Applications are now open for a program targeted at local entrepreneurs who wish to grow their businesses through funding, mentorship and training.
“Starter Company Plus is a fantastic program for entrepreneurs who are wanting to explore a new business idea or to expand an existing business,” Rob Tamblyn, business development manager of small and medium enterprises at Kingston Economic Development, said in a news release. “It provides you with hands-on learning opportunities, mentorship and some financial support — three very valuable resources that every entrepreneur could use to help bring their ideas to fruition.”
The program is funded by the Province of Ontario and facilitated locally by Kingston Economic Development. The province provides Kingston Economic Development with $70,000 in microgrants to dole out to local, new businesses. Applications for the spring 2023 round of grants and training reopened last Friday and close on March 17.
In addition to training through workshops and one-on-one mentorship from a Small Business Enterprise Centre adviser, businesses may also be eligible for a non-repayable microgrant of up to $5,000 if they’re able to make a contribution, in cash or in kind, of at least 25 per cent, and if they’re able to attend a “business boot camp” from March 27-31. Those who receive a grant are chosen by a committee made up of local business professionals, entrepreneurs and private sector stakeholders.
The program also includes seminars and networking events.
Businesses that wish to apply can’t be a franchise or rely on a national sales framework (pyramid marketing) and must operate full time as defined in a business plan. It must be less than five years old and a legal business in Ontario. The business must have a separate bank account, accounting books and records, follow all government rules and regulations, and be sales-ready by the time of funding.
“From providing the funding to improve my tooling, to aiding in the development of my business systems, Kingston Economic Development and the Starter Plus Company program have been of critical assistance in getting my business off the ground,” Jeffrey Perry of Core Woodcraft said in a news release. He added the program made it that much easier to do business in Kingston.
Those who wish to apply or to learn more information may visit investkingston.ca/startercompanyplus. The development corporation will also be hosting a virtual information session on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. to shed more light on the program.
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