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Comox Valley chosen for pilot Export Navigator project

December 8, 2016

The Comox Valley is one of four communities in BC that was selected for the province’s new pilot Export Navigator program.

The other three communities are Port Alberni, Vernon and Prince George.

Local businesses can now tap into this new program that is geared towards helping them become export ready.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae made the announcement on Thursday on behalf of the Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for Asia Strategy and Multiculturalism.

The one-year pilot program was developed by the province in partnership with Small Business BC and federally-funded Community Futures offices.

Local businesses that can demonstrate a capacity to increase production can now turn to trained export advisors to provide personalized support, helping to identify and connect businesses to appropriate programs, services and contacts at every stage of the export process.

Here in the Valley, the Comox Valley Economic Development office has been awarded the task of serving as export advisers.

McRae indicated that the valley has several businesses like Natural Pastures cheese, which is aiming to export new products overseas. As most owners are focusing on running their business, the ability to expand often requires a time consuming and daunting process.

“It is all about doing everything we can to make it easier for businesses to grow, which results in a diverse and resilient economy, and more jobs for British Columbians,” said McRae.

Small businesses provide 55 per cent of all private-sector jobs in the province, the second highest rate in the country.

McRae said exports provide a vital source of economic growth and job creation as right now, one in five jobs in Canada is generated through traide.

The BC government is contributing more than $500,000 while BC Futures is providing $140,000.