What is SBEC anyway?
Acronyms, am I right? We all use them when we are on the inside like it's no big deal - but when you are unfamiliar with an industry or organization, and they come up, it is easy to become overwhelmed or tune things out and miss out on valuable support.
So let's bring you into the conversation about who we are and what we do at your local Small Business Enterprise Centre or SBEC. Our team of Small Business Advisors serves the small business curious of St. Thomas and Elgin County throughout all phases of business, from discovery and planning to launch and growth.
Operating as part of the St. Thomas Economic Development Corporation, our services are available at no cost through the added support of Elgin County and the Province of Ontario. Our organization is part of a Province-wide network of small business centres allowing us to connect you with more resources and learning opportunities to grow your business.
In addition to one-on-one or group consultations, our team offers business plan guidance, training sessions and seminars, access to local connections, grant programs for young entrepreneurs and those starting out, and community events to support building strong network connections.
The Horton Farmers' Market operation is also a part of how we support the local community of small business owners. While the market is essential to our greater community for many reasons, to our small business owners, the market can act as a great launching point. Several local small businesses have taken off from there and now have storefronts. The Horton Farmers' Market is a producer-based Farmers' Market that draws vendors from a maximum distance of 60km from its location at 10 Manitoba St.
Another unique way we support the community is through GROW, an accelerator program offering no-cost space to small businesses considering expansion into a physical location. The Caboose at Jumbo is an option to be a three-month stepping stone between home-based and storefront. Or the opportunity to give it a try at a low-risk point.
If you are in business or looking to get in business and located in St. Thomas or Elgin County, contact our team of passionate small business advisors. They are always excited to meet new folks, celebrate your wins and assist with navigating the inevitable tough spots. Reach out before you need a listening ear or practical advice. Connect with us on social media and stay tuned for exciting announcements, celebrations of local businesses, and the incredible events ahead.
This article was originally featured in Hometown St. Thomas - March 2023 - enjoy the full edition here