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Darina Falsnes, of the Western Arctic Business Development Services office, is bracing for an influx of new business applications as business heats up in the Mackenzie Delta. - Terry Halifax/NNSL photo

Business booster in the Delta

Development services office works to put businesses in business

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Aug 29/03) - As business begins to boom again in the oil and gas patch here, the spin-off businesses are expected to increase exponentially.

To help new business succeed, the Western Arctic Business Development Services office will guide entrepreneurs through virtually every aspect of establishing a new enterprise.

The office provides a number of different services, from simple business consulting and grants to elaborate business plans and loans.

Darina Falsnes, economic development officer at the Inuvik office, said they have people come in with a wide range of needs and they have a wide range of services to offer.

"That could include anything for business start-up, business financing, to different government programs available to anyone who is interested in starting a business," Falsnes said.

They will help with a business plan, financing, through licensing and other regulations.

"We'll help them do their financial projections -- whatever they need, really and that's a free service," she said. "That also includes business follow-up. If an existing business might be having trouble and needs assistance, or might be needing to expand and needs new financing."

The office will also lead entrepreneurs to various government programs which may be applicable to individuals.

One such program is the Self Employment Option program through Education, Culture and Employment for people on Employment Insurance.

"Anyone who has been laid off, and wishes to start their own business, can come here, get the assistance and do all the work that's necessary to get signed on to the program," she said.

Falsnes said they also administer three programs delivered through Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development.

"They are for businesses, for arts and crafts and for renewable resource harvesters," she said.

They are also the agent for Aboriginal Business Canada, which offers several programs including one for youth business and another for the Metis/Dene Fund.

"Anywhere where the client might need assistance getting their financing proposals together," Falsnes said. "They can just come to one place and we get everything done here."

They will submit the applications and licensing for the client and monitor the progress of the business start-up and right through to operation.

Falsnes said the office will also host small business courses periodically.

"We were the ones who started Quick Books and Simply Accounting training," she said. "We set it up at Aurora College and then they took it over."

"We won't compete with the college, we'll just do training that no one else has identified and done and if they want to take it over, they can do so."

Another funding source available is the Western Arctic Business Development Loan, that's set up by the territorial government, where they will loan up to $150,000 out for two per cent over prime.

"We help people who are unable to get a loan at the bank, for whatever reason."