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Small business week celebrated in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

A couple of staffers from the firm Grant Thornton, from left, senior tech analyst Christopher Stone and assurance manager Jadie Zeng, chat with Sean St. George of the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre during a public coffee break at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University as part of Small Business Week events in Corner Brook Monday.
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Social enterprise and digital marketing highlights in this years events

This week is BDC Small Business Week and to celebrate it there are a few events planned around town. Julianne Griffin, director of economic development with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, said each year stakeholder meet and brainstorm on how to celebrate Small Business Week.

“We are offering small business owners opportunity to come together to learn from each other,” Griffin said. “We recognize how important small businesses are to the economy, especially in central Labrador, so planning these events is a way to help celebrate what small businesses offer in our community.”

On Wednesday there’s a workshop being held at the Chamber of Commerce building from 9 a.m. to noon and being hosted by the Labrador Institute of Memorial University. The theme will be social enterprise and the institute will be updating people on their Grand River Farm project.

Jamie Jackman, Program Coordinator for research promotion and outreach with the Labrador Institute, said they will be discussing what social enterprise is, first of all, and show examples of it in action. A representative of the university’s Centre for Social Enterprise will be speaking on the topic to help give a more informed brainstorming session.

“People can be hazy on what social enterprise is,” Jackman said. “So we think it’s really important for us to help clear up any confusion or misunderstandings people might have about it.”

The brainstorming session will be focused on the proposed Pye Centre for Northern Boral Food Systems at Grand River Farms. The institute has been working on taking over the lease for the farm and while the process is slow, Jackman said it is moving along.

They have held public consultations about the project and had input from many stakeholder groups. Jackman said this will be a good way to show an example of social enterprise and also to discuss that aspect of the project.

“Basically we’re inviting stakeholders and industry members in the Upper Lake Melville area to get together and discuss and brainstorm a really important component of the project,” he said. “Social enterprise will be an important part of it. We want to be able to help support the agricultural industry but also sustain the farm so we can continue to do that.”

Thursday the Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Lunch and Learn at noon. The speaker will be John Atkins, CEO and founder of JAC and Co., who will be presenting on digital marketing and how to use it to enhance a business. Interested people can register by emailing events@chamberlabrador.com.

Griffin said digital marketing can be very important for small to medium sized businesses and this would be a good opportunity for people to learn.

Friday there will a free coffee break held at in the Komatik Conference room at169 Hamilton River Road.

Griffin said the town; CBDC, NLOWE and other stakeholders will be there to provide information to people on how to start a new business and what services are available to them in the town.

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