Turning Dreams Into Reality
Launching a new business can be exciting and scary at the same time. For the past 20 years the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre has been assisting local residents to maneuver through the process of opening their own businesses.
“Our services and programs are open to anyone in Cornwall, SD&G and Akwesasne”, says Candy Pollard, Business Consultant. “Each business is different and each entrepreneur has a different skill set, yet common to success as a viable business idea, the drive to act on it and a solid business plan.”
Two of the more popular programs have been Summer Company and Starter Company, programs designed to assist entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality by providing mentoring as well as initial start-up funds. Over the last few years 38 local residents have participated in the Starter Company Program, while 50 students have operated summer companies. Both programs are funded by the Government of Ontario and administered by the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre.
One successful entrepreneur is Garrett Vanderburg, owner of Sharp V Mfg Ltd. Near the Cornwall Regional Airport. Mr. Vanderburg purchased an existing tool and die shop and has taken advantage of available programming.
“Starter Company has been a great help with accessing funds to upgrade some of my equipment,” says Mr. Vanderburg. “It has helped ensure that Sharp V Mfg will be around for years to come.”
Crystal Primeau took part in the Summer Company Program while in high school, selling handmade jewellery. Upon graduation from her esthetics course in 2014 she visited the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre and applied to the Starter Company Program to assist in opening her own day spa, Crystal’s Beautique.
“The Business Enterprise Centre is an amazing resource in the community”, says Ms. Primeau. “Sometimes you don’t know where to go with starting your business so it is really nice to have someone in the community to help you step by step through the whole entire process.”
This year, Starter Company evolved into a more accessible program called Starter Company PLUS. Open to anyone 18 years of age and older, it offers the same training, mentoring and access to capital as the previous Starter Company did.
John Primeau is the owner of Rolling Road, a company providing motorcycle testing and performance upgrades.
“I am a certified auto-technician with a passion for motorcycles, putting the two together is a dream come true for me,” he said. “The Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre has helped me to develop a business plan, a start-up budget and financial forecast. I’ve been able to access information on Government regulations, HST and other business topics. Starter Company PLUS has really helped me to feel confident that I have considered everything along the way.”
Anyone looking to follow in these footsteps should contact the Cornwall Business Enterprise Centre to discuss their business idea – you could be the next Starter Company PLUS or Summer Company participant!
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