New Brunswick entrepreneurs now have access to one-on-one support in navigating the regulatory requirements of running a business thanks to Opportunities NB’s (ONB) Business Navigators. With this initiative, ONB and the province of New Brunswick are working to ensure that entrepreneurs in this province spend less time navigating regulations and more time running their businesses.

Kathryn Dimock (pictured above) is one of those Business Navigators based in ONB’s Head Office in Fredericton. Kathryn has worked in retail, in development, as an analyst, and has more than a decade of customer service and leadership experience. A graduate of Concordia University’s Bachelor of Arts program, Kathryn is active in the community, offering her time as a board member and volunteer for multiple Fredericton charities and organizations.

With several months now under her belt working with clients as part of the Business Navigator Program, she sat down with us to discuss her experience thus far.

ONB: How do you describe your role?

Kathryn: Simply put, I help entrepreneurs navigate government regulations – that means things like licenses and permits and business name registration. Beyond that, if a client contacts me with any business-related question, I will find them the resources or people they need to resolve their inquiry. While our focus has been on small businesses, as this service benefits them the most, any size business can access the Business Navigation service.

Since beginning last fall, what have you found to be the most rewarding part of the role?

It has been great to be part of a service that is accessible and positively impacts New Brunswickers. It is a role from which I can help others make progress towards their goals. I have a customer service background, so I know the value of great service and really feel this initiative is offering exactly that for New Brunswick businesses. We are making regulations easy to understand and navigate for our entrepreneurs. My father was a small business owner, so it’s a career path that I’ve long admired due to the hard work and determination of small business owners. To be able to help people spend more time on their business and better the provincial economy in the process is extremely rewarding.

How do you feel clients are receiving the service?

Clients appreciate the accessibility of the service and being able to have just one point of contact while we help them navigate through multiple questions that require information from various government departments. 

There has been ample amount of positive feedback from clients – including several comments like this one: “I was actually blown away with the awesome help I received, and I must say that it was very professional and well beyond what I was hoping for.”

We pride ourselves on being responsive, friendly, and helpful.

Do clients generally have any recurring themes or questions?

There are some questions that repeat. “How do I register my business name?”, for example, is a common one, and I am certainly familiar with that question now. I would say an average day, however, brings several questions, and something new every day!

My day-to-day involves a nice mix of research, talking to clients, and connecting with our partner organizations, fellow ONBers, and other government departments.

I recently assisted an entrepreneur who had a variety of questions; I communicated with three government departments and five partner organizations on their behalf.  The client expressed appreciation for the help and said the Navigation service made the process easier for him; I look forward to seeing his business plans progress!

How are people finding you?

Clients are finding us directly through the ONB website, on social media, and we’re also getting plenty of referrals from partner organizations and across government. Word is starting to spread that we are here and ready to help.

Need assistance? New Brunswick entrepreneurs can call 1-833-799-7966 or e-mail to contact a Business Navigator at ONB. Learn more here.

Written by Jason Boies