A new pilot program to help small B.C. businesses navigate export services is now being offered in a number of communities throughout the province, including Prince George.
Export Navigator is a one-year pilot project the Province has developed in partnership with Small Business BC and federally-funded Community Futures offices. The B.C. government is contributing more than $500,000; Community Futures is providing $140,000 and Small Business BC is administering the project.
The program, which is part of a commitment in the #BCTECH Strategy to help small businesses become export ready, is designed to assist growth-oriented businesses that can demonstrate a capacity to increase production and have the resources to commit to exporting. Trained export advisors in each community are providing personalized support, helping to identify and connect businesses to the appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process.
Prince George has three export advisors operating out of the downtown Community Futures office.
Complementing this work are new export tools to encourage export growth and simplify the process, including:
- A streamlined business needs and export readiness assessment; and
- A client workbook that empowers businesses with information and knowledge to advance their export goals.
Additional pilot communities will be announced in the coming days.
The #BCTECH Strategy is a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour —
“British Columbia’s small businesses have innovative products and solutions that the world needs, but few are exporting their products and services. That’s why government has committed to launch a service to help our small business owners navigate the maze of export services — their success is B.C.’s success.”
Mike Morris, MLA, Prince George-Mackenzie —
“Having a program like this available to Prince George businesses gives them the unique opportunity to meet face-to-face with someone who can help them determine the best way to take their business to a global market. By expanding their reach beyond the province’s borders, not only will they be able to grow their business, but they will also be able to remain resilient during seasonal downtimes and other economic changes.”
- Export Navigator is supported by the Ministry of International Trade, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and the Ministry of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction.
- Small businesses make up 98% of all business in B.C. and employ more than one million people.
- Small businesses provide 55% of all private-sector jobs in British Columbia, the second highest rate in the country.
- There were approximately 388,500 small businesses operating in B.C. in 2015 — 313,500 have fewer than five employees.
- Exports provide a vital source of economic growth and job creation — right now, one in five jobs in Canada is generated through trade.
- In 2015, total British Columbia goods exports worldwide were $36 billion.
For more information about Export Navigator, visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/export/export-navigator/
For more information about B.C. trade and investment opportunities visit: http://www.britishcolumbia.ca/
For more information about Small Business BC, visit: http://smallbusinessbc.ca/
For more information about Community Futures in Prince George, visit: http://cfdc.bc.ca/
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca