Kimberley Business Expo becoming a regional affair

The second annual Kimberley Business Expo, set for Oct. 15 at the Kimberley Conference Centre

  • Oct. 8, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Barry Coulter

Help is at hand for local business, and in case you weren’t aware of how to access it, the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Kimberley are working to bring it to your attention.

The second annual Kimberley Business Expo, set for Oct. 15 at the Kimberley Conference Centre, is an initiative of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce and the City of Kimberley, and is getting in

Kevin Wilson, Economic Development Officer for the City of Kimberley, said the idea for the expo was developed after a survey of local businesses, which found those businesses “seemed to be experiencing challenges accessing available services.

“There are a lot of organizations that offer support for businesses, that these businesses didn’t know about,” Wilson said.

“This is a one-stop event to find all these organizations that will support start-up or existing businesses,” added Mike Guarnery, Manager of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce.

Twenty services that support small business will be on hand to help make it clear what they have to offer and how they can help. These include lenders, advocates and “small business ninjas.”

The event runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, at the Conference Centre. Admission is free.

“Come for a bit, or stay for a while,” Guarnery said.

Last year’s Expo created immediate attention and interest, and this year’s edition seems to be gaining momentum. Wilson said 65 participants took in the show last year, this year more than 100 are expected.

As well, the Expo is becoming an event with a regional focus. Wilson said The Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, the City of Cranbrook and the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce are all on board with support.

As well as the information displays from the small business ninjas,

An economic forecaster from Kootenay Savings Credit Union will be giving a presentation about current trends. There will also be a presentation on Technology and Business — how businesses can use technology to enhance profitability and competitiveness.

The expo is in advance of Small Business Week,Oct. 18-24, a national celebration of Canadian entrepreneurs and their contribution to Canada’s economy.

Small business can be defined as the backbone of the Canadian economy. More than 1 million registered employer businesses are considered small business (one to 99 employees), making up 98 per cent of employer businesses. They employ more than 7 million Canadians — 69.7 per cent of Canada’s total workforce. According to 2011 statistics (Industry Canada and Statistics Canada), small business contributed 25 per cent of Canada’s export total ($68 billion), and amounted to 28 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product.