPGP, i2a Coaching and Consulting, Black and White Event Rentals, Just Like Family Home Care, Smythe CPA, NACL, HeliJet, Gold Capital, Coast Capital Savings, Nanaimo Airport Commission, Coastal Community Credit Union, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa, Axe and Grind, Sands and Associates, Global Dimensions Group, Gustavson School of Business/University of Victoria, TD Bank, Brechin Lanes, Pedego Electric Bikes, Rideout Communications.
The Business Expo is free to attend and goes from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the VICC. Prizes include nearly $2,000 in electronics including a 4K big-screen TV courtesy London Drugs.
For more information, visit www.nanaimochamber.bc.ca.