The latest news, events and client highlights from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.
Small Business Spotlight
12 Days of Shopping Small: a Gift Guide

Gift giving season is upon us, and it's no surprise that the Small Business Centre is a big fan of shopping small, especially when it comes to gifts! We have pulled together a few of Windsor-Essex's loved small businesses for this year's Holiday Gift Guide.

12 Days.  12 Businesses.

Happy Holidays!

Offering hot java, as well as their signature cold brew, in Rich Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chocolate.
89 University Avenue West,

Providing kits to make your holiday baking easier. They  now have gluten-free kits available.

Specializing in condo sized furniture and  home essentials, this shop is ideal for the urban dweller.
55 Maiden Lane,

Focusing on South Western Ontario producers, The Cheese Bar provides artisan cheeses & charcuterie boards for all events.
214 Dubois Avenue,

Offering the finest, hand-crafted candles made of refined paraffin, soy and gel waxes. Made in Essex.
31 Arthur Avenue,

Visit The Flower Shop for beautiful decor this holiday and all year 'round.
400 Talbot Road East, Leamington

Making handcrafted soaps, lip balms, lotion bars, and deodorants that are all natural. Perfect for sensitive skin.
1614 Lesperance Road,

These beautifully handcrafted chocolates may be the perfect gift, but  sometimes can be too pretty to eat!
2 Main Street West,

Real Authentic. Real Etiquette. This comfy clothing line seeks to promote Windsor-Essex.
Facebook Page

Kingsville's newest art gallery is more than just display - it's art and cooking classes, and a curated gift shoppe!
313 Main Street,

If you're looking for the perfect gift for a sports lover, Sports Zone carries officially licensed sports apparel.
1775 Sprucewood Avenue,

Offering vintage clothing and antiques, this shoppe is great for those with an old soul.
620 Glengarry,
 New Business on the Block
- Section Coming 2018 -

Starting in January 2018, each month, the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre will  highlight  clients that have recently opened their business.  We will include such information as name of the business, location, contact information, website and social media information.

If you have started your small business recently (less than 6 months ago), let us share your new venture with our audience of 4,000+ people!

Email Cassandra for more information.
 Business & Client News
Photo: Dan Janisse | Windsor Star
For 20th time, Biz X Magazine Honours Best of Windsor-Essex Businesses, People
Dalson Chen | Windsor Star

For two decades, Biz X has annually honoured the best of Windsor-Essex businesses in a variety of categories.

The local business and lifestyle magazine celebrated its latest list of winners with a gala dinner ceremony on Friday night at the St. Clair College Centre for the Arts.

This year's 24 award-winners were chosen out of 220 nominees.

Photo: Small Business Centre
New Grant Helps Business in Ford City
CTV Windsor

There's a new business in Ford City and it's thanks in part to a new grant.

The United Way of Windsor and Essex County and the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre announced a $5,000 grant for Ford City Financial.

Owner Jose Gonzalez is the first recipient of the Neighbourhood Small Business Grant Program.

Photo: Chatelaine
Food Crush: Toasted White Chocolate is the Flavour of the Moment - and it's Fantastic
Amy Grief | Chatelaine

Starbucks newest holiday beverage is a doozy. The toasted white chocolate mocha - with espresso, steamed milk and the brand's newest flavoured syrup - lends a sweet, burnt marshmallow flavour profile to the coffee shop's seasonal beverage roster. But Starbucks isn't the first to discover the magic of toasted white chocolate - it's simply bringing it to the masses.

Like pumpkin spice, white chocolate is a pretty divisive dessert - folks either love or hate this saccharine chocolate derivative. But even 70 percent cocoa dark chocolate purists might be converted once they try a piece of white chocolate that's gotten a toasty makeover. In some applications, chocolate makers roast white chocolate until it turns a beautiful caramel colour while others torch to the chocolate, roasting it like a marshmallow. The result leaves the chocolate light brown, giving it a rich, almost dulce de leche-like taste.

Photo: 50 Over 50 Awards
50 Over 50 Awards: Peter Scherer - Grape Vine Tours
50 Over 50 Awards

Peter Scherer, of Grape Vine Tours, discusses his business:

Where there is a will there is a way. I was in the fruit and vegetable business for over 30 years . Running my own fruit farm and farm market did give me a great deal of business skills needed to start a new business. It meant transferring the skills learned from one business into another. I also have a degree in Geography and Economics, as well as a degree in Education which helps. I also financed my start up business with my own money. I found that starting a new business is very difficult if one does not have money. I was fortunate. I am looking forward to growing this tour business with the wine and craft brewers.

Upcoming Events
Advance, online registration required for all events.
Please check our calendar for more upcoming events.

Basics of Starting a
Small Business


Do you have an idea and want to start your own  small  business, but you aren't sure where to start? Attend one of these FREE seminars to find out information about:
  • How to register your business
  • Business structure
  • Government support programs
  • Other available services and programs
You will receive a FREE Start-up Package and step-by-step guidance.

Basics of Writing a
Business Plan


A good business plan is your road map to success!  A business plan is also required when applying for any type of small business financing.  Attend one of these FREE seminars to learn how to develop a business plan that will work for you!  This session will cover:
  • Required elements of a business plan
  • Breaking down a business plan into manageable pieces
  • Where to gather relevant information for a business plan
  • How to professionally arrange your ideas and research
  • What to do with the plan when it's completed

Starter Company

This Government of Ontario program provides entrepreneurs with the resources and knowledge needed in order to start and grow their own small business. The program includes one-on-one guidance from the Small Business Centre, mentoring with local professionals, funding of up to $5,000, and access to small business training & workshops.

The  Small Business Centre also holds similiar workshops throughout the year. Keep an eye on our newsletter, social media, and  calendar for upcoming events.

Starter Company Workshops resume at the end of February 2018.

Don't wait! Start working with an advisor today.   Learn more & apply online .
How to Get More Windsor-Essex Products in the Shopping Cart
Thursday, December 7, 2017
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Institute for Border Logistics & Security (IBLS)
3475 Wheelton Drive, Windsor, Ontario

What will you learn?  The goal is  for attendees to be more savvy and know what the right approach should be in getting more products in the shopping cart.

Who should attend?  Windsor-Essex  food industry workers (producers, entrepreneurs and processors).

The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre is proud to continue to offer workshops, seminars, training, and other events that are relevant to new entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners alike.  In the situation where we may have missed an event in our newsletter, stay up-to-date by following us on  Facebook  or visiting our  website .
In Case You Missed It

On November 21, SBC took part in the High School Entrepreneurial Summit, hosted by the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator.  Over 200 students attended the event to hear from entrepreneurs and why entrepreneurship is an option!

Over 50 people attended the highly educational Recipe to Retail seminar, presented by NSF International, held on November 29.  It was great to hear all the wonderful feedback from attendees who felt the session was greatly informative.
Sissy & Roché

Sissy & Roché is an art gallery that recently opened at 313 Main Street in Kingsville. But wait! They're doing more than just giving the gift of beautiful artwork to the people who walk through their door.

Sissy & Roché also offers cooking & art classes to adolescents and adults, hosts a small meeting room for your company's convenience, as well as a curated gift shop.

St. Louis Bar & Grill is coming to Windsor

100% Canadian owned and operated, the very first St. Louis Bar and Grill opened its doors in Toronto in 1992. Known for its 'Devilishly Good!' service, signature wings and fries, and famous garlic dill sauce, St. Louis is now looking to bring its delicious food, and fun, energetic atmosphere to Windsor. With an industry competitive food to beverage ratio of 56:44, 25 years of proven success, and an additional 10 locations slated to open in 2018, it's an exciting time to partner with St. Louis. To learn more about franchising with St. Louis Bar and Grill, please contact or call 1-866-674-0606.
Regularly Scheduled Programming

Are you LGBTQ, 18-39 years old, and want to start or grow your own business?
- or -
Are you an established LGBTQ or allied business leader and want to help mentor up-and-coming businesses in our community?

The Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (CGLCC), with support from the Province of Ontario through the Ontario150 program, and in collaboration with partners across the province, launched the Ontario LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneur Program -  #OUTForBusiness - at the 5th Annual LGBT Summit of the Americas in Toronto .

The objective of the  #OUTForBusiness Program is to empower LGBTQ Youth Entrepreneurs, 18-39 years old, by providing them with financial support and tailored guidance to help them establish or grow their own businesses. The annual, one year program is built on four pillars:
  • Networking
  • Access to Funding
  • Building Business Skills
  • Mentoring
Does this sound familiar:
You're unsure of how your business is doing, or how to measure the success of your business? Worried about what taxes you have to file and pay? Working with a shoebox of receipts or a painful accounting syst em? 
We have a solution.

scaleUP Financial is a program that equips entrepreneurs with the resources to tackle their small business bookkeeping. Participants will learn financial management strategies and receive hands-on training to use Xero, a fast-growing cloud-based accounting platform. Xero is perfect for startups and growing businesses of all industries, and scaleUP entrepreneurs receive a one-year discounted Xero subscription! You will learn to:
  • Create efficiencies in your business
  • Use financial data to make wise business decisions
  • Keep on top of paperwork, bookkeeping, and compliance
Join the Small Business Centre's Business Advantage program

The Small Business Centre now offers three levels of membership exclusively to its clients through its Business Advantage Program. Entrepreneurs can access existing programs, training and services, as well as discounts for SBC events and a number of perks from local companies offering support to small businesses. 

Clients who sign up for a GROW membership can take advantage of discounted services and products from local partner businesses.
Small Business & Entrepreneurship in Windsor-Essex, ON Canada

Since 1992, the Small Business Centre (SBC) has provided thousands of entrepreneurs with the training and support necessary to start and grow successful businesses. SBC is a one-stop source - providing guidance and professional advice from concept, through start-up and early growth stages of business.

WindsorEssex Small Business Centre | 519-253-6900 | Email  | Website