SARNIA, ON: Six entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Sarnia-Lambton area have been awarded grants of $5,000 each through the Starter Company Plus program, administered by the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership’s Business Enterprise Centre and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade.
In addition, participants receive:
- Personalized coaching and mentorship from a SLEP team member.
- Mentorship from local business leaders and entrepreneurs.
- Monthly (for 12 months) peer-led discussion sessions on best business practices.
The volunteer selection committee began the difficult process of making their final selections following the May application deadline. Of the successful applicants, three are engaging in growing an existing business and three are starting a new business.
“We know that funding is top of mind for all businesses and entrepreneurs right now,” said Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Thompson. “Being able to help the people and companies that make up the backbone of our economy is important, and Starter Company Plus will provide the tools and resources to help these six businesses in their endeavours. We are pleased that we will be able to offer this program again in 2021 as well,” Thompson added.
Previous participants of the program credit the mentorship and networking components as the most valuable aspects of the program. “The Starter Company Plus grant was used in a myriad of ways around the farm, but the true value of the program lies in the networking and support structure that the SLEP team provides,” said Ryan Slyzuk of Taproots Green Gardens, a participant of the 2019-2020 Starter Company Plus program. “Being a successful applicant gave us confidence that our business was viable in the eyes of business professionals, which is immensely important to us as young entrepreneurs.”
The program is designed to inject crucial funds and mentorship into new and expanding small businesses in the Sarnia-Lambton area, encouraging economic growth and prosperity in the County of Lambton. “Whether it is growing an existing business or starting a new one from scratch, the importance of entrepreneurship to the Sarnia-Lambton community can not be overstated, and we strive every day to support entrepreneurs and their ideas,” said Thompson.
A full list and descriptions of this year’s program participants can be found below.
2020-2021 Starter Company Plus Participants
Starting A Business
Canopy Wellness is a collaboration between Mackenzie Zavitz and Loren Boccanfuso that offers a multi-disciplinary approach to health and wellness. The pair weaves together inclusive inquiry-based practices, techniques, traditions, and research to support the community in seeking mindfulness and wellbeing.
Tammy Martin Counselling
With years of experience in trauma, mental health, and addiction counselling, Tammy Martin has started Tammy Martin Counselling to serve the residents of the Sarnia-Lambton community. Tammy brings a new approach to counselling and offers individual sessions and group healing workshops.
Owned and operated by Kelly Moir and Sam Eastman, Lake Effect Studio is an environmentally conscious business that provides Sarnia-Lambton business owners with a variety of essential marketing and branding services. Kelly and Sam offer website design, event planning, social media management, campaign creation, and more.
Growing an Existing Business
Dr. Jeff Werden owns and operates East Lambton Chiropractic and Wellness Centre in Watford. East Lambton Chiropractic offers chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage therapy. The chiropractic team helps patients to improve their quality of life and achieve their wellness goals. East Lambton Chiropractic is located at 536 Simcoe St.
Melissa Maness owns and operates Pure Local Organics, a business that provides the community with organic and eco-friendly options. Pure Local Organics offers a range of products including fresh fruit, gluten-free products, keto food options, and eco-friendly cosmetics. Pure Local Organics is located in Downtown Sarnia at 140 Christina St N.
Established in 2016, Valley Axe offers the Sarnia community a place for axe-throwing entertainment. Valley Axe is owned and managed by brothers, Bo and Adam Tait, who are experienced and passionate about the martial arts and entertainment industries. Valley Axe is located at 1886 London Line in Sarnia.
About Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership: The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership is a private/public sector, community-based partnership that works to continually increase the economic activity in the County of Lambton by coordinating community-based economic development initiatives and working to maintain a commercially attractive environment. Visit sarnialambton.on.ca to learn more.
For Media Inquiries:
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership