by Cecilia Naismith
Meet nine of the area's brightest young entrepreneurs July 4 at Staples in Cobourg.
These young people will be present to spotlight their businesses in a showcase Staples will host from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. to spotlight this year's Summer Company Program winners, a competition organized by the Business and Entrepreneurship Centre Northumberland.
This occasion will showcase the nine successful entrepreneurs chosen to receive mentorship and funding though the Summer Company program in order to achieve their business goals in a trade-show kind of event.
Products and services offered by this year’s winners include fresh produce, cleaning services, a stationary chip truck, a hockey camp for young players and more.
Midloch Farms offers naturally grown vegetables in Campbellcroft, the project of Gavin Brady. Grown from seed, farmed and produced locally, a variety of beans, garlic, tomatoes, sweet corn, loose-leaf lettuce, radishes, carrots, zucchini, squash and asparagus are sold at Gavin's roadside market stand.
Pinetop Vegetables and Firewood is run by Gillian Forrestell in Campbellford. This roadside stand offers fresh local produce (such as onions, beets, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, sweet corn and potatoes), as well as cut kindling and firewood for local campers.
Gilly's Golf Grips is located in Grafton, and Gilly is Austin Gilmour. This service takes worn-out golf grips and makes them new again with specialized techniques and machinery. Austin offers quick 48-hr. turn-around service, and will travel to golf clubs in Northumberland for pick-up.
The Surfside Tuck Shop has been set up at Cobourg beach by Rachel Lalonde, offering beach necessities, souvenirs, small toys and candy at competitive prices. And it's open seven days a week.
The Treasure Seller is Brock Ney's business north of Cobourg that offers a re-sale service of pre-owned items (including a great selection of artwork, figurines, collector plates and other treasures). On-line shopping is available at www.thetreasureseller.com.
First Line Hockey is based at the Cobourg Community Centre and run by Port Hope Panther Greg Fowles. Greg combines his skill and passion for the game in spring and summer hockey camps to enhance their skills both on- and off-ice. Register at http://firstlinehockey.ca/.
Fresh Start Cleaning serves Northumberland, with Madison Rae-White offering residential cleaning with a choice of chemical and natural cleaning products. Madison provides extended hours and flexible scheduling to suit clients' needs.
Ivan Stille Music is the Campbellford-based business of performer Ivan Stille, a unique one-man-band busker who creates spirited music on guitar, pedals, harmonica, drums and tambourine for indoor and outdoor vendor events, libraries, farmers' markets and tourism events.
Jake's Shakes is conveniently located in downtown Port Hope, where Jacob Tinney has his stationary chip truck – the place to go for milkshakes, fresh-cut french fries, poutine, hot dogs and ice cream.
The Government of Ontario funds Summer Company each year, and the Business and Entrepreneurship Centre manages it locally. It invites students aged 15 to 29 to submit a detailed business plan. Those entrants whose plan is chosen may receive up to $3,000 in grants.
The program's focus is on providing youth entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge to build their inspiration, BECN manager Rob Day said in the county's press release.
“These students have displayed a passion for their business through their extensive evaluations of their selected market and their well-defined business plans,” Day stated.
“BECN is happy to be able to assist in transforming this passion into the professional programs and services the students are offering our community this summer.”
"In Canada, small businesses account for the employment of over 70% of the private labour force, making them a key contributor to our community’s vitality and sustainability,” Northumberland Warden Mark Lovshin noted.
“It is important that we support local businesses and the youth that will become our next generation of small-business owners. We encourage everyone to come out to this showcase event and discover what these young, innovative individuals have to offer our community.”
Staples stores across Ontario have supported the Summer Company Program with these showcases since 2016, and the one in Cobourg will take place at the location at 1025 Elgin St. W. on Wednesday.