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.
The 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.
This 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.
The 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.
All 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.
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.
“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.”
Since 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.
About 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
For more information about Win This Space competition, contact:
Economic Development Officer – Huron East & Project Coordinator
72 Main Street South, Box 610, Seaforth ON, N0K 1W0
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