July 8, 2021, FREDERICTON (ONB) – Now heading into their second year of operation, Opportunities NB’s Business Navigators credit guaranteed response time and client service excellence as the key drivers to providing small and medium-size New Brunswick businesses with the help they need, when they need it.
The pandemic placed a particularly large spotlight on the Business Navigator service throughout the 2020-2021 fiscal year. With COVID-19, came a high degree of uncertainty and unpredictability for businesses everywhere. ONB’s Business Navigators were on the front line, supporting New Brunswick businesses in understanding COVID restrictions and guidelines, as well as providing information on provincial and federal relief measures, and other necessary resources.
In Fiscal 2020-2021, the Navigator team received over 4,700 inquiries – with a reported 97.5% satisfaction rate on full cases. Of those full cases, 21% were in relation to funding, 16% about licenses, 15% regarding registration, another 15% surrounding business planning, and a mix of additional types of inquiries.
“I wanted to let you know that we have been making small steps towards our goal of manufacturing,” stated Rami Mourawad, owner of Casa Baklawa Inc. located in Lakeville, NB, recently wrote to the team. “We’ve been very busy with all the small details, and we want to thank you very much for putting us in touch with all of the key players. Your information was invaluable to us and we very much appreciate it.”
“Here in New Brunswick, we pull together to help each other succeed,” said Minister Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick. “The Business Navigators service is just one great example of this collaborative effort that has proved more than successful; especially throughout a global pandemic where New Brunswick small business owners and entrepreneurs needed additional support and direction.”
Although much of the COVID-19 support continues today, the team is already seeing an encouraging uptake in small and medium-size businesses looking for expansion tips and how to start and succeed in this new world. “Through ONB, we’re committed to supporting businesses and growing the economy,” said Dunn. “The Business Navigators are an incredible resource and important piece of support for our entrepreneurial community. New Brunswickers can count on them to work alongside them in accessing the information, support, and services they need to get their businesses to the next stage.”
The Business Navigators operate during regular ONB hours; 8:15 am-4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, and are available to help people navigate the business regulatory landscape to get the help they need. Clients may also leave a phone or email message during off-hours and will be contacted during regular hours.
Tracey Suley, Marketing and Communications, Opportunities NB (506) 238-1403 firstname.lastname@example.org