Starting in April, the innovative Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) will be leading the local Digital Main Street initiative with a Digital Service Squad to help main street small businesses improve their online capabilities.
The DBIA received a $10,000 grant from Digital Main Street as well as support from Community Futures Peterborough and the DBIA’s own resources to establish a Digital Service Squad to help small businesses in the downtown area enhance their use of digital tools and techniques to better promote and sell online.
Photo courtesy DBIA
The Squad will see a trained online specialist visit and assist businesses at no cost to help them set up Google Business, conduct a digital-readiness assessment, and apply for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant.
“This program is going to make our downtown more competitive and vibrant,” says DBIA Executive Director Terry Guiel. “We know we have to meet our customers where it’s most convenient for them. The beautiful bricks and mortar physical locations will always be the core of what makes downtown what it is, but we need to help our businesses make the best use of their resources for promotions, serving their customers, and reaching new markets.”
Photo courtesy DBIA
HOW IT WORKS
-> Digital Main Street helps improve how small businesses use digital tools and techniques to become more successful.
-> Today’s digital economy is vital to small businesses, and DMS will help them adopt new digital technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory.
Photo courtesy DBIA
Businesses within the downtown area will be introduced to the Digital Service Squad at the end of April.
For further information or to participate in the program, email DBIA Communications Manager Joel Wiebe here or call 705.748.4774.
Jonathan and Celine MacKay, owners of Sustain, are the winners of Win This Space 2019. The Win This Space grand prize package is valued at more than $40,000 and includes a downtown storefront free for a year.
Sustain is an eco-lifestyle retail store with a modern, triple bottom line and conscious consumer platform. Born out of a quest for better, more sustainable, non-toxic products, Sustain is positioned as a resource for those in any stage of their sustainable and wellness journey.
Winner Jonathan MacKay of Sustain at Win This Space event at ARIA (photo courtesy DBIA)
Sustain is a source of trust where the consumer can avoid wading through all the green-wash and misinformation and purchase offerings with absolute confidence that have been vetted with great scrutiny.
Sustain is looking to build on the success of their eco lifestyle concept store in Huntsville, a store that has everything a family needs to support zero-waste, plastic free, non-toxic, sustainable lifestyles. Their goal is to expand their concept to Peterborough, which they describe as an eco-progressive, vibrant community.
Winner Jonathan MacKay of Sustain at Win This Space (photo courtesy DBIA)
“This is our third Win This Space and each year I’m inspired and impressed by the interesting businesses people are entering into this competition,” says Terry Guiel, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement Area.
Sustain was selected by the Win This Space judges who evaluated the Top 10 applicants to the program. The Top 10 spent three months fine-tuning their proposals at workshops focused on marketing, financial planning, and business plans.
Flying Colours Corp.—the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business—is celebrating 30 years of successful MRO and interiors operations.
Launched as an aircraft painting business by current President, John Gillespie, the start-up developed into an aircraft sales business before evolving into a fully-fledged MRO and interiors business in 1989.
John Gillespie, Founder and President of Flying Colours Corp.
The privately owned, family run company has grown from a small hangardedicated to painting turbo-props and small jets at Peterborough Airport to an international company known for:
-> its strong maintenance capabilities -> creative cabin-interior design resulting in functional, yet stylish completions -> refurbishments including Flying Colours branded CRJ ExecLiner -> avionics expertise -> ability to handle complex special mission projects
A rendering of the new hangar due to open in mid-2019
“It’s a well-known fact that the business aviation sector is a competitive and challenging industry to succeed in, and we are extremely proud to be marking our 30th anniversary,” says John Gillespie, Founder and President.
Photo courtesy Flying Colours Corp.
“In some ways, it feels like we are just getting started as we still have a lot of exciting plans to implement over the next decades,” adds Gillespie.
“It goes without saying we would not have got to where we are without the support of our elite set of customers, our reliable long-term partners, and most importantly our highly motivated and skilled technical teams.”
Photo courtesy Flying Colours Corp.
Flying Colours is marking its 30th year with internal and external events with customers, partners and its growing in-house team to demonstrate its gratitude to those that have worked and supported the business through the years.
To be eligible, entrepreneurs must have a registered business (incorporated, sole proprietor or partnership) with annual sales under $200,000 and be able to undertake the proposed work within the next 12 months. Start-up or pre-sales businesses must exhibit a meaningful investment of time, equipment, money, or research and development in their business, and existing businesses must show a significant move towards a new product, service, or market, or commercializing intellectual property.
Bears' Lair Steering Committee Chair, Catia Skinner, announces details for the 2019 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition on Tuesday, January 22nd, at VentureNorth.
Steering Committee Chair, Catia Skinner, says this year’s competition is driven to support winners with the financial resources and momentum that they need to boost their business and succeed.
“We hope this competition shows that Peterborough and the Kawarthas is a great place to start and grow a business, encouraging those who might be thinking about building a business to use the available resources,” says Skinner.
Applications can be completed on the Bears’ Lair website at bearslairptbo.ca and are due by Tuesday, February 26th, 2019.
The Innovation Cluster created a tremendous impact for the economy through the success of local technology startups in 2018.
Throughout the course of 2018, the Innovation Cluster generated $15,431,351.37 for the local economy, 15 times the set Provincial goal. While having supported 86 startups in total throughout the year, the Innovation Cluster in turn helped to create 171 jobs for the local economy.
Innovation Cluster is housed in VentureNorth building in downtown Peterborough
Having established over 30 innovation partnerships, the Innovation Cluster has been able to create endless opportunities and connections for startups growing in the region. Of the 86 startups that have been supported in 2018, 46 of those were youth (18 to 29).
“Having close relationships with Fleming College and Trent University has been essential to attracting young, local innovators and keeping them in this region,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “A lot of startup successes and community events has been made possible through these connections.”
Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster, in meeting at the Cluster
Along with Fleming and Trent, the Innovation Cluster has established partnerships that connect startups with easy access to legal advice, marketing, intellectual property, funding and more. Innovation Partners offer one-on-one mentorship as well as free workshops to the Innovation Cluster clients and the Peterborough community.
One of these Innovations Partners is RBC, which sponsors the Innovation Cluster’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Zone inside its incubator. Through this space, the Innovation Cluster has been able to assist its digital technology startups, which now comprise more than 50 percent of the clients it currently supports.
Some of the rapidly growing digital clients include video game companies Bloom Digital and Canuck Play, and mobile app developers Kavtek and Ribitt. (Ribitt recently announced it had raised $600,000 in seed financing.)
“The Cluster is very helpful because people want to know if your company belongs to an incubator or accelerator,” says Ribat Chowdhury, co-founder of Ribitt. “Your chances of succeeding is higher when you have a collaborative environment and are in a tech ecosystem—and that’s what the Innovation Cluster provides us with.”
Along with its digital clients, the reserve of clean technology clients also continues to rise. With the help of the Trent Makerspace at Trent University, clients are able to access lab space and research and development equipment.
With digital and cleantech innovations rapidly growing, in 2019 the Innovation Cluster will be looking to grow its healthcare sector to address innovations towards accessibility and aging in Peterborough.
“The startups that have stayed and grown their companies in Peterborough and the Kawarthas and sought help through the Innovation Cluster is what truly sets this area apart from any other city in Ontario,” adds Skinner.
“The impact made this year has been the greatest to date for startup growth, jobs created and the economic impact it’s resulted in. We plan to keep those numbers on the rise.”
On a mission to eliminate wasteful paper-based time tracking processes, Apsley-based MotherClock is offering free paperless time tracking services to any business in Canada.
“You simply mount a tablet to the wall, download our app, and your employees use it to sign in and out of work,” says Co-Founder Jeff Sayers. “It’s a hassle-free way to track employee work time.”
The clever service, which is already being used by early adopter businesses in Apsley, Peterborough, Toronto and Ottawa, can be used as a time clock to live-capture the time as employees start and leave work, or as a time sheet allowing employees to enter their start and end times then submit for manager approval.
“Our software automatically calculates the work hours including holidays and overtime,” adds Sayers. “It’s a real time saver and great alternative to traditional processes.”
According to MotherClock, hundreds of thousands of businesses in Canada still track employee work time using paper-based methods which generates tonnes of paper waste.
MotherClock is seeking to completely displace paper-based time tracking in Canada by the end of 2019.
“It’s an ambitious goal but we’ve modernized a severely outdated and inefficient practice and by offering the service for free I think we’ll have a lot of uptake,” says Sayers.
The MotherClock app is available for download in the Google Play Store. Learn more about it in this video below…
The Top 10 Win This Space finalists have been selected for a chance to win a free downtown storefront for a year.
Judges and sponsors met Tuesday, November 27th at Providence at 131 Hunter Street West to go through all the application videos submitted. Contestants were asked to submit a 1 to 3 minute video pitch (watch them below) which the judges would use to help select the finalists.
Guests at Providence where the Top 10 finalists were announced
The 10 finalists will go through a series of workshops on building business plans, creating marketing plans and financial forecasting.
WHAT THE WINNER GETS
-> The winner will be announced March 5th at The Venue and will then choose which downtown space they would like to open in.
-> The prize package includes not only a free lease to a downtown storefront for a year, but also thousands of dollars in donated prizes including office and computer supplies, marketing and financial services, and advertising and promotion.
-> This year’s grand prize is valued at more than $40,000.
Mr. Downtown Terry Guiel speaking at Providence at Win This Space event
The Win This Space competition is a Peterborough DBIA initiative in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough and Shorelines Casino Peterborough.
“Every year there are so many interesting submissions for some really innovative businesses,” says Terry Guiel, Executive Director of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area. “It’s encouraging to see so much excitement from the next generation of entrepreneurs to open a business here in downtown Peterborough.”
Make sure to shop downtown with your Holiday Shopping Passport over the holiday season for your chance to win up to $3,000 in downtown money.
There are more than 140 places to collect stamps this holiday season in downtown. The passports feature three early bird prizes of $500 in downtown money to be drawn December 5th, 12th and 19th with the grand prize of $1,500 in downtown money to be drawn January 9th.
The Holiday Shopping Passports program rewards people for supporting local businesses by shopping, dining and enjoying downtown. Last year’s program saw shoppers stamp a whopping $1.9 million worth of Holiday Shopping Passports.
Left to right: Joel Wiebe, Terry Guiel, Theresa Foley, Jonathan Moreno, James Wallwork and Lena Wallwork
HOW THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING PASSPORT PROGRAM WORKS
-> Every time you spend $10 at a participating business, a box on your passport will be stamped.
-> When your passport is filled (20 stamps), complete the form and drop it off at a ballot box at one of the participating businesses.
-> Each completed passport is a ballot for a draw to win downtown money. There are more than 100 participating businesses downtown.
-> Bring your Holiday Shopping Passport downtown on November 23rd for Black Friday as more than 100 downtown businesses put on some of the biggest sales of the year. FREE PARKING DOWNTOWN
Also, the DBIA’s annual promotion of two hours free street parking starts on Black Friday and runs until the end of December thanks to the City of Peterborough Parking Division.
Check out downtownptbo.ca for the full list of participating passport locations.