A celebration of small business is about to get underway in Inuvik on Oct. 21.
Organized by the Western Arctic Business Development Corporation with partners at the Gwich’in Development Corporation, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, INnovate, the GNWT and Town of Inuvik, the Beaufort Delta Business Trade Show is set to pick up where it left off in 2019 at the Midnight Sun Complex.
After taking a few years off due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Beaufort Delta Business Trade Show is back and ready to show off the region’s small businesses — as well as provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to network and learn about government services that are available.
“It’s trying to spread as much information and resources that we can — basically connect with people and hear where (their needs are),” said GWNT business development officer Yvonne Dimaano. “It will give businesses an opportunity to network and showcase their products and services. Participants will be able to fill out a feedback form.”
Tables are free to anyone who operates a business in the Beaufort Delta — vendors are not even required to hold a business licence with the town, meaning even the so-called “grey market” of Inuvik Buy, Sell and Trade Year-Round Yard Sale are welcome to join the conference, which will have tables set up in the community hall.
Dimaano said there were 25 tables available but, in a pinch, organizers could accommodate up to 35 separate businesses. Organizers were hoping to have speakers, panels and other networking activities throughout the evening and a full schedule is expected to be released closer to Oct. 21.
“It’s a way to showcase funding programs” said GNWT tourism development supervisor Luisa Ospina Suarez. “There’s many different government organizations that offer support for small businesses that local residents are not necessarily aware of.
“So this is to put us all in the same room.”
Helping businesses succeed is the primary objective, but Ospina Suarez said getting all the regional business ventures together would also assist the GNWT in identifying what additional services need to be provided by the government.
“Hopefully having most of the businesses in one room will give us an idea of the gaps in the industry and therefore will give us an understanding of what we should concentrate on in the next coming years to create a strategy moving forward from Covid-19 — just create a plan on how to recover,” she said. “To get an understanding of the gaps of the industry and have an understanding of the public sentiment towards the economy — to have a wider understanding of what it is the public expects of us.
”It’s not just to think about what we have now, it’s to think about our potential — what we could be. There’s no better way to create that potential than listening to inspiring stories of those who are currently successful.
“We’re trying to reach out to as many small business owners as we can in order to create inspiration around the community.”
Use the QR code or visit https://tinyurl.com/BDBTSBOOTH to register for free online. The expo runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.