Export Navigator expands to Kootenay-Boundary

It's a program that benefits small- to medium-sized businesses.
It's a program that benefits small- to medium-sized businesses.

The Kootenay-Boundary is open for business.

The region’s small- to medium-sized businesses are now eligible to be part of a program to help them export products outside of the province.

Called Export Navigator, the one-year pilot project brings help to export-ready small- and medium-sized businesses in the region — funded by the province through a $250,000 commitment to the Rural Economic Development Strategy.

Through Export Navigator, businesses gain access to local export advisors who can help connect them with the appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process.

The new export advisor for the Kootenay Boundary region will be in Nelson's Community Futures office, collaborating with service providers in surrounding communities — including Cranbrook, Revelstoke and Trail — to help serve businesses that are exploring new market opportunities.

The program was launched in October 2016 in four rural communities: Prince George, Vernon, Comox and Port Alberni. A portion of the new funding will be used to enhance Export Navigator services in pilot communities and extend support throughout the South Okanagan and northeastern B.C.

The Export Navigator pilot runs until Sept. 30. Insights gained from the pilot will inform the feasibility of pilot extension and expansion to other communities in B.C.

Export Navigator services include:

  • Identifying new market opportunities for new and established exporters;
  • Determining the steps they need to take prior to entering new markets;
  • Navigating the many programs available to clients and connecting them to services that are specific to their needs;
  • Working through export stages, including logistics and customs certifications, asking for financing, etc., and
  • Building management capacity to find and develop export opportunities.

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/

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Shara Cooper