In an effort to support small business in the Windsor Essex region, the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Centre (SBC) has begun a new membership program, “Business Advantage.” The program hopes to increase engagement with existing clients, attract new small business clients and create an environment wherein local businesses support each other. The SBC offers three levels of membership exclusively to its clients that includes access to existing programs, training and services, and a number of perks from local businesses offering support to small businesses. The Business Advantage program targets businesses within the three stages of operation — clients just THINKING of starting a business (free to all current SBC and new clients), STARTING a business ($75 a year), or GROWING their existing business ($100 a year). Register at: WindsorEssexSmallBusiness.com/business-advantage-program. As well, businesses located in the Windsor Essex region can join the Business Advantage program as a partner organization. To be eligible, successful applicants must agree to provide a promotional rate, package or discount on selected goods and services to SBC clients, for a minimum commitment of one year. Fill out the form found here to participate: WindsorEssexSmallBusiness.com/business-advantage-partners.
In late September, in partnership with Caesars Windsor, the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County (ASWE) launched the Memory Café, at the Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor. The café is a FREE gathering place for people living with dementia, their care partners, families, and friends, to relax and enjoy refreshments. The Café provides opportunities for socialization, learning and entertainment all in an informal and inclusive coffee shop environment. ASWE staff are on hand the last Wednesday of every month (during October and November from 1 to 3 p.m.) to meet attendees, answer questions, and connect people and resources. Various community organizations such as Windsor Fire and Rescue Services have pledged their support by signing up to act as guest servers. “The men and women of Windsor Fire and Rescue Services understand it is difficult caring for someone with dementia and watching the disease take its toll,” says Fire Chief Bruce Montone. “We are proud to support the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County and those who suffer from this dreadful disease by participating in this fabulous opportunity to share.” To read more about the society refer to: Alzheimer.ca/en/windsoressex.
With the re-opening of Walkerville Brewery in 2012, the craft beer scene has been booming in Windsor Essex. Since then, another five breweries have been added to the region’s offerings, with two to three more scheduled to open later in 2016. To add to the excitement, Wolfhead Distillery opened this summer, following the fine tradition of Canadian Club and JP Wiser’s spirits. To promote the burgeoning movement, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) has partnered with all eight locations to develop a “Barrels Bottles & Brews Trail.” A new app was recently launched to complement the existing printed passport, giving visitors a convenient way to explore the Trail. “The explosion in our local scene is a result of the enterprising spirit in the area combined with a potently viable and sustainable demographic who enjoys ‘tapping into’ the beer and whisky market,” says Gordon Orr, CEO of TWEPI. “This fulfills another valuable and enriching asset in our culinary product portfolio, which cross-pollinates so well with other foodie-driven offerings.” The Barrels Bottles & Brews Trail invites visitors to check-in at six or more locations where they can experience the history of Canadian whisky, prohibition, and enjoy a flight of craft beer or small batch-ultra premium spirits. The eight participating businesses are: Canadian Club Brand Centre; Walkerville Brewery; Brew Windsor; Craft Heads Brewing Co.; Motor Nano Brewery (Motor Burger); Wolfhead Distillery; Banded Goose Brewing Co. (Jack’s Gastro Pub) and Frank Brewing Co. The new app offers visitors a seamless way to keep track of their check-ins and an easily accessible map. As a bonus, participants can receive an exclusive offer when they check in at each location. Once their passport is completed, they can redeem it for an official Barrels Bottles & Brews t-shirt. The app was created by local developer EatDrinx Inc. and is available for iOS and Android operating systems by searching for “Barrels Bottles & Brews” in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Interested in learning more on the breweries? Check out: VisitWindsorEssex.com/breweries-distilleries.