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Win This Space

(March 19, 2019) Congratulations to Elysia French and Graham Thompson of The Nook, our Grand Prize Winners of the Win This Space Contest! We look forward to you being a part of our downtown community.
  • March 19, 2019

    Win This Space winner smaller

    The St. Catharines Downtown Association’s Win This Space panel of judges have chosen the winner of the Grand Prize of a package valued at $38,000!  On Tuesday, March 19, at the Finale Event held at OLiV Tasting Room & Artisan Kitchen, a group of guests welcomed a new entrepreneur to the Downtown core.

    Elysia French and Graham Thompson convinced the judges that The Nook, an independent, community-minded, new book store is greatly needed in Downtown St. Catharines.  The Nook will ultimately provide a highly curated selection of new books catering to the needs, values, and interests of their neighbours and patrons.  The Nook will act as a community hub supporting local culture by offering a unique space to host events for local authors, poets, artists, readers and publishers.  Their programming will feature outreach projects for children and adults alike, including book clubs, reading groups, loyalty incentives, workshops and subscription services.

    With the resurgent popularity of independent bookstores since 2009, and the obvious revitalization of Downtown St. Catharines, Elysia and Graham argued successfully that “local market conditions are rife with opportunity for The Nook to thrive”.

    Tisha Polocko, Executive Director of the Downtown Association commented, “I am so excited that we were able to run a highly successful Win This Space program and am very impressed by the caliber of candidates who participated.  We will definitely look at opportunities to run this, or something similar, in the future.”

    Elysia and Graham will now choose from 11 participating locations available in the Downtown core identified by the large Win This Space signs in their windows.

    Visit our Facebook page for photos from the Finale Event.  Watch event coverage on Cogeco YourTV’s - The Source.

    Inquiries regarding the contest should be directed to: Tracy Jennings, Win This Space Coordinator at winthisspace@mydowntown.ca or call 905-685-8424.

    March 19, 2019

    WTS Judges

     

    We wish to extend our thanks to the Win This Space judges for volunteering their time and expertise in evaluating the business plans and the Finalists’ presentations.

    Julia Critelli, Operations Manager, Critelli Fine Furniture

    Janice Arnoldi, Janice and Robin Digital Communications

    Chris Blanshard, Business Analyst, Innovate Niagara

    Bryan Saelens, Business Developer, Entrepreneur

    Sarah Jarvis, Downtown Entrepreneur, Craft Arts Market

    Joe Critelli, President, Critelli Fine Furniture

    Absent from photo:  Hugo Chesshire, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

     

    February 28, 2019

    The St. Catharines Downtown Association announces the Top Finalists who will be giving their presentations to our Win This Space judging panel on March 7, 2019.

    Elysia French and Graham Thompson              The Nook

    Nick Nemeth                                                       Crown Cocktail Co.

    Sarah Yurkiw                                                       Ruby Red Beautiful

    Having completed all four required business seminars provided by Innovate Niagara and the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre, and receiving coaching from Neil Thornton of the Thornton Group on presentation strategies, our Top Finalists will now face the judges to convince them that their business idea is the best choice for the Downtown commercial core.  They will have 15 minutes in front of the panel to highlight their personalities and aspects of their business idea, followed by a 15 minute question and answer session where they will have to prove their ability to be the new entrepreneur on the block.

    The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the Win This Space Finale Event on March 19, 2019.

    Currently, there are 11 participating locations available for the Grand Prize winner to choose from in the Downtown core of St. Catharines identified by the large Win This Space signage in their windows.  Location details are available on the Spaces tab of the Win This Space page on our contest website.

     

    February 19, 2019

    We have 5 Win This Space finalists who submitted business plans competing for the Grand Prize valued at $38,000

    They are:

    • Nick Nemeth – Crown Cocktail Co.
    • Bronwyn Pinder – Dough Rebel
    • Elysia French & Graham Thompson – The Nook
    • Sarah Yurkiw – Ruby Red Beautiful
    • Michelle Kolich – Michelle Ashley’s Bakery

    These five contestants will be attending a business plan presentation coaching seminar given by Neil Thornton of The Thornton Group and Rob Belchoir of the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre on February 19, 2019.

    Finalists will give their presentations to the judges on Thursday, March 7, 2019.

     

    February 11, 2019

    WIN THIS SPACE FINALISTS SUBMIT THEIR COMPLETED BUSINESS PLANS

    On Monday February 11, 2019, five contestants submitted their completed business plans to the St. Catharines Downtown Association outlining the details of their proposed downtown business ideas. The Win This Space judges will now evaluate these Plans and submit their scoring by Monday February 25. Finalists will now attend a coaching seminar given by Neil Thornton of The Thornton Group to learn specialized techniques on presenting their business idea to the judges. They will give their presentations to our judges on Thursday March 7.

    Media Release (January 17, 2019)

    WIN THIS SPACE CONTEST – Finalists Revealed

    The St. Catharines Downtown Association proudly introduces our Win This Space finalists.

    Kasia Dupuis, Spark Art Studio

    Elysia French and Graham Thompson, The Nook

    Michelle Kolich, Michelle Ashley’s Bakery

    Lisa McKenzie, Common Thread

    Nick Nemeth, Crown Cocktail Co.

    Bronwyn Pinder, dough.

    Rene Van Ede, Rustic Touch Lighting

    Jackie Vogin, Hilary Ingram, Meghan Vidakovic, Nulla

    Sarah Yurkiw, Ruby Red Beautiful

    These finalists will compete for a chance to win a Grand Prize package valued at $38,000 to assist them in opening their new business in Downtown St Catharines.   To date, they have completed all four required business seminars presented by business experts from Innovate Niagara and the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre.

    Finalists will now be working to complete their business plans for final submission on February 11, 2019 with coaching and guidance from staff at the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre.  Completed business plans will be evaluated by a panel of 8 judges. 

    Next, the finalists will learn how to pitch their idea with expert assistance from Neil Thornton of The Thornton Group.  Top finalists will make their live pitch to the panel in March 2019.

    Currently, there are 9 participating locations available for finalists to chose from in the downtown core identified by the large Win This Space signage in their windows.  Location details are available on the Spaces tab of the Win This Space page on our contest website.

    Finalists

    wts-finalists.jpg

    Media Release (December 13, 2018)

    WIN THIS SPACE CONTEST - 10 FINALISTS SELECTED

    The St. Catharines Downtown Association proudly announces the selection of ten finalists for their Win This Space contest. These finalists will compete for a chance to win a Grand Prize package of $38,000 to assist them in opening their new business in Downtown St. Catharines.

    Tisha Polocko, Executive Director of the St. Catharines Downtown Association has been working to bring the Win This Space idea to Downtown St. Catharines for a few years. "There have only been positive results and spin-offs from this contest in all other communities that have initiated Win This Space. We are very excited to be moving into the next phase of the contest and received some great business ideas that will be developed by these finalists."

    The Win This Space entrepreneurial competition will see each finalist create a comprehensive business plan over four weeks starting in January 2019, with educational assistance and mentoring from the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre and Innovate Niagara. Their business plans will be evaluated by a panel of eight judges. All finalists will learn how to pitch their idea with expert assistance from Neil Thornton of The Thornton Group. Top Finalists will make their live pitch to the panel in March 2019.

    Follow this space for contest updates.

    Inquiries regarding the contest should be directed to Tracy Jennings, Win This Space Coordinator at winthisspace@mydowntown.ca or call 905-685-8424.

     

     

  • The Contest at a Glance

    Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur

    Have you always thought about starting your own business?  Are you already a business owner who has another great idea for a new business downtown?  Do you have a unique business idea and you just need a push to get going?  This may be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for.  The St. Catharines Downtown Association wants to inspire your entrepreneurial spirit and is providing an opportunity that is designed to:

    • Help open the door to your new business
    • Provide you with business support and education
    • Offer a prize of financial and in-kind support

    The Prize
    The Grand Prize is one-year rent sponsorship up to $24,000 (not including utilities or leasehold improvements) – plus $14,000 in additional prizes from various community businesses including valuable in-kind professional business services to help you succeed in your business venture.

    What’s Your Business Idea?
    To get started, you just need a great idea for a business in downtown St. Catharines.  Your idea should be based on some research that supports its relevance and ability to contribute to a vibrant downtown St. Catharines. 

    Send Us Your Business Idea Between Oct 10th & Nov 22nd!
    Use our contest Entry Form and include:

    1. Your name and address
    2. Your phone number and e-mail
    3. No more than 500 words on your business idea – and how you would contribute to a vibrant Downtown.  Also tell us a bit about you and any business experience you might have.

    An optional 1 to 3-minute video can also be included to assist you in getting an idea across but will not be part of the scoring process.  Only the written submission will be scored according to predetermined criteria.  See Rules and Regulations -  Appendix B – Preliminary Submission Scorecard.

    Selected Candidates & Finalists
    Our Panel of Judges will select up to 15 (fifteen) of the top business ideas as Finalists.  If the Panel chooses you, you will be asked to develop your business idea by attending four (4) business education workshops and, ultimately, submit:

    • A business plan
    • A financial plan
    • A marketing plan

    The Panel of Judges will score these plans according to a predetermined set of criteria.  Following the scoring, up to 7 (seven) Top Finalists will be chosen to deliver a pitch to the Panel of Judges where questions will be posed to the contestants about their proposed businesses. 

    The St. Catharines Enterprise Centre will be delivering FREE business development workshops and mentoring to assist you with building a solid and viable business idea and developing comprehensive business, financial and marketing plans accordingly. Finalists are required to complete 4 workshops in order to compete in the contest.   See our FAQ’s and Rules & Regulations for more info.

    Will YOU Win This Space in Downtown St. Catharines?

    Top finalists will attend the Grand Finale event where they will be introduced to the audience and invited to share their business idea in a 3 to 4-minute pitch.  The winner of the contest will be announced at the Finale event.   See Rules & Regulations – Appendix A – Important Dates, Timeline & Locations

    PROPERTY OWNERS – Showcase Your Available Properties

    Are you a landlord with an available “for lease”, street level space in downtown St. Catharines?  Your space can become part of the Win This Space competition.  Contact Tracy Jennings, Win This Space Coordinator directly at 905-685-8424 or email winthisspace@mydowntown.ca

    By participating in the Win This Space competition, your ‘available for lease’ property gets additional exposure, with:

    • Eye-catching, full-colour posters for Win This Space in your storefront window
    • Promotion by the St. Catharines Downtown Association through its website, promotional materials & potential media coverage

    Win This Space will bring more interest to your available space.  You are free to continue to show your property to potential tenants.  If you happen to lease your space during the competition, that is great!  Just let us know so we can keep our list of available properties up-to-date.


    Acknowledgments:
    We offer the warmest thanks and deepest appreciation for sharing their Win This Space contest resources, information and experiences with us.

    • Municipality of Huron East Economic Development
    • Downtown Peterborough BIA
    • Downtown Sudbury BIA
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Win This Space

    Who is eligible to participate in Win This Space?
    The competition is open to all legal residents of Canada, 19 years of age or older at the time of submitting a business idea for the competition. The applicant must be living in the Province of Ontario. You must be looking to open a business in Downtown St. Catharines.

    What is the St. Catharines Downtown Association and what is its mandate?
    Check out www.mydowntown.ca/about-us

    What kinds of businesses are eligible for the Win This Space competition?

    • Independently owned (sole proprietorship) or partnerships or small business corporations
    • Home-based businesses looking to make the move to a storefront
    • Businesses that conform to zoning/by-laws for downtown as required by the City of St. Catharines

    Types of business ideas that will not be given consideration:

    • The purchasing or taking over of an existing business
    • Multi-level marketing business ideas
    • Franchises
    • Full service restaurants

    Contest Information Sessions

    Wednesday October 17 at 10:00am

    or

    Tuesday October 23 at 6:00pm

    Mahtay Cafe & Lounge, 241 St. Paul Street, Downtown St. Catharines

    What type of time commitment will be involved to participate in the contest?
    You will be required to commit a significant amount of time to participate in the contest. There will be 4 mandatory business workshops that will take two evenings to complete (6 hours total). You will have to do market research and a lot of thinking about the details of your business. You will have to create a detailed business plan, marketing plan and financial plan. You will also have to create a presentation for the judges if you are chosen to proceed to the final phase. There is another 3-hour seminar that will not be mandatory but would be advisable to attend. It will focus on structuring a business plan presentation and how to present the plan, and yourself, to the judges for the most effective result. You will also be invited to tour some available properties (2 hours). You may also need to attend the Finale event and give a short presentation. (2-hour event)

    If I already own a business, can I still enter Win This Space?
    Absolutely!!  If you have solid multi-tasking skills, then submit your idea.  If you are a current business owner, the business idea must be either 1) be unrelated to your existing business, or 2) introduce a new element not promoted at your existing business, or 3) expand upon an element that would be removed from your existing business 4) your current location is not in Downtown St. Catharines.

    I am interested in launching a business with a partner – do we both need to put in applications?
    No, only one application needs to be submitted by one of the partners, but definitely cite that you’re a partnership.  Note the partners and the skills that they bring and how they will enhance the business idea and your success.

    Do I need to work in the business daily?
    It is encouraged, but you are not necessarily expected to work in the winning space/business on a daily basis.  If you are selected as a Finalist, your business plan and financial plan must reflect appropriate salaries and related expenses for staff.

    Can I submit more that one idea?
    Yes, you can!  If you have a few ideas that you feel are viable businesses for Downtown St. Catharines, then submit them.

    Please note that only one of your ideas can be selected since candidates will be required to focus their time and energy on the development of one business concept during the required business workshops.  For example, each selected candidate will be creating a detailed business plan, a marketing strategy, and delving into financial details.

    How are finalists and the winner selected?
    From the initial entries, up to 15 finalists will be chosen. These finalists must then develop and refine their business concept and create a full business plan including a marketing strategy and a financial plan. Finalists will be required to take advantage of FREE business development workshops and mentoring offered by the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre and Innovate Niagara.

    Participants will then be narrowed down to the Top Finalists who will be required to create a short presentation and pitch it to our panel of judges also answering questions posed by the judges.  Based on both the business plan and live presentation/Q&A, our panel of judges will score each Top Finalist and determine one Grand Prize Winner.  For additional information, please read our Rules & Regulations.

    Can the Judges’ decisions be reconsidered?
    No.  Our panel of judges’ selections, judgments and decisions will be final and binding.

    What are the Business Development Workshops?
    The workshops will provide the education needed to help Finalists develop a business idea, as well as guide their research, and create the business plan components. There are 4 mandatory workshops that Finalists must attend.  They will take place one evening per week (3 hours) over a two-week period.  Two workshops will be given on each evening.  The workshops will be held at the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre in downtown St. Catharines. They are FREE to all contestants.  The Enterprise Centre will also provide mentorship during the preparation of your business plan and ongoing support after the contest if you open a business.  For workshop scheduling information see Rules & Regulations - Appendix A - Important Dates, Timeline and Locations.

    For more information about the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre visit: www.stcatharines.ca/en/investin/StartingaBusiness.asp

    Who will see my Win This Space entry and any other submissions?
    Your Win This Space entry and any other submissions (i.e. Business Plan, Marketing Strategy, Financial Plan) may be seen by the following: St. Catharines Downtown Business Association Board of Management, Executive Director and Win This Space Coordinator, the City of St. Catharines Economic Development Officer, St. Catharines Enterprise Centre Staff,  and the Win This Space panel of judges.

    What Happens If I Am the Winner?
    The winner must commit to signing a minimum 1-year lease with one of the participating spaces that are available at the end of the competition.  A lease agreement needs to be in place before the winner receives any prize winnings.  For additional information, see contest Rules & Regulations.

    Where are the locations I can choose from if I win?
    All locations will be in downtown St. Catharines within the BIA boundary (see Map).  We will always be seeking locations and will update online as they are confirmed or change throughout the contest.  Available spaces will be dynamic as landlords may receive offers to lease in the interim and are not required to “hold” properties or decline a qualified tenant.

    What kind of businesses are permitted in the designated BIA area?
    The City of St. Catharines Zoning By-law Dec. 16, 2013 outlines zoning and permitted uses. 

    • Page 209 – Map of Downtown Core and Zoning
    • Pages 23 to 28 – Section 4.1 and 4.2 should be referenced.

    NOTE:  Contestants must confirm with the City of St. Catharines Planning Department if their proposed business is allowable under the zoning for the area.

    When Would I be Required to Sign a Lease?
    The winner should work to have a lease agreement for one of the available spaces within 60 days of winning the competition.  The lease agreement and terms will be agreed upon by the landlord/property agent and the winner, and not involve the St. Catharines Downtown Association, contest sponsors or the panel of judges. For additional information, see contest Rules & Regulations.

    What If I Win but Cannot Obtain a Lease?
    If the winner cannot obtain a lease agreement within 60 days of winning, the prize could be forfeited.  The first runner up could be contacted and start a new 60-day window to sign a lease agreement. For additional information, see contest Rules & Regulations.

    If I Win, Can I Ask for a Different Prize of Equal Value?
    Sorry – no.  The prize is not transferable and may not be redeemed for cash.

    Where can I see the contest Rules & Regulations for Win This Space?
    Click here to download the contest Rules & Regulations.

    Win This Space Contest Rules & Regulations and Important Dates are subject to change.  Any contest updates will be posted on our webpage.

    Other questions about Win This Space?
    Please contact Tracy Jennings, Win This Space Coordinator, St. Catharines Downtown Association at winthisspace@mydowntown.ca or call 905-685-8424.

  • Will YOU Win This Space in Downtown St. Catharines?

    Available properties are subject to change throughout the contest.  The Grand Prize winner will choose from properties that are available upon contest completion.

    11kingside4.jpg11-King-13-front.jpg11kingfront.jpg11 king inside4.jpg11 king inside3.jpg

    11 King Street

    Square footage of space:   2,000 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $2,000 per month (includes taxes, water, heat)
    Extra costs:  Hydro
    Last use:  Office space with multiple rooms - walls can be removed easily
    Number of washrooms:  2 - on street level
    Kitchen:   No
    Special features:  High ceilings, corner exposure, lots of windows
    Level of improvement required:  Medium

    13king2.jpg11-King-13-front.jpg13 king inside2.jpg13 king inside1.jpg

    13 King Street

    Square footage of space:   1,000 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,300 per month
    Extra costs:  none
    Last use:  Currently storage (Kudo Mobile before that)
    Number of washrooms:  1 – in basement
    Kitchen:   No
    Special features:  High ceilings, Open Space
    Level of improvement required: Low - Medium

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    21 King Street

    Square footage of space:   900 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,600 per month
    Extra costs:  none
    Last use:  Barbershop and Tattoo Parlour
    Number of washrooms:  1 – main floor
    Kitchen:  No
    Special features:  High ceilings, Open Space, Exposed Brick, Patio Doors, Cozy, Outside patio
    Level of improvement required:  Low

    _21-Ontario-Street-1.jpg _21-Ontario-Street-2.jpg 21 Ontario interior rev

    21 Ontario Street

    Square footage of space:   1,689 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $2,540 per month
    Extra costs:  Gas, Hydro
    Last use:  Furniture Store
    Number of washrooms:  0
    Kitchen:  No
    Special features:  Hardwood flooring, Possible Exposed Brick, Drywalled Ceiling
    Level of improvement required:  High

    _23-Ontario-Street-1.jpg _23-Ontario-Street-3.jpg 23 Ontario interior

    23 Ontario Street

    Square footage of space:   1,197 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,800 per month
    Extra costs:  Gas & Hydro
    Last use:  Furniture Store
    Number of washhrooms:  1 – basement
    Kitchen:  No
    Special features:  Drywalled ceiling, Hardwood Floors, Possible Exposed Brick
    Level of improvement required:  High

    145 King exterior 145 King upper 1 145 King upper 2

    145 King Street, Unit 1 (Upper)

    Square footage of space:   2,400 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $3,400 per month
    Extra costs:  TMI, Heat, Hot Water @ $926
    Last use:  Art Gallery
    Number of washrooms:  2 - shared with lower unit
    Kitchen:  No
    Special features:  Heritage building, high ceilings, corner exposure, lots of light, exposed brick
    Level of improvement required:  Low

    145 King exterior145 King lower 1145 King lower 2145 King lower 3

    145 King Street, Unit 2 (Lower)

    Square footage of space:   1,400 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,400 per month
    Extra costs:  TMI, Heat, Hot Water @ $581
    Last use:  Office space
    Number of washrooms:  2 - shared with upper unit
    Kitchen:   No
    Special features:  Heritage building, high ceilings, front and side entrances
    Level of improvement required: Landlord in process of making some improvements

    39 Queen exterior39 Queen interior 339 Queen interior 239 Queen interior 1

    39 Queen Street, Unit 101

    Square footage of space:   1,578 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $2,300 per month (water, hydro, gas included)
    Extra costs:  HST
    Last use:  Niagara IceDogs office
    Number of washrooms:  Shared in building common area
    Kitchen:   No
    Special features:  Large street-front windows, busy corner, new windows
    Level of improvement required: Low - Medium

    314 St Paul exterior full314 St Paul exterior street front314 St Paul interior front314 St Paul interior to rear

    314 St. Paul Street

    Square footage of space:   1,150 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,500 per month + HST
    Extra costs:  Water, hydro
    Last use:  Hair salon and beauty supply
    Number of washrooms:  2
    Kitchen:   No
    Special features:  Across from MTO, 1 parking spot
    Level of improvement required: Low

    22 King exterior22 King interior 122 King interior 222 King interior 3a

    22 King Street

    Square footage of space:   900 sq.ft.
    Rent:  $1,950 per month + HST
    Extra costs:  Gas, Water, hydro
    Last use:  Restaurant
    Number of washrooms:  2 (in basement)
    Kitchen:   Yes
    Special features:  2 parking spots in rear of building, kitchen equipment included if tenant needs it (gas stove, hood with vent, stainless steel sinks & countertops).
    Level of improvement required: Medium

    PROPERTY OWNERS – Showcase Your Available Properties

    Are you a landlord with an available “for lease”, street level space in downtown St. Catharines?  Your space can become part of the Win This Space competition.  Contact Tracy Jennings, Win This Space Coordinator directly at 905-685-8424 or email winthisspace@mydowntown.ca . 

    By participating in the Win This Space competition, your ‘available for lease’ property gets additional exposure, with:

    • Eye-catching, full-colour posters for Win This Space in your storefront window
    • Promotion by the St. Catharines Downtown Association through its website, promotional materials & potential media coverage

    Win This Space will bring more interest to your available space.  You are free to continue to show your property to potential tenants.  If you happen to lease your space during the competition, that is great!  Just let us know so we can keep our list of available properties up-to-date.

  • Platinum Sponsors

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    This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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    Gold Level Sponsors

    meridian-2.jpg gncc-2.jpg innovate-niagara.jpg lex-parker1.jpgnew-publicita.jpg

    Silver Level Sponsors

    grant-thornton.jpg jbm.jpgnew-venture.jpgnew-bkpc-cpa.jpg

    Bronze Level Sponsors

    tph.jpg colliers-horizontal1.jpg crawford-smith-swallow.jpg loud+clear.jpgnew-tony.jpgnew-verge.jpg