Augusta Township meets its Summer Company entrepreneurs

Augusta Township meets its Summer Company entrepreneurs.

Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka

(As published in the South Grenville Journal – Wednesday, June 10, 2020)

On June 3rd, 2020, the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre (LGSBEC) launched its annual Summer Company program via a Zoom virtual meeting.  Summer Company is a Government of Ontario funded program that awards enterprising young students with up to $3,000 in funding to help them start up and run their own summer business.  The program also includes an award of up to $1,500 in early summer to help with business start-up costs and an additional $1,500 award in the fall upon the successful completion of their Summer Company business and proof of returning to school.  In addition, the program provides students with an opportunity to meet with a local business mentoring group every 2 weeks for support and advice on operating their summer business. Participants at the Zoom meeting included Leeds and Grenville Mayors, Business Mentors and others.

The meeting started with some preliminary comments from Wendy Onstein, Manager and Lead Consultant and Business Development Coordinator, Jeanette Johnston, who noted that this is a special year for the small business centre as it celebrates 20 years of delivering the Summer Company program, with a Birthday Bash planned for August 20, 2020.

This summer’s edition of Summer Company program includes 6 young entrepreneurs in Leeds Grenville, two of whom are from Augusta Township.  The two from Augusta Township are Lauren Baker and Brandon Hardy. The Zoom meeting was organized by dividing meeting participants into separate groups of approximately 4 people and each entrepreneur was rotated through each group to describe their product and business model. It was a unique process that provided us with a tremendous opportunity to meet each of the entrepreneurs and to pose questions regarding their summer company business.  In speaking with Lauren Baker, my group learned that Lauren’s company is called Scarlett & Sage Candles and Lauren told us that she will manufacture and sell natural coconut soy candles with a crackling wooden wick.  Her product is vegan, gluten free, toxin free, paraben and phthalate free and comes from renewable sources.  Lauren said that the fragrance oils she uses are natural because they contain different blends of essential oils which are phthalate and paraben free. The wooden wicks are eco-friendly, clean burning and made from FSC Certified Wood.  Lauren told us that her candles are available online at scarlettsagecandles@gmail.com or on Instagram & Facebook: @scarlettsagecandles.  She can also be reached by phone at 613-640-1928. Lauren added that her product will be sold out of Beauty Inside Spa in Brockville and she is considering selling at local farmers’ markets.  I let her know that Augusta Township is looking to establish a farmers’ market at Merc Hall and in North Augusta.

During our meeting with Brandon Hardy, my group learned that his business is called Outerhood Productions and Brandon’s company will provide video and photo promotional content with his principal target being online businesses who are looking for an effective online presence to promote their business. His videos will include original soundtracks developed to better deliver the video and its contents. Brandon can be reached at brandon@outerhood.ca or Facebook @outerhoodProductions.  You can also reach him by phone at 613‑802‑3183. I wish all Summer Company entrepreneurs success and look forward to hearing how things went with their businesses and what they learned.