The latest news, events and client highlights from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.
Small Business Spotlight
Windsor Barbershop Transformation Goes a Cut Above

It's not every day that your barber doubles as your bartender.

But this is not your average barbershop.

Since 2007, The Man's Shop, located at 2587 Howard Avenue in Windsor, has served up beers alongside haircuts to male customers. A little more than 10 years later, the barbershop has undergone changes to its concept and services, thanks to partners James and Ryan Lapeer, whom purchased the business from a friend last summer.

"We had a little bit of a different vision to incorporate women into the barbershop and we were told there would be an uproar against that. Actually, it's been the opposite. Everyone thinks it's amazing because of the atmosphere we've created - it's welcoming to men and women," said Ryan.

Barbershops are traditionally a place for men to get haircuts or hot towel shaves, and women seeking services can be turned away. However, James noted, "there's a lot of women that want an undercut fade or hair tattooing, which are traditional barbershop skill sets."

"We went co-ed," said Ryan. "That's a big change in the community."

 New Business on the Block
Each month, the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre will  
highlight  clients that have recentlyopened their business.

If you have started your small business recently (less than 6 months ago), or have recently moved your home-based business to a storefront, let us share your new venture with our audience of 4,000+ people!

Email SBC for more information.
 Business & Client News
Photo: Nick Brancaccio |
Windsor Star
Bigger, Better, Brighter - Windsor Accelerator Finds New Digs to Help Entrepreneurs
Doug Schmidt | Windsor Star

Six years after starting on a shoestring budget, the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator has outgrown its space in a former bingo hall and is moving to a larger facility at the former home of a dairy operation.

"This will be an innovative hub for Windsor and the region - there's lots of interest for this type of space," said managing director Arthur Barbut.

"It's the setting," said Michael Hoppe, a current Accelerator tenant who is applying his background in architectural studies to help design the new place. "When I was in San Francisco, that's what they focused on - 'How do you feel in this space?'"

Photo: Dax Melmer | Windsor Star
Jarvis: Smart and Unique Economic Development on County Road 50
Anne Jarvis | Windsor Star

Lovely, historic County Road 50, with its farms and wineries, is the focus of one of the smartest, most unique new economic development plans in the county.

The Town of Essex proposal, called the Rural Business and Tourism Community Improvement Plan, offers eight different financial incentives for businesses along County Road 50, from waiving development fees and tax increases to grants of up to $12,000 for improving facades and landscaping, creating farm businesses, outdoor cafes and bed and breakfasts and hiring architects and landscapers to design the work.

Similar plans are offered in downtowns in county municipalities and target commercial buildings. But this is the first in a rural area and the first to target agriculture. And it focuses on one road, County Road 50 from County Road 41 to Arner Townline, the breadth of the town.

Photo: Dax Melmer | Windsor Star
Paralyzed Football Player Battles Back to Open his Own Fitness Gym
Mary Caton | Windsor Star

In addition to the assortment of free weights and workout machines that cover the floor of Paul McCrary's new fitness gym, there's a black-and-red wheelchair suspended from the rafters.

"That was my idea," said McCrary of hoisting his one-time mode of transportation to the ceiling at Limitless Training Centre on Walker Road. "It's to remind me of what I've done."

What the 25-year-old has done is defy the prediction of medical professionals who said he would spend the rest of his life in that wheelchair following a severe spinal cord injury suffered as a teenage football player.

Photo: Dan Janisse | Windsor Star
Business Façade Improvement Program Pitched to Council
Dave Battagello | Windsor Star

Windsor's main streets could use a little sprucing up.

City administrators have pitched funding a business facade improvement program they believe can make a difference in both retaining business and creating more attractive walkable neighbourhoods.

The city's planning, heritage and economic development committee has already given initial approval to the plan, with city council being asked at its next meeting Jan. 8 to approve the final recommendation.

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 .
Lunch & Learn:  Recruitment & Retention

Thursday, January 18th
12:00pm to 1:00pm
215 Talbot St E, Leamington

Calling all small business owners! Do you have a team of less than 100 employees and are looking for strategies and tips to build and sustain your future workforce? Are you a sole proprietor looking to hire your first employee but don't know where to get started?

Join us on Thursday, January 18th from 12:00-1:00 for a lunch and learn at the Employment Assessment Centre's Leamington office located at 215 Talbot St. E. You will hear retention and recruitment strategies from Workforce WindsorEssex and receive a copy of A Guide for Recruitment & Retention for Small Business in Windsor-Essex.

Lunch and learn topics will include:

  • Methods of recruitment
  • Job Posting/interview/onboarding
  • Exploring broader talent pools
  • Experiential learning
Labour Market Information
  • Case study on wages
  • Supporting your team
  • Offering "the perks"
  • Fostering a team environment
  • Investing in employees
  • Hearing and recognizing your employees
  • Team building activities in Windsosr-Essex
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

December 13, Small Business Centre's Business Advisor, Natasha, delivered a workshop to art community members on the business aspects of "Developing and Managing an Art Business".
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