The latest news, events and client highlights from the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre.
Small Business Spotlight
Young Professionals Chart a Course to Business Ownership
A Tecumseh couple is trading in 9-to-5 for entrepreneurship as the new owners of established marine supply and swimwear stores Dan's Nautical Shop and Simply Swimwear.

Leaving behind jobs in commercial finance and human resources, respectively, husband and wife team Chris Courey, 31, and Kaitlyn Courey, 29, jumped on-board an opportunity to take over the Riverside Drive shops that have served the Windsor-Essex boating community since 1981.

The Chris and Kaitlyn have worked alongside current owners Dan and Claire Denomme - working in the stores and attending tradeshows together - in preparation for fully taking over the business this September. The Denommes are retiring from the business but will continue to mentor the Coureys.

"[The Denommes] have a passion for their business ... they obviously want the businesses to be successful," said Kaitlyn. "The mentorship in this opportunity was huge for us."

Client News
Local Music on the Rise
Rob Hindi | AM800

The Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation along with the Small Business Centre believes Windsor-Essex has a hidden gem - the area's music scene.
On Friday, [March 31st,] the groups introduced the Windsor-Essex Music Advisory Council.
Economic Development Co-ordinator Adam Castle says the council will focus on local artists, venues and music programs at post-secondary institutions. He says the goal is to boost the local music industry.

Grants Available To Colchester Businesses Now
Adelle Loiselle | Blackburn News

The Town of Essex is opening up its Community Improvement Plan to include businesses in Colchester.
The town did have separate CIPs for Essex Centre and Harrow, but Councillor Steve Bjorkman says the money has been pooled and the program expanded now that a couple of new shops are opening up in Colchester.

"We wanted to give them the opportunity to benefit the same as the other businesses," he says.

Bjorkman says around ten businesses in Essex Centre have applied for grants to fix up their facades and do other small projects. In Harrow, he believes four or five have taken advantage of the program.

New Online Tool Improves Job and Business-Funding Searches
Craig Pearson | Windsor Star

Researching business funding and the local job market should now be easier.
Workforce WindsorEssex on Thursday [April 6] launched a new online tool called WEsearch, which provides users help with businesses and employment.

With funding from the federal and provincial governments, the region's local employment planning council hopes to simplify the task of searching for programs and services that help business owners and job-seekers alike - just by answering a few questions.

Partners currently working with WEsearch include the Unemployed Help Centre, the Windsor-Essex Catholic School Board, the Windsor-Essex Small Business Centre, the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Windsor and the University of Windsor.

New Grant Program Designed to Boost Small Business, Neighbourhood Revitalization
Dave Battagello | Windsor Star

United Way/Centraide of Windsor-Essex County and a department under the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation announced a new regional grant program on Tuesday [April 11] designed to help small businesses get off the ground.
The Small Business Centre under the economic development corporation will provide four grants of up to $5,000 in support of new or existing businesses to locate select neighbourhoods such as the west end, downtown, Ford City, Leamington or Harrow.

The grants are designed to promote revitalization in those areas and help boost neighbourhood success. Applications will be received until July 1.

"This new and innovative neighbourhood small business grant is a perfect example of community building through a collaboration between business, public, and non-profit sectors," said Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way.

New Circus School Hopes to Teach Students the Ropes
Craig Pearson | Windsor Star

Windsorites no longer have to run away to join the circus.

In a first for the area, the Windsor Circus School will open May 5 in downtown Windsor, teaching an array of big top performance, including aerial silks, lyra (aerial hoops), trapeze, standing acrobatics, juggling and plate spinning.

"It's exceptionally fun," said Joe Jelasic, the business partner who co-owns the school with Tia Nicoletti, who has taught at circus schools in Vancouver and Malaysia.

"It's probably one of the most unique physical outlets you can pursue."

Local Business Community Salutes Its Best
Chris Thompson | Windsor Star

Windsor's business community came out to honour their own for excellence at the 27th annual Business Excellence Awards on Wednesday [April 19] night.

About 1,000 people attended the swanky awards gala at Caesars Windsor to honour professional individuals and companies "who have set standards and demonstrated achievements that have contributed to the prosperity and business development in Windsor and Essex County."

"The Business Excellence Awards is a great chance to celebrate the success, talk about the challenges we face, the hurdles we've jumped and obviously the success that we've had in terms of reaching excellence and tonight is an opportunity to celebrate the success of the best business community in the country," said chamber president and CEO Matt Marchand.

"It's probably one of the most unique physical outlets you can pursue.  Taking home the previously announced Believe Windsor Essex Award sponsored by WFCU Credit Union was the Rosati Group. The Athena Award went to Patti France, president of St. Clair College.

Upcoming Events
Advance, online registration required for all 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.

Classes will resume  June 12-18.
Apply online today.

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


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.

We are happy to host the following events this month.  In the event that we missed an event in our newsletter, stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook or visiting our website.

Past Events

"Marketing Your Small Business" was a success!  Matt Dunlop, of Mainstream Marketing, delivered the seminar to an excited group of participants on April 6, 2017.

United Way/Centraide, in collaboration with the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre, launced the "Neighbourhood Grant" on April 11.
Special Announcements
Transform great ideas into a real business and work for the best boss ever this summer. YOU.

Learning how to run your own student business is one of the best summer jobs you can have. You get to be your own boss while learning what it takes to manage a business. Sales, marketing, invoicing, bookkeeping, customer relationship management - these are just a few of the highly useful skills you will develop.

Summer Company is an Ontario government program that provides young people with the resources and knowledge they need to start a new summer business.

As a Summer Company entrepreneur, you get:
  • Start-up money to kick-off a new summer business
  • Hands-on business training, advice and mentorship from local business leaders
  • An award of up to $3,000
Learn More about Exporting by Attending these Seminars!

It's Canada's 150th Birthday and there couldn't be a better time to recognize and celebrate Canadian Entrepreneurs over the age of 50!

The newest and fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship is led by people over the age of 50. It's time to recognize their accomplishments and let all of Canada know what they are doing and what they have to offer.

Are you a founder of a small business or have you purchased an existing business or franchise? Are you one of the founders of an inter-generational or family business?

Perhaps you've got a great new idea or have found a solution to an existing problem - a business that is changing the world!

Whether you've retired and turned what you know into a business, or started that business you've always dreamed of, apply to the inaugural 50 over 50 Awards for a chance to be recognized!

A panel of judges from Canada and beyond will make the final decision on the 50 companies that will receive one of the 50 awards.

Eligibility Criteria: The awards are open to all Canadian resident entrepreneurs who have started a business after they turned 50 years old. Entrepreneurs must be majority owners of the business and the head office of the business must be located in Canada.

Submission deadline is June 30, 2017.

The United Way/Centraide and the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre bring you the Neighbourhood Small Business Grant

Four $5,000 grants are available to support the launch of small businesses in United Way Priority Neighbourhoods across Windsor and Essex County.

The United Way currently funds four neighbourhood engagement programs and an integral part of neighbourhood revival is thriving small businesses within communities. As a natural evolution of these efforts, the grants will support businesses looking to open in these priority areas in Windsor and targeted areas in the County: Uptown Leamington, Essex Centre and Harrow.

All applications and supporting material must be submitted by July 1, 2017 .

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 such as Allegra, Image 360, Vistaprint, Staples, Blab! Media, Hawkins & Co. Accounting and Lacasse Printing Company.
WindsorEssex Small Business Centre | 519-253-6900 | Email  | Website