Details of upcoming growth conference outlined

The 2015 Northwest Growth Conference will take place at the North Coast Meeting and Convention Centre and Crest Hotel on March 6 and 7.

In order to benefit and be successful in a major economic upswell, it’s essential for smaller-scale businesses to make appropriate preparations and have the right information.

That’s the aim of the 2015 Northwest Growth Conference (NWGC), taking place at the North Coast Meeting and Convention Centre and Crest Hotel on March 6 and 7.

Hosted through a partnership of Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest, Hecate Strait Development Society and the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Corporation, the NWGC is aimed at Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat’s small to medium enterprises and future entrepreneurs wanting to network and learn business growth strategies from experts, including industry representatives and investors.

“There’s a lot of information on the growth that is coming, but it’s usually coming at the government level, stakeholders. A lot of that isn’t trickling down to the grassroots businesses in our town, in Terrace, Kitimat and Port Edward,” explained John Farrell of Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest during a presentation to Prince Rupert city council.

The first day of the conference is regarding opportunities in the Northwest, helping participants identify regional opportunities to help grow their businesses.

Industry representatives will provide an overview of economic development opportunities being forecasted in the Northwest region – what the implications are for small to medium-sized enterprises and how they can get involved.

Then keynote speaker, Michael Shuman, a globally recognized expert on community economics, will make a presentation during the March 6 luncheon.

Taking place later that afternoon will be the workshop “Storytellers from Rapid Growth Economies”, with individuals from government and private sector sharing experiences and best practices to prepare for growth and later a panel on recruiting and retaining excellent staff will take place.

The first day of the 2015 NWGC will end with the “Failure Wake” reception, with entrepreneurs sharing failures they experienced on the way to success.

The focus of the conference’s second day will be setting up businesses for success, looking at tools and how to position businesses for growth.

There will be workshops on growth and succession strategies, the first steps of procurement, doing business with First Nations and access to capital on March 7, split between the convention centre and Crest.

That afternoon participants will also be able to sign up for one-on-one business advisor sessions with a business advisor, mentor or program coordinator for help with the next steps in regards to their business.

Before closing remarks there will be a presentation, “From Growing Pains to Growing Gains”, where registrants can hear first-hand the stories of local entrepreneurs on transitioning and growing their businesses and continued goals for the future.

Additionally, there will be an exhibition show at the North Coast Convention Centre throughout the two-day event, consisting of 25 booths of industry key-players, lenders, real-estate agencies, legal accounting firms, web designer and tourism operators.

To register for the 2015 Northwest Growth Conference, go to http://HSEDS.ca/2015NWGC.

To sign up a booth for the exhibition show, contact Paul Vendittelli of the Prince Rupert and Port Edward Economic Development Corporation at 250-627-5138 or paul.vendittelli@princerupert.ca.