Starter Company Plus offering grants and mentorship

Image by StartupStockPhotos from Pixabay

City of St. Catharines press release – For entrepreneurs, starting up a new business is a dream come true. But, knowing where to start can be overwhelming and finding start-up money challenging.

That’s where the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre can help. Through the Provincially funded Starter Company Plus program, the team at the City of St. Catharines small business office offers business training, mentorship and a grant up to $5,000 to help eligible entrepreneurs successfully launch their own businesses.

Rob Belchior, small business consultant at the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre, said hundreds of aspiring local startups have participated in Starter Company Plus since the City began administering the program 2013.

Eighty-four startups have received grants and more 70 of those businesses are still operating including Frontier Barbershop, Smith’s Fine Foods, Pure Non-Scents, Flourish Counselling & Creativity, and Fiesta Empanada.

“Starter Company Plus participants will benefit from our business training seminars and learning from local business leaders who have been through ups and downs of growing a new business,” said Belchior, adding after participants complete the program they become eligible to pitch their businesses for a limited number of grants.

Designed to support entrepreneurs at the start-up phase or within their first year of operation, Starter Company Plus is part of the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and is available to those over the age of 18. Anyone interested in participating can apply at www.investinstc.ca/StarterCompanyPlus.

Eligible applicants will be invited to participate in business training and will be coached on the development of a business plan. The program will also help de-mystify the marketing and sales process, explain financial forecasting, teach how to set attainable goals and more.

Belchior encourages entrepreneurs interested in participating in Starter Company Plus or learning more about the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre and Starter Company Plus to register for an upcoming information session on Sept. 29, 2020.

Entrepreneurs can visit www.investinstc.ca/StarterCompanyPlus, email enterprisecentre@stcatharines.ca or call 905.688.5601 ext. 1767 for more information.