Starting a new business or growing an existing one is never easy, let alone during a pandemic. Fortunately for 12 local entrepreneurs, the Starter Company Plus program is here to help.
Offered through the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Business Advisory Centre with funding from the Government of Ontario, the business development program provides training for aspiring to experienced entrepreneurs 18 years and over in the City and County of Peterborough who are launching a business or expanding an existing one that’s been operating for five years or less.
The eight-week program, which teaches participants the skills they need to start and grow their business, is shifting focus this fall in recognition of the impact of the pandemic. With more robust digital marketing strategies, crisis communications and public relations, and financial acumen and long-term planning, the 12 entrepreneurs participating in the fall intake of the program will be better equipped to launch and grow their businesses.
And if that isn’t enough, there’s also the $5,000 Starter Company Plus micro-grants that seven of the 12 business owners will be selected to receive, based on the strength of their business plans and the viability and creativity of their business.
Here are the 12 entrepreneurs participating in the fall intake of Starter Company Plus, along with their businesses:
Debra Ragbar — Kawartha Spice Company
Debra Ragbar’s business Kawartha Spice Company Inc. manufactures gluten-free curry powder and spice rub mixes for plant-based, poultry, red meat, and seafood recipes, along with rim rubs for cocktails such as a Caesar.
The curry powder mix and spice rub mixes are made with a number of pure natural spices selected for their superior flavour and premium quality.
Individual mixes are used in recipes such as Jamaican jerk, roasted chickens, roasted rack of lamb, roasted beef tenderloin, roasted pork chops, baked salmon, and vegetarian dishes.
Lyle Saunders — Saunders Tax Service c/o Peterborough Disability Tax Services
“Simple Taxes at a Simple Price”. That’s Lyle Saunders’ motto for Saunders Tax Service, his yearly tax season service for households in the Peterborough area.
Saunders also owns and operates Peterborough Disability Tax Services, which he founded in February 2019 and which specializes in the federal disability tax credit for individuals and caregivers. Sanders assists in applications for the tax credit, as well as helping with eligibility challenges and adjusting approved tax credits beyond the Canada Revenue Agency’s automatic adjustments.
Saunders Tax Service is located at Peterborough Disability Tax Services, in the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce building at 175 George Street North in downtown Peterborough. For more information, call 705-931-8500, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit ptbodts.ca
Ivan O’Brien — Archer Equipment Inspections Ltd.
Ivan O’Brien owns and operates Archer Equipment Inspections, a heavy equipment inspection business located in the Township of Douro-Dummer.
The primary service offered by O’Brien’s business is the inspection of equipment for companies interested in purchasing equipment that other companies have put up for sale.
Archer Equipment Inspections also offers fleet maintenance services, an oil sampling program, working with financial institutions and assisting with financial restructuring for mines, mobile equipment repair in the Peterborough, and equipment mid-life and overhaul planning.
For more information, call 587-645-3224 or email email@example.com.
Janette Fluke — Florna Sweets
Janette Fluke’s business Florna Sweets makes custom-designed sugar cookies for celebrations and holidays.
Fluke uses royal icing and other edible mediums for her unique creations.
Her clients order her sugar cookies for weddings, showers, birthdays, graduations, and any special occasion when sweets are needed.
Sharyn Inward — Oma Knows
Located in the City of Peterborough, Sharyn Inward’s new health and wellness business Oma Knows focuses on promoting a healthy lifestyle for plus-size women.
Inward offers yoga and health education to assist women in living their best and healthiest life through a positive mindset and training.
Jocelynn Vieira — The Kawartha Craft Company
Jocelynn Vieira’s business The Kawartha Craft Company provides hands-on creative activities for children of all ages with easy-to-follow do-it-yourself craft kits.
Her craft kits are stocked with hand-picked local supplies that have been tested to ensure ease of use.
Located in the Municipality of Trent Lakes, the Kawartha Craft Company also donates craft kits to local shelters and works with local charities in Peterborough and the Kawarthas to supplement fundraising initiatives.
For more information, call 289-237-5967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheryl Edwards and Charmaine Magumbe — Zingha
Owned and operated by Cheryl Edwards and Charmaine Magumbe, Zingha is a social enterprise located in the City of Peterborough.
Zingha offers original designs of positive Afrocentric images on t-shirts, mugs, and bags, as well as Nigerian COVID face masks and handmade Afrocentric notebooks and journals.
Zingha also supplies free resources to help people become more inclusive as well as to combat anti-Black racism.
Alicia Doris — Living Local Box
Alicia Doris’s business Living Local Box shares the best of local products in Peterborough and the Kawarthas through custom gift boxes and seasonal subscription boxes.
Living Local Box connects community members with new ways to support local small business by providing one-of-a-kind selections of artwork, bath and body products, food and drink, and lifestyle products.
With her ever-evolving offerings, Doris showcases and supports both individuals and families living and working in the region.
Living Local Box is located in Selwyn Township. For more information, call 706-768-0621, email email@example.com, or visit www.livinglocalbox.com..
Susan Dunkley — Suzi Home Maker
Through her business Suzi Home Maker, Susan Dunkley helps people who are downsizing their homes or moving to another home.
Suzi Home Maker assists with downsizing, de-cluttering, sorting, organizing, selling, donating, disposing, recycling, packing, moving, unpacking, helping people get settled in, and clearing estates.
Recognizing that downsizing and moving homes often takes place at emotional or trying times, Suzi Home Maker also provides support by helping clients make the right decisions and by getting the job done quickly and efficiently and with care and compassion.
While Suzi Home Maker provides standard services, Dunkley recognizes each move is different and the exact services she provides are tailored to the needs of each individual client.
Dean and Amy Howley — King & Tupper
Husband-and-wife team Dean and Amy Howley own and operate King & Tupper, which produces custom wood decor, art, toys, and furniture handcrafted in Millbrook.
King & Tupper offers a constantly evolving range of products, such as painted wood signs, three-dimensional backlit wood art, rocking giraffes, and toddler helper stools.
When developing their products, the Howleys continuously research market trends, update and improve existing designs, and incorporate customer suggestions and requests. All of King & Tupper’s products are crafted in the Howleys’ home-based workshop.
Jonathan Clement — Elbuns Media
Through his business Elbuns Media, Jonathan Clement helps small businesses and non-profits tell their stories by creating videos that are effective and tell the organization’s story in a way that best helps them meet their goals.
Along with video production and content creation, Elbuns Media also provides video editing and content editing services, and develops strategies specializing in recruiting and fundraising efforts.
Christopher Nayler — Douglas Works
Christopher Nayler owns and operates Douglas Works, located in the City of Peterborough.
Douglas Works offers residential and commercial landscaping, hardscaping, and property maintenance services for residential and commercial clients in Peterborough and the surrounding area.
This story has been created in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development.