Networking is a crucial part of launching a new business enterprise.
With that goal in mind, a group of area business owners set up shop at the Kakabeka Legion on Saturday as the municipalities of Oliver Paipoonge and Conmee collaborated to host the second annual Rural Business Expo.
The trade show featured more than 40 exhibitors meeting each other and members of the public.
Oliver Paipoonge mayor Lucy Kloosterhius said she has already her positive feedback from new business operators.
“I have a few that have come to me and told me this is their first year in business, and they were very excited about meeting the public, and each other,” Kloosterhuis said. “There has been a lot of intercommunication between one business to another.”
One such fledging entrepreneur is Miranda Bolt, who launched her own graphic design enterprise nearly one year ago.
This is the first trade show for Bolt as she looks to gain exposure for her business, Deep Creative Design.
“I’m just trying to make some connections and get some networking going,” Bolt said.
“For a service like mine it’s nice because a lot of my advertising is done through word of mouth. I find for myself that’s the best advertising.”
The opportunity to talk to other businesses and discuss their promotion needs is very valuable, Bolt added.
There was a wide range of exhibitors in the hall, with products running the gamut from the first solar powered scooters in Canada to jewellery, local bread and baking and books.
The scale of the event has grown significantly compared to last year’s inaugural event, where rural businesses wanted a showcase but ran into unfortunate circumstances.
Last year’s expo was scheduled in the spring, and took place just after the major flooding and road washouts in the rural areas.
The businesses, and members of the public, have helped make this year’s a much bigger affair.
“Some of the rural businesses had said they didn’t have a place to do this, so it started off there and it has just grown since then,” Kloosterhuis said.
“There’s a much bigger variety (this year). I can’t even begin to name all of the products, but they go from solar and electric cycles right up to oils for your skin.”
Klooserhuis added they hope to attract different businesses, not just rural, and make the event a tradition.
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