Huron County, Ontario – The Starter Company Plus program, administered locally by the County of Huron, provides business training, mentoring, and grant opportunities of up to $5,000 for eligible participants to start, expand, or buy a small business. The most recent intake of the Starter Company Plus program saw eight local businesses successfully complete the program and obtain grant funding, totaling $24,500.
“The training and coaching that new and existing businesses receive during this program is invaluable to their continued growth and development,” said Director of Economic Development, Vicki Lass. “Completion of this program represents significant hard work and commitment, immense creativity, and a true entrepreneurial spirit!”
The 2023 intake of the Starter Company Plus program received 27 applications and, after interviews and consultation, 20 businesses entered the 12-week training program. There were 17 graduates of the program with 16 businesses pitching for the chance to receive up to a $5,000 micro-financing grant.
Overall, the 2023 program supported 13 start-ups, 4 expansions, and 35 jobs to the local economy.
2023 Starter Company Plus grant funding recipients include:
- Capella Meadows – Edda Boettcher, Brussels (Huron East)
Capella Meadows is a small, certified organic, family farm producing high quality artisan cheese from happy goats. Grant funding will be used to offset the purchase of cream cheese filler equipment, allowing them to expand their product line.
- Decisolve – Justin Brunner, Brucefield (Bluewater)
Decisolve’s flagship platform, Assist, transforms emergency training by oﬀering an automated, intuitive workﬂow to aid training oﬃcers and educators in orchestrating and executing practical training drills. Assist distinguishes itself with its unique AI capabilities, to generate realistic scenarios mirroring actual emergencies. Decisolve will use the grant funding to purchase trade show booth items that will be used at industry events across North America.
- Elevations by Lindsay – Lindsay Skinn, Goderich (Goderich)
Elevations Hair Studio has established itself as a reputable salon in the local community, providing exceptional hair care services, specifically with hair extensions, hair additions and precision haircuts for their valued guests. The grant funding will be used to develop a training program that will teach others the skill of extensions to support increasing demand.
- Gifts to Britain – Jess Bickell, Exeter (South Huron)
Serving customers since 1974, Gifts to Britain offers an easy and cost-effective way for people in Canada and the U.S. to send gift baskets, jewelry, and flowers to friends, family, and business associates in the U.K. The grant funding will be used for a social media campaign to increase awareness of the service in the United States.
- Great Lakes Property Management – MacDonald Laplante, Goderich (ACW)
Great Lakes Property Management offers estate cleanout services, residential and yard cleanup, decluttering, and assistance with downsizing. Free estimates are also provided. The grant funding will be used to purchase a storage container which will allow them to increase services.
- Mister Pristine – Mark Scrimgeour, Londesborough (Central Huron)
Mister Pristine Cleaning is a small business that specializes in providing commercial and residential cleaning services. They are committed to offering eco-friendly cleaning solutions, exceptional customer service, and a tailored approach to meet each client’s unique cleaning needs. Mister Pristine will use the grant funds to purchase a commercial floor cleaner.
- Old Railway Popcorn Company – Joleen Krebs, Clinton (Central Huron)
Old Railway Popcorn Company produces popcorn that is the perfect snack for any occasion. Grown locally in Huron County, this popcorn is grown with utmost care and attention for quality. This company focuses on providing a unique product and grows popcorn with a variety of kernel colours. Additionally, this business also offers pre-popped and pre-packaged classic kettle corn for sale to consumers, to provide a value-added product. Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment that will increase efficiencies.
- Suncoast Canvas – Craig Wark, Goderich (ACW)
Suncoast Canvas is a custom canvas fabricator providing high quality, creative solutions for protecting boat owners, their families, and their boats. Grant funding will support sewing machine repair training to reduce delays in service delivery.
Enrollment for participation in the next intake of the Starter Company Plus program will open in July 2024. To learn more visit: www.HuronCounty.ca/economic-development