Local Dancing Stars Shine Bright On Small Business Stage
October is “Small Business Month” in Canada. It’s a time to recognize and acknowledge the contributions small business owners make to communities across the country.
“Small Business Month underscores the importance of ensuring that we continue to support our entrepreneurs and evolve a continued culture of entrepreneurship in the Windsor Essex region,” states Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, Small Business Centre, a department of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (ChooseWindsorEssex.com). As part of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, the Small Business Centre uses this opportunity to let local businesses know how much we value their contribution to our local economy, and to provide them with opportunities to achieve success.”
DeMarco notes that according to Statistics Canada, there are over 20,000 businesses operating in Windsor Essex, and the vast majority are micro and small businesses, with 85 percent having fewer than 10 employees.
“Small business is truly at the heart of the economy in the region,” says DeMarco. “Each and every day, these hard-working entrepreneurs and business owners make enormous contributions to our local economy by creating jobs and generating economic growth that keep our communities prosperous.”
Last year, the Small Business Centre received nearly 7,000 inquiries, conducted nearly 1,400 consultations with new and existing small business and hosted over 100 small business development workshops, which attracted over 5,000 participants, according to DeMarco. All of these activities resulted in the creation of 140 small business start-ups, 40 business expansions and nearly 450 new full-time jobs in the region.
“Small business and entrepreneurship is the backbone of our community,” believes DeMarco.
For small business owners, DeMarco says it’s imperative to do your research and learn as much as you can about the industry you are in and to stay on top of best practices and current market trends.
“And it is really important for any business owner to understand and communicate what their value proposition is and to clearly and effectively market their brand message,” states DeMarco. “While many business owners are successful at this, far too many overlook the importance of strategically marketing their goods and services. This is an important aspect of running a business that cannot be overlooked, no matter the size of the operation and where the business is located.”
There are plenty of resources out there to help, she adds, including resources available through the Small Business Centre, which can provide you with foundational support — access to training, mentoring and business advisory support — along the way.
As part of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and in partnership with the Province of Ontario, the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre is presenting the “Small Biz Expo” to showcase the diversity of small businesses from across the region. Approximately 55 small businesses located in the Windsor Essex region will showcase their goods and services at the Giovanni Caboto Club from, 5 to 9 p.m., on Thursday, October 20, 2016. (WindsorEssexSmallBusiness.com/expo)
“The Small Biz Expo is a market showcase of Windsor Essex products and services,” states DeMarco. This is the second annual expo and signature event for the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre. Last year’s inaugural expo was an overwhelming success and attracted 40 small business vendors and over 450 attendees. “We were blown away by the enthusiasm of all the participating businesses, corporate partners and the response of the community who came out to support small business, network, shop and enjoy the best of our thriving local small business scene,” she comments.
Running a small business is a delicate dance that takes dedication, determination, and industry insight. And speaking of dance, as the expressive art form has become increasingly popular in recent years, local businesses are reflecting this trend.
With mega-hit show “Dancing With The Stars” now in its 23rd season, Biz X decided to spotlight a few of our very own local dancing stars to celebrate “Small Business Month.” Read on to learn about just some of the local businesses (and non-profits) that have managed to dance their way into our hearts!
Local Dancing Stars #1: Nancy Pattison’s Dance World Inc.
Sixty-three years ago in a church basement with 12 little girls, Nancy Pattison began her then humble business, Nancy Pattison’s Dance World Inc. Now, the business has flourished and has four locations with 46 employees across Windsor Essex. At one time, there were 14 locations and more than 1,200 students.
Disciplines taught at Nancy Pattison’s Dance World Inc. (NancyPattison.com) are: tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and pointe. The company also offers classes for children with special needs and is home to the Essex County Dancers Competition Team, which has been around for 35 years, and the Encore Performing Arts Company, which has existed for 20 years.
“We provide quality dance instruction and many other disciplines that will last a lifetime for these dancers,” states Cindy Pattison-Rivard, Vice President of Nancy Pattison Dance World Inc.
And in 2007 Nancy was the Biz X Award Winner for “Come Dancing Only With This Instructor.”