New program supports entrepreneurs looking to buy or sell a local business

The County of Simcoe recently joined area economic development partners to announce the continuation of a funding stream for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activities within the county.

The county has provided funding, up to $100,000, for each of the past two years to the In-Market Special Project Fund and confirmed the same amount will be made available for 2019. The fund is intended to introduce new and innovative approaches to supporting entrepreneurs in Simcoe County.

A significant portion of the 2018 and 2019 funding will support the Business Transition Matching Program. The program takes a proactive and innovative approach to helping local entrepreneurs market their business for sale, connect with potential investors in a confidential manner and gain the necessary knowledge to make a successful transition.

The matching project is receiving support from the County of Simcoe, as well as many community partners like the Barrie Small Business Centre, City of Orillia RTO 7 and the Chippewas of RAMA First Nation. The project is being delivered through the Orillia CDC Area and Nottawasaga Futures in South Simcoe. The project was awarded $50,280 in 2018, with a pre-commitment of a further $50,280 in 2019 from the county fund. The project’s importance is reinforced, as national data shows that 40 per cent of our entrepreneurs are looking to transition out of their business in the next five years.

“The county is pleased to continue to invest in our entrepreneurs, businesses and our economy,” said Deputy Warden Terry Dowdall. “We’re particularly proud to support the Transition Matching project and demonstrate our leadership in this critical investment area as we provide additional support to help keep small to medium-sized businesses running, employing and contributing to our local economy.”

Visit orilliacdc.com/business-transition-matching or nottawasaga.com for more information about the Business Transition Matching Program.

Additional 2018 In-Market Special Project Fund recipients include the Centre for Business and Economic Development and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, Sandbox – Centre for Shared Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Lakehead University – Orillia Campus.

The special project fund is available to organizations to create partnerships and enhance service offerings in Simcoe County for area entrepreneurs.  All activities supported must be non-profit in nature. The submission deadline for 2019 is January 25. To qualify, at least one small business enterprise centre and one community futures development corporation must be partners in the project in the affected service area where the project will take place. Applications are evaluated by the county economic development office with approvals from the county economic development sub-committee and committee of the whole. Visit edo.simcoe.ca to apply.

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