Thedford tops up latest Business Boost Bundle winner

Owners of a bulk refill store in Thedford which opened about a week ago are getting help with rent, renovations and signage costs, as well as other freebies, as winners of this year’s Business Boost Bundle contest.

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Owners of a bulk refill store in Thedford which opened about a week ago are getting help with rent, renovations and signage costs, plus a few other goodies, as winners of this year’s Business Boost Bundle contest.

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But what stands out most for The Dunes Refillery owner, Raquel Murray, is the business planning help she and her husband and store co-owner Geoff have received through the annual business competition. entrepreneurship organized by the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation.

“It can be a bit of a daunting task,” the Grand Bend mother-of-two said of putting together a business plan. “They just made it super simple to complete.”

As in previous years, there were just under 30 entries for the competition, which provides participants with training in areas such as business planning, business law, marketing and human resources, the director said. General of the Business Development Corporation, Don Anderson.

Three finalists made submissions to a panel of judges during the May 25 virtual final, he said.

“Elevator pitch” videos for businesses were also uploaded in advance for the People’s Choice Award voting.

The Dunes Refillery also won that $1,000 prize, he said.

“A great job has been done by each of them,” Anderson said of the finalists, which also included Do Better Center and Intention – A Natural Company.

Most program participants continue to open their businesses, he said, even if they don’t win the prize – $15,000 for rent, $5,000 for leasehold improvements, $2,500 for signs, free business advice with a development company, a one-year merchant bank account with the Southwest Regional Credit Union, and a one-year membership in the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

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Money from rent and leasehold improvements can also be used for equipment or working capital needs, officials said.

This year, the novelty of the prize was $200 in business supplies from Manley’s Basics.

Regardless of the type of business, office supplies will be needed, Anderson noted.

“We all need something,” he said.

Bluewater Power and CR Creative are the other sponsors of the event.

Murray said business has been good since The Dunes Refillery quietly opened last Tuesday.

Spices, snacks and cooking ingredients, as well as oils and vinegars, hygiene items and household cleaners, are available for people to buy and fill their own containers, she said, noting that as much as possible comes from within a 40 kilometer radius of the 8575 Lakeshore Rd. store.

She and her husband were inspired to start the business to create more local options in the Grand Bend area, she said. She also described the specialty grocery store as an outlet for local farmers, producers and designers to sell their wares.

“Buying what our family needs has forced us to go out of town to do our shopping, especially since we live in a more rural community,” she said, noting that they like to experiment with cooking. .

“Having to leave for 45 minutes to buy what we need in the quantity we need just doesn’t feel ethical or sustainable to us.”

Learning the ins and outs of business planning with other startups has been a good experience, she said.

“I think the competition itself was well organized,” she said. “It was very fun.”

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