Having created and awarded its Small Business Week Innovation Awards for what in 2018 will mark their 20th year, the Kawartha Lakes CFDC (KLCFDC) has developed new commemorative awards, a special partnership, and a unique opportunity to help the 2018 Grand Prize Award recipient potentially kick-start their new idea.
“We felt that we should do some special things to help celebrate 20 years of recognizing our community’s newest and most innovative products and services”, said Paul Reeds, Chair of the KLCFDC. “This includes newly-styled, 20th Anniversary Innovation Awards and the first of what we see as many possible collaborations with our sister organization the Kawartha Lakes Business and Community Development Corporation, (KLBCDC). The KLBCDC is offering access to up to $20,000 in interest-free financing to support the growth and development of our Grand Prize Award Winner’s new product or service.”
Innovation Award applications are now accessible on-line at www.smallbizweek.net and printed entry forms will soon be available at local Chambers of Commerce, the Small Business Entrepreneurship Centre, the KLCFDC’s Kent Place Mall office and other locations throughout the area.
“We’ve been fortunate over the past number of years to have great support of the Innovation Awards from a number of community partners”, Mr. Reeds stated. “These include the Business Development Bank, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Fleming College and BDO Lindsay. In discussions with the BCDC Board of Directors and its Chair, John Bennett, the opportunity to partner together to help promote and support the newest and most innovative efforts emerging from our business community was felt to be a great idea. It is through the BCDC that we are able to provide the $20,000 of interest-free financial support.”
“The Innovation Awards are for the most part the KLCFDC’s activity”, added Mr. Bennett. “Our involvement brings the capacity to offer the interest-free element that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. It helps illustrate some of the unique financing possibilities that the KLBCDC can offer. We have participated in partnerships before to create business investment opportunities, so why not work together to support some of our newest enterprises with this special kind of financial assistance?”
Andrew Wallen, General Manager of both corporations advised that up to $250,000 is available through more traditional small business lending programs and that the interest-free opportunity can make up a portion of a larger loan. He added that certain terms and conditions do apply in each case.
In addition, Wallen also announced that the total amount of this year’s cash awards, also part of the Innovation Awards Program, will be increased in honour of the 20th Anniversary. “We’re also planning an information session and presentation, an Awards Luncheon and special guest speakers. More of these details will be announced over the next week or so. Our goal is to celebrate the growth and development of the innovative thinking that is always happening within our local business community and to recognize it along with the 20th Anniversary of the Small Business Innovation Awards.”