Our next door neighbour, and industry association was in the news today…

Miramichi’s Silicon East offers small business advice on which technology will work best for them
By Amee Barry

MIRAMICHI — A Miramichi company is trying to help the busi­ness little guy find his way through the sea of information technology.

Silicon East is a commercial non-profit group that gives small and medium sized business own­ers advice on what technology-based products are the best fit for them.

It’s also dedicated to developing and growing the Northern New Brunswick technology industry.
The group is commercial in the sense that it deals with informa­tion-based companies but non-prof­it because it doesn’t sell a specific product.

General manager Gordon Wilson said often many software packages are geared towards large business­es and it can be hard for a first-time business owner who’s not in­volved in the software industry to know which products best suit them.

“One of the primary problems that have been identified by the think tanks across Canada is that there are so few small- and me­dium-sized businesses that have riot embraced Internet technology
in their business,” Wilson said.

“Silicon East is trying to position itself as an organization where you can get good information without the fear of us trying to sell them something. We’re real­ly trying to set ourselves up as an organization of information so that we can help the non-technical small business community.

He said business owners can come in with questions and re­ceive advice on which companies should be able to supply them with the various products or services that they need.

Silicon East offers a free service to business owners, using a one-on-one approach to find out what they need. Then, they help them ei­ther find an existing product or point them in the direction of the business that could customize the right product for them for things like accounting or inventory. All of the money the company generates is from their 10 to 15 business memberships that’s most­ly comprised of Miramichi-area businesses.
While information technology is the primary resource for some of the members it’s also a networking source. If Silicon East knows a business that needs a specific product that doesn’t currently ex­ist, they will inform members of the opportunity.

Wilson said members are also provided with constant updates on the changes in the world of tech­nology. Guest speakers are also brought in to offer advice on busi­ness growth.

In the more than two years that Silicon East has existed it’s man­aged to hold its own. However, Wilson said many small business­es still don’t know who they are and they’re trying to change that.
For more information on Silicon East, call (506) 773-5371, or visit its website at www. siliconeast.org.

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