Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Small Business Centre opens applications for ‘Starter Company Plus’ program

The new calendar year has started and many people are racing ahead with their resolutions firmly in place.

For people who have decided that this is the year to start a business or to take their current business to the next level, the Chatham-Kent Small Business Centre has the tools you need. This includes a call for applications to the successful Starter Company Plus program.

The program helps entrepreneurs across the region refine and execute their business plan.

Applications are open from January 5, 2021 to February 1, 2021.

There is limited space so people are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

“It is always inspiring to see the wide variety of businesses that apply for the Starter Company Plus program,” stated Matt Reaume, economic development officer, in a press release.

“As well, people are applying at different stages of their business development. Some people are presenting their first draft of a business plan and looking for honest and constructive feedback, while others have been in business for years and are looking at how they can grow. Either way, we are available to provide expert support and we welcome all applications.”

Successful applicants to the Starter Company Plus program will receive free training, mentorship, and the opportunity to apply for a business grant up to $5,000.

The program will run February 22, 2021 to February 26, 2021 with specific times and details to be provided.

“We have adjusted our training course to accommodate online learning so that people can take part safely and remotely,” stated Doug Robbins, economic development officer, in a press release.

“Even though our office is closed to the public right now, we still provide all of the same services through virtual consultation by phone and video chat.”

Municipal officials say there are a number of requirements to apply for the program including businesses must be based in Chatham-Kent, cannot be a franchise, and must follow all government rules and regulations.

“For this specific program, we do require that applicants be 18 years of age or older and cannot be attending school full time,” stated Taylor Hughes, economic development officer, in a press release.

“If there are students looking to apply, there are other opportunities such as the Summer Company program which may assist. There is also a requirement that anyone who receives the grant is able to provide a 25 percent match in cash or in-kind. However, the in-kind contribution can include things such as inventory and equipment.”

For more information about the program, including how to apply, visit www.investck.ca, email cksbc@chatham-kent.ca, or call 519-351-7700.

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