Learn from the locals during Small Business Week

By on October 12, 2017
(Photo courtesy of Community Futures Nicola Valley).


Small business across Canada are gearing up for Small Business Week 2017, which will kick off on Oct. 15 and continue through Oct. 21.

In the Nicola Valley, local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures Nicola Valley have partnered to put together a number of seminars, networking events and workshops for local entrepreneurs.

Manuel Olguin, business development officer with Community Futures Nicola Valley, explained that the slate of seminars were selected based on requests received through the city’s annual business walk survey.

All the events are free to attend, and will be hosted in the Community Room at city hall, unless otherwise noted.

Monday, Oct. 16

What: Business planning for developing businesses webinar

When: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Bill Erichson, one of B.C.’s leading small business and entrepreneurship trainers, will be delivering this seminar to Small Business BC in Vancouver, and will be available as a webinar in Merritt. The seminar is aimed at entrepreneurs “who have already been in business for a while, and want to know ‘How am I doing? How is my market? Are there any opportunities for growth?’” explained Olguin.

What: Social media for businesses LIVE seminar

When: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Businesses in the Nicola Valley have been asking for social media-specific training, and with Brandon Olds from Thompson Rivers University coming to town, entrepreneurs will have a chance to learn from a true expert in the field. Olds will lead the in-person seminar through a series of lessons on a variety of social media channels like Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, while also dedicating time to the specifics of managing a business’ Facebook page. The seminar will cover teach attendees how to use social media to: promote their business, reach their target audience, to attract new clients and maintain their existing base, said Olguin.

Tuesday, Oct. 17

What: Grants for First Nations businesses

When: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. AND 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (two sessions)

If you’re First Nations person thinking of starting a business, All Nations Trust has a number of grants available to you. In order to make sure locals take advantage, Tyrone Joseph from All Nations Trust will be leading workshops at two different times on Tuesday. “I have been dealing with First Nations people who want to start a business, but I have limited programs,” explained Olguin. “So I need to partner with organizations like All Nations Trust to help them the way they need.” The seminar is aimed at entrepreneurs who are looking to learn more about what specifics (business plan, etc.) are required in order to access start-up funding from organizations like All Nations Trust.

Wednesday, Oct. 18

What: Community BBQ

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Outside the Community Futures office at city hall (2185B Voght Street).

Come on down and enjoy the company of local business people, and help support the Collettville Elementary’s school trip to Quebec. Extra Foods will be providing the hot dogs, while Community Futures has pledged to match any and all donations to the Collettville fundraising efforts. “We are trying to invite the community to support a social cause. Every year, we choose a different organization,” said Olguin. “Last year it was the Soup Bowl, this year it’s the Collettville school’s Quebec trip.”

Thursday, Oct. 19

What: Understanding financial statements LIVE seminar

When: 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The experts in accounting, Carrie Ware & Company Inc., aim to help businesses cut through the financial jargon to better understand their financial documents and statements. The course will focus on explaining the four major types of financial statements: balance sheets, profit and loss, retained earnings/deficit, and cashflow. Olguin pointed out that the course is not only valuable to entrepreneurs looking to better understand their businesses’ financials, but also those looking to start a business. He recommended that attendees bring copies of their businesses’ statements, and a calculator to follow along.

What: Equifax credit report LIVE seminar

When: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Equifax has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, after a massive data breach, which compromised the sensitive information of more than 145 million people, was detected in the United States. But lots of business owners are still in the dark about credit scores: what they are, how to fix a bad one, and how to check on your own score. Michael Sumbler from Equifax Canada will be on hand to answer questions regarding the recent data breach, as well as to provide essential information about how a businesses’ credit score might affect its bottom line. “[Sumbler] will be talking about the breach — who is at risk, specifically Canadians,” said Olguin. “This [seminar] is open to everyone — someone who wants to purchase a car, somebody who wants to sign up for monthly utilities, maybe a cellphone — all of those people will have their credit score checked.”

Friday, Oct. 20

What: Chamber of Commerce open house

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 2185B Voght Street

Did you know the Chamber of Commerce recently elected a new president? If not, it’s time to stop by the chamber’s offices at City Hall. Friday’s open house will be a networking opportunity, explained Olguin, where people can get a better sense of the benefits of joining the chamber of commerce. “We will have some of the directors there,” said Olguin.

What: Business after business

When: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Billed as the best way to make connections in the Nicola Valley, the business after business event will bring together local entrepreneurs in a social setting with light refreshments being served. “I will be brining some of my newest clients, who I have helped with their loans to start a business,” said Manuel. This will be the first chance for these new Nicola Valley businesspeople to introduce themselves to the larger community, so be sure to come with your business cards and be ready to network, said Olguin.

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