Sweet! Win This Space returns to Cornwall downtown

Heart of the City coordinator Todd Lihou speaks to the audience on Friday, March 29, 2019 during the launch of the second Win This Space contest in Cornwall, Ont. The business booster program is taking applications for the competition to give an up-and-coming business help with setting up a storefront in the downtown. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) is hoping for another sweet success like it had with Fairy Sweet in 2018.

That business was the inaugural winner of Win This Space – a Dragon’s Den-type competition where the winner gets partial rent or lease coverage for a year ($1,000 a month for 12 months) to get a visible location up and running.

Fairy Sweet co-owner Sue-Anne Heitmann reflects on the past year. “It’s been a fantastic whirlwind. We still haven’t settled down from the hype,” she said during the launch of the second edition of Win This Space.

Heitmann says the contest gave them a real push to make their home-based business more visible. Heitmann runs the business with her mom, Suzanne Martin. Heitmann adds that they also gained a lot of business knowledge through the competition.

“I’m so excited to see who is coming down the line,” Heitmann beamed.

The downtown business booster contest, in conjunction with the Cornwall Business Enterprise Center, launched the second installment of Win This Space inside the future site of the Cornwall Arts Center on Pitt Street.

Heart of the City spokesman Todd Lihou says this type of financial help could cover “most if not all” of a DBIA lease or rent payment. “If you’re starting a business, $12,000 is a lot of money. That’s a big chunk you can devote to something else to help get the business off the ground.”

Lihou says applications are being taken now. You can get an application form by clicking here (opens a PDF), which needs to be emailed to Lihou by 4 p.m. on April 26.

The Downtown BIA would like to see a business that brings “energy and viability” to the core.

The entries will be whittled down to the top 25. The finalists will then go through training with the Cornwall Business Enterprise Center and then submit a business plan. They will then be pared down to a top five list where they will be judged by a yet-to-be-named business panel during a live finale Sept. 10 on YourTV.

The storefront has to be a location within the downtown BIA area – roughly the area from Water Street north to Fourth Street and York Street east to Sydney Street.