Monday, April 3, 2017

Prince Rupert to be the base for province's Export Navigator program in the Northwest

When most of us think of the Port of Prince Rupert and the flow of containers that arrive, we probably make note that most of them are bringing goods from Asia to North America.

However should a new program soon to be developed in the Northwest prove successful, local business across the region may be sending Canadian goods back the other way in the not too distant future.

A new pilot project from the British Columbia government will look to help out small and medium sized businesses in the Northwest in exporting their goods to overseas markets.

The one year trial period for the Export Navigator program will see resources made available to business, in order to gain access to local export advisers who can help connect them to appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process.

The 250,000 dollar initiative will be based out of the Prince Rupert office of Community Futures and will service communities across the Northwest including Terrace, Kitimat and Haida Gwaii, offering advice and direction for businesses looking to explore new market opportunities.

The program has been developed through a partnership of Small Business BC and the federally funded Community Futures office.

The program was initially launched in four rural communities in 2016 with Prince George, Vernon, Comox and Port Alberni the test centres, the decision to expand the program came from the success found in those communities.

In addition to the Prince Rupert office, the program is also to be introduced to the Kootenay-Boundary region.

No timeline for when the Northwest office will be open for business was announced with Friday's information statement which you can review here.

You can learn more about the Export Navigator program here,  a look at the brochure that explains the program further is available here.

To find out about the local aspect of the program contact Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest at 250-622-2332.

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