County looking for more support for Small Business Enterprise Centre

Huron County’s Director of Economic Development says they’re looking for an increase in provincial funding for their Small Business Enterprise Centre.

Vicki Lass says the center is funded partially by the county and partially by the province, and over the last few years there has not been an increase in funding from the province. So Small Business Enterprise Centers Ontario is petitioning the province for more funding for all of the centers in Ontario.

“We’re seeing a real rise in that kind of small business on the side. We’re seeing a real rise in people opening their own operations, especially in the Great Resignation, as they refer to it, during COVID a lot of people left their traditional jobs and started to open businesses,” Lass shared.

Lass says that’s translated to a real increase in demand for their Small Business Enterprise Center and their coaches. She says their Starter Company Plus program used to attract five or six registrations, and now they’re seeing as many as twenty people registering for that program, so the demand has really increased. And she says that’s particularly true in Huron County, where there are so many entrepreneurs.

“So not just the start-ups like Starter Company but also the growth opportunities and also the number of our businesses that have been in business for thirty-five years or longer and we want to help them with that transitioning to retirement and not just closing down that business, creating a gap,” added Lass.

Moving forward, Lass notes they’d like to help those business people have the opportunity to sell their business, or mentor a younger person and move on in a more profitable way. So, she says they like to coach along the business life cycle.

Lass adds that many of those people still have a lot to offer and while they might want to slow down a bit, many of them aren’t ready to come to a complete stop.