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Clarington contest kickstarting entrepreneurs dreams

The pandemic has impacted all businesses in one way or another.
The Clarington Board of Trade with some help from local partners have launched a contest for entrepreneurs.
It’s a way to get them out of their house and into an office space.

Brent Colmer runs his content creation and marketing businesses out of his home in Newcastle.
The 27-year-old says some days are more of a challenge than others.

“We don’t have any doors that we can close other than the rest room in there. If I’m doing zoom calls or hosting workshops, I’ll often have to switch over to my hot spot and then back over to the internet to ensure that the connections good,” said Colmer, Creator Services Founder.

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Colmer is hoping to improve his work-life balance by taking a space at The Park Coworking offices, just north of downtown Bowmanville.
Smaller start-ups can score a space for free right now as part of a contest.

“I don’t really qualify for any government funding, so just to have the office space, the membership to the Clarington Board of Trade, why not,” said Colmer.

“We have seen an emergence of entrepreneurship right from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Bonnie Wrightman, Clarington board of trade business development manager.

‘Win Space. Kickstart Your Dream’ is a contest the CBOT launched this month.
Wrightman says the winning entrepreneurs will not only get to have a place to grow their business, but also gain access to a bunch of other amenities and supports.

“We’re really targeting them and pull them out of their kitchens and basements, and houses and really offer this opportunity of having two months rent free modern office space,” said Wrightman.

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The CBOT collaborated with a number of local businesses, including The Park Coworking itself for the contest.

“When COVID-19 started actually we ended up with a lot of extra square footage because a lot of our staff started working from home,” said Katie Dempsey, The Park Coworking co-owner.

Dempsey says they just opened six months ago. They’ve converted the entire top floor of  into shared office space.

“It’s really how long people can hold on for and so I’m really hoping tools like this make it possible for people to hold on longer,” said Dempsey.

The contest runs until the end of April, with the winners allowed to move in anytime after that, depending on provincial pandemic restrictions.

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