Tag Archives: Brussels

Partnerships…..A Winning Combination

MEDIA RELEASE Tuesday, September 13th, 2016 For Immediate Release


“Win This Space”

Wins Community Economic Development Award

The Win This Space competition has received the prestigious Community Economic Development Award of Excellence out of many nominations from across the province at Community Futures Ontario’s 23rd Annual Conference.

jan-and-maureenThe initiative provided an opportunity for new businesses to win free storefront space, in either Seaforth or Brussels, Ontario for a year courtesy of Huron East Economic Development, the County of Huron, Seaforth/Brussels Community Development Trust and the Seaforth Business Improvement Area.

Kick out contestantsThis program was the first of its kind in Huron County and only the second in the entire province. Launched on March 5th, 28 applicants attended compulsory business skills development training prior to submitting an application to the contest.

wts-marketing-workshopThe training and development of the application/business plan was overseen and aided by a group of volunteer business mentors. Five finalists were selected and presented their business plans in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ like forum where judges selected the final winner.

judges-wtsAll finalists were offered varying lengths of business management counselling provided by the Huron CFDC (HBDC) at no cost (whether they chose to continue with their business start-up or not) with the winning business receiving an entire year of business mentorship provided by the CFDC.

HBDC Standard Acronym and logo - transparent 10-15-06

The Win This Space team was honoured at the annual Awards Gala dinner that was recently held at the Clarion Lakeside Inn in Kenora. Over 200 delegates and guests from Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) came together to help celebrate their win. They were nominated for the award by the Huron Business Development Corporation.

five-finalists“Nine businesses from the list of contestants have successfully opened their doors as a direct result of the planning and mentoring services they received as part of the Win This Space application process,” said Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer with Huron East Economic Development and Board Member with the Huron Business Development Corporation. “The long-term benefit of a vibrant downtown community core with sustainable businesses will make these Huron County communities a great economic hub and employment generator for years to come.”

Seaforth Heritage District 3 towers 20Since the launch of Win This Space in Huron East, other communities are following suit. Huron East has been contacted by the Orleans BIA (Ottawa) St. Catherine’s, Cobourg, Sudbury, Peterborough, Walkerton, Bruce & Grey Counties and Smiths Falls for details about the competition.

trina-orourke-won-this-spaceAbout Community Futures Ontario (OACFDC):

Community Futures Ontario represents 60 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) – 36 in southern Ontario and 24 in the north – that offer free business counselling, loans for start-up and expansion of small business, strategic planning on local projects and community economic development in rural areas. CFDCs provide flexible, repayable loans to small and medium sized businesses and are locally managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and funded with federal government support.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Diana Jedig, Executive Director, 519-633-2326 djedig@oacfdc.com

For more information about the Huron Business Development Corporation, contact:

Paul Nichol, Economic Development Manager

Huron Business Development Corporation

138 Main Street South
Seaforth, Ontario N0K 1W0

Phone: (519) 527-0305 ext. 23

E-mail: pnichol@smallbusinesshuron.ca

Website: http://www.smallbusinesshuron.ca/hbdc.htm

For more information about Win This Space competition, contact:

Jan Hawley

Economic Development Officer – Huron East & Project Coordinator

72 Main Street South, Box 610, Seaforth ON, N0K 1W0

Phone: 519-527-0160

Email: jhawley@huroneast.com

Website: http://www.huroneast.com/index.php?sltb=win

For more information about the Community Futures program or Community Futures Ontario contact:

Brenda LaGrandeur, Communications, and Professional Development Officer

Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations

300 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas, ON   N5P 4L1

Phone: 888-633-2326 ext.125

Email: blagrandeur@oacfdc.com

Website: www.oacfdc.com

A winning combination….

Municipality of Huron East in Spotlight

At 2016 National OBIAA Conference in London Ontario

OBIAA Award 1Business Improvement Area Associations across Canada are collectively an important resource to municipal councils and economic development departments with regard to education, partnership, and collaboration. And each year their National body recognizes excellence within its ranks. This year, the Municipality of Huron East is pleased to report it has been awarded top honours in two categories – “Art Unhinged” for Special Events & Promotions and “Win This Space”, as the top Business Retention & Expansion project.

Group photoComprehensive award submissions had to include digital imaging, information on Project Description, Funding, Impact, Participants/Partners, as well as details regarding Innovation, Replication, Representation, Outcomes, and Conclusions. The two initiatives submitted by the Huron East Economic Development Department obviously hit all the high notes with judges.

Ca Doig Maureen Agar Jan Hawley Alison Lobb“Knowing we can compete at a national level and win is very gratifying,” says Jan Hawley, Huron East’s Economic Development Officer. “With the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association creating a platform for such achievements, business groups in rural Ontario are able to showcase some of the innovative work being undertaken in their communities. For that, I am grateful, as is the Municipality.”

Seaforth BIA Events & Promotions 2016 OBIAA Award Submission copy 2.001

Seaforth BIA Events & Promotions 2016 OBIAA Award Submission copy 2.006“Art Unhinged” was an exceptional melding of Arts & Heritage and Fundraising. Talented artists used old doors as their canvases, creating beautiful art from and on them.

Seaforth BIA Events & Promotions 2016 OBIAA Award Submission copy 2.008Discarded doors became things of beauty—the ultimate recycling project.

Seaforth BIA Events & Promotions 2016 OBIAA Award Submission copy 2.009The re-purposed artwork doors were on display throughout Seaforth’s downtown core and were eventually auctioned off during an autumn event, with the proceeds being donated to the cost of replacing the aging roof of the town’s Round House, a unique octagonal building built in 1902, and still used today as an exhibition hall.

“Win This Space” also took something under-used and placed it front and centre before budding entrepreneurs.

Slide01Entrants in the contest were competing for a prize package that provided the leg-up all new businesses need: space, financing, education, advertising, and marketing.

Slide06The grand prize of funding for a year’s lease of a business site on the main street of Seaforth or Brussels, as well as the educational workshops offered, drew 28 entries, from which a panel of judges chose twelve business plans and ultimately, five finalists.

Slide28In addition to the winner, at least a dozen new businesses were launched in the area, encouraged and buoyed by the “Win This Space” initiative.


Slide16Both these projects proved to be catalysts for creativity, courage, and change while shining a spotlight on rural communities and their attributes—and they can be replicated by other towns and villages. Huron East is leading the way in ventures that become adventures. Congratulations all!



Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer Municipality of Huron East jhawley@huroneast.com

Written for the Municipality of Huron East by Carolyn Parks Mintz

Photographs by Angela Smith Photography, Lynne Moreland, Westcoast Photography, Brenda Campbell, Director Seaforth BIA & Haley Whitelaw, Professor Fanshawe College