After two months of promotions, three open-houses and 22 applications, the selection committee has chosen the winner of the Downtown Simcoe Win This Space competition.
The winning business proposal was presented by Jess Bommarito with her company Groundswell Coworking, a co-working space to serve local small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“I’m thrilled my vision to serve the emerging number of people working remotely in Norfolk was selected,” said Ms. Bommarito when she was advised she was the winner. “Groundswell will revolutionize how local entrepreneurs, freelancers, virtual assistants, or all-around creatives who spend the majority of their time working all alone on their laptops, can work, network and generate new ideas.”
Win This Space is an innovative business recruitment initiative, designed to encourage entrepreneurial activity in Downtown Simcoe in Norfolk County. The competition offers an opportunity for new and aspiring entrepreneurs to put their business ideas into action. Submit your business idea and you are entered into the WIN THIS SPACE competition which entitles the winner to receive free rent for one year at 56 Norfolk St. S. in downtown Simcoe. The application deadline was September 10, 2018. The contest was open to Ontario resident entrepreneurs with new business ideas looking for commercial space in Downtown Simcoe. The winner had to agree to locate to the allocated space.
For more information, contact Kayla DeLeye, Senior Planner, at 519-426-5870 ext. 1828 or email [email protected].
Free Rent for One Year (including HST) of ground floor at 56 Norfolk Street South, Simcoe, Norfolk County, Ontario.
Applications were reviewed against the following criteria:
- Creativity and uniqueness
- Relevance to downtown
- Market need in downtown
- Business plan (Venture Norfolk can help you create one.)
This contest was open to any resident of Ontario and excluded businesses who already have a downtown storefront location within Norfolk County.
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Must be a resident of Ontario
- Must not be a franchise business
- Business relocation not permitted within Norfolk
- Must commit to a minimum 1 year lease
- Business must be open to the public a minimum of 35 hours per week
- Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships or incorporations permitted.
- Applications must be received by 4:30PM on Monday September 10, 2018 (Eastern Daylight Savings Time)
- The Winner will be announced on or before Monday October 1st, 2018.
- Business plan proposals will be considered an asset but not a requirement.
- The leased space is approximately 1100 square feet in size
- The winner is responsible for all liabilities and service contracts
- Uses are restricted to permitted uses outlined in the Central Business District (CBD) Zone outlined in the Zoning By-law.
- Selection of the winner will be at the sole discretion of the selection committee and the decision will be final.
- By participating in the competition, each applicant agrees to the Official Regulations and the decisions of the Judging committee.
- In the event an adjudged winner is unable to fulfill the requirements of the lease, an alternate will be selected at the sole discretion of the judging committee
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is the program open to only Norfolk County residents?
A: No, the contest is open to all residents of Ontario.
Q: Am I required to sign a lease agreement?
A: Yes, you will be required to sign a one-year lease agreement. Whereas the rent is free for a year, you still have other obligations outlined in the lease.
Q: I have my business in another location but think this location would be better for me, am I eligible to apply?
A: Priority will be given to new businesses and start ups.
Q: Do we have to register a business to be eligible?
A: No, Sole Proprietorship or Partnership is eligible.
Q: What happens if halfway through the year my business folds?
A: The property will be re-leased to another applicant (obligations under the lease agreement might be applicable)
Q: What happens after the lease expires in one year?
A: There is a possibility to enter into a lease agreement with the landlord of the building if you wish to continue your business.
Q: Are there businesses that are ineligible for the program?
A: Yes, a business is ineligible for the program if the Norfolk County Zoning By-Law prohibits the use. See information about CBD Central Business District Zoning.
Q: Do I pay for utilities?
A: No. These are included in the free rent for a year. (Internet, phone, cable are the winners responsibility)
Q: Do I have to provide signage for my business?
A: Appropriate signage will be the sole responsibility of the winner.
Q: Do I need to provide my own insurance?