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Win This Space - Business Ideas? Submit It! Huron East Blog
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Win This Space

Win This Space

"WIN THIS SPACE" .... Submit Your Idea [Return To Top]

The Municipality of Huron East Economic Development Department wants to inspire YOU to become an entrepreneur, and is willing to offer business and financial support to help YOU catch the spirit of our communities and build your future.

“WIN THIS SPACE” is an opportunity that could help open the door to your new business.  All you need to do is SUBMIT your IDEA by  Friday, September 1st, 2017 at 4:00 pm!

Imagine this! By submitting your idea, you are immediately entered into the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition.  As one of the successful candidates, you and a guest will be invited to attend a KICK OFF EVENT where you will learn more about the “WIN THIS SPACE” opportunity.
As part of the competition, you will also receive 3 FREE Business Coaching Workshops hosted by the Municipality of Huron East and the Community Futures Huron Corporation.  The workshops will be lead by WIN THIS SPACE Instructor and Judge Alison Lobb. Dates to be finalized, although expected sometime during the month of September.
The three workshop topics include;

  1. How to Start a Business - Business Plan Development
  2. Developing a Marketing Strategy
  3. Financials - Show me the Money

Workshop Details:

    1. Each workshop is FREE to selected candidates
    2. Each workshop is mandatory for candidates
    3. Each workshop runs from 6 - 9 pm. at the Huron Business Centre - 138 Main S. Seaforth
    4. Each workshop will have take-away assignments/research

During the series of workshops, you will receive coaching on how to create a business plan, including marketing and financial background for your proposed business.  Once completed, you will submit it to the Huron East Economic Development Department.  Deadline to be announced following training.
Each submission will be reviewed by the “WIN THIS SPACE” judging panel, who will select the TOP 5 candidates. The finalists will be invited to attend the FINALE and present a live 10 minute pitch (similar to Dragon’s Den) about their business followed by a question and answer period.  Following the presentation, the judging panel will deliberate, after which they will announce the Grand Prize WINNER of “WIN THIS SPACE”, who will be awarded up to $9,600 (12 cheques for $800 each on a monthly basis) to be used towards the lease of a selected retail space in Brussels. The WINNER will also receive in-kind professional services from local sponsors valued at over four thousand dollars. 

Curious to find out more about WIN THIS SPACE?

Below is a list of questions and answeres which we hope will enlighten you on the competition, but most importantly, encourage YOU to submit your idea!

This section will be updated on an ongoing basis. As we receive additional questions about "WIN THIS SPACE", we'll be sure to share the answers with all of you.


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 "WIN THIS SPACE" competition. The applicant must be living in the Province of Ontario.

Is the competition only open to Brussels residents?
No, “WIN THIS SPACE” is OPEN to anyone living in Ontario, who wishes to set up a business in the community of Brussels located in the Municipality of Huron East (South-western Ontario).

What type of business could I set up as part of WIN THIS SPACE?
Proposed business ideas can be submitted for businesses, which would be independently owned by one person as a sole proprietorship or owned by 2 people as a partnership.  (Please note:  Franchises will not be considered for the competition.) The business must conform to the zoning by-law for downtowns. (See below the permitted uses for a C-4 Designation.)Contact Economic Development Officer Jan Hawley at 519.527.0160 or for further clarification, and/or for a contest entry form.




    • art gallery
    • artist, dance, exercise or photographic studio
    • assembly hall, located to the rear or above a main commercial use
    • bake shop
    • bank or a financial institution
    • bed and breakfast establishment
    • brewers retail outlet
    • bus depot
    • business or professional office
    • clinic
    • convenience store
    • dress making or tailor shop
    • dry cleaning establishment
    • eating establishment, restaurant
    • eating establishment, take-out restaurant
    • farmers’ market
    • flea market
    • food store
    • general store
    • hardware store
    • health club
    • home occupation in any permitted dwelling
    • hotel
    • laundromat
    • liquor store
    • personal service shop
    • place of entertainment
    • printing establishment
    • private club
    • public building
    • retail store except those dealing with heavy machinery, fuels, factory equipment, building materials, new  or used automobiles, boats, trailers, motorcycles or snowmobiles
    • service and repair shop
    • tavern
    • taxi stand
    • u-brew
    • video rental store
    • Uses accessory to the permitted use

    Can you currently own a business and still enter WIN THIS SPACE?
    You sure can!  If you have solid multi-tasking skills, then submit your idea. However, your business idea entry must be with the intent to introduce, open and operate a new business concept, not already promoted in your existing business/location. All home based businesses will be considered.

    Can you submit more than one idea?
    Certainly, go right ahead!  If you have a few ideas that are viable businesses for Brussels, then submit them. However, note that only one of your ideas can be selected to participate in the top 30, since candidates will be required to focus on ‘only’ one business idea during the Business Builder Workshops.  It is imperative that if selected, you would need to focus your time and energy into detailing your concept so that you would have one solid Business Plan for submission to the Judging panel. Please note that all decisions made by the judges will be FINAL and not open for discussion.

    How long of a lease will the winner be expected to sign for their new space?
    The WINNER of WIN THIS SPACE must commit to signing a minimum 1-year lease for property in the downtown business district. Space cannot be rented until the completion of the contest.

    What can the prize money be used for?
    By accepting the prize, the WINNER commits to using the cash prize for the first year’s lease of a space available, specifically for the “Win This Space” contest. The winner will select one of the available spaces within the business district, as approved by the coordinators of the Win This Space contest at the end of the competition.

    When would I be required to lease space to set up my new business?
    The Winner would need to commit to lease one of the available spaces by January 1st, 2018 of being awarded the title of WINNER of WIN THIS SPACE. The WINNER will be announced at the FINALE on October 21st, 2017. Execution of a formal agreement between the WINNER and the Municipality of Huron East will be required prior to the awarding of any and all prizes.

    Do I need to work in the business on a daily basis?
    No, you are not necessarily expected to work in the winning space/business on a daily basis; however, the Business Plan created during the Business Builder Workshops and subsequently submitted to the judging panel must reflect appropriate salaries and related expenses. These would need to be detailed in your financials.

    Who will see my Business Idea Entry & Business Plan submission?
    Your business idea entry and business plan submission may be seen by the following; Municipality of Huron East Economic Development Officer, Staff of the Community Futures Huron Corporation, and  the “WIN THIS SPACE” Judging Panel. All submissions will be kept confidential and all selections, judgements and decisions of the panel are final and binding.  Business Plan submissions are DUE by 4 pm on Friday, October 6th, 2017 after which, the Judges will meet to select the TOP FIVE (5) “WIN THIS SPACE” CANDIDATES!

    Other Questions about WIN THIS SPACE?
    Please contact Jan Hawley, Economic Development Officer for the Municipality of Huron East at or by calling 519.527.0160.  Best of luck to all who submit an idea!
    Also please note that “WIN THIS SPACE”  Contest Rules and Regulations will be made available to candidates, before, or at the first Business Builder Workshop.  Once the “WIN THIS SPACE” Rules & Regulations have been read, each candidate will be requested to sign and agree to the terms as specified.

    “Win This Space” contest Rules and Regulations are subject to change & updates will be posted on the Municipality of Huron East website.

    WIN THIS SPACE Judging Panel [Return To Top]

    The Municipality of Huron East, County of Huron, and Community Futures Huron Corporation (HBDC) have partnered to help launch “WIN THIS SPACE”.

    The “WIN THIS SPACE” judges will review all the business ideas submitted and select the candidates, who will participate in the Business Builder Coaching Workshops. Once the candidates have prepared their Business Plan, the judging panel will meet to review the submissions and select the Top 5 finalists, who will participate in the live FINALE.

    During the “WIN THIS SPACE FINALE” to be held on October 21st, the judging panel and audience will hear live presentations made by the Top 5 candidates. The Judges will then select the one LUCKY WINNER of “WIN THIS SPACE”, who will be awarded the grand prize of $9,600 towards the lease of a space, home to their new business, along with thousand of dollars of in-kind services and gifts!

    All decisions made by the Judges will be final and not open to discussion.


    Interested in reading about the panel of JUDGES for WIN THIS SPACE?

    Read more.......

    Jan Hawley
    Economic Development Officer ~ Municipality of Huron East

    Alison Lobb
    Business Consultant - Huron Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC)

    Maureen Agar
    Business Person & Community Volunteer

    Lisa Houthuyzen
    Customer Service Representative - Community Futures Huron - OACFDC

    Cathy Elliott
    Business Person & Marriage Commissioner

    Kim Postma
    Huron Small Business Enterprise Centre Coordinator, CDP


    WIN THIS SPACE Submit Your Space [Return To Top]

    Are you a landlord with an available “FOR LEASE” space in Downtown Brussels?
    Submit your contact information and submit your space to participate in “WIN THIS SPACE” via the form below!
    Your space can become part of the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition at NO COST!
    Once the competition WINNER is announced October 21st, 2017, the WINNER will then be selecting a new home for their business from one of the participating spaces “for lease” in WIN THIS SPACE.
    To help the NEW business hit the ground running, the Huron East Economic Development Department and its partners will be awarding the winner up to $9,600 ($800/month) towards their 1st year’s lease of a space in Brussels’ Downtown Business District. If your space is selected, they will arrive to meet with you holding a Business Model Canvas in hand, which they will have created during their “WIN THIS SPACE” Business Builder Coaching Workshops.

    1. The eye-catching, multi-coloured vinyl & WIN THIS SPACE logo created by Heather Logan owner of “h Creates” graphic design from Brussels is being installed by qualified professionals.
    2. The vinyl WIN THIS SPACE logo will be applied to the outside of your window.  All we need  YOU to do is submit your space! We EVEN clean your window!!!
    3. NOTE: Regarding the Winning space:  WINNER of the competition will select their desired location from the available “For Lease” spaces & negotiate a minimum 1 year lease with the property owner following the close of the WIN THIS SPACE competition.
    4. After the close of the competition the window branding graphics will be removed.
    5. Should any window related problems arise during or after the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition the Municipality of Huron East or its partners are not held responsible.
    6. Should a space involved with “WIN THIS SPACE” be leased prior to the end of the competition then the WIN THIS SPACE signage will be removed at no cost to the property owner.
    7. A space may be available for lease with either a realtor or “privately” with the landlord, and still be eligible to participate in the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition
    8. Any realtor’s “For Lease” signs will also be made visible in the window, or on the door of the property, as space permits
    9. Should someone be looking to lease space during the “WIN THIS SPACE” competition   THAT’S GREAT, go right ahead and lease your property as you would normally.  Although, we ask that you advise the project coordinator, Jan Hawely at or 519.527.0160. The Municipality of Huron East will be happy to welcome all NEW businesses to Brussels!

    The goal of WIN THIS SPACE is to inspire Entrepreneurs to start a business in the Municipality of Huron East.

    Your Name (required)

    Phone Number (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Address of your space available for lease (required)

    “WIN THIS SPACE” is not just about filling empty retail spaces. It’s about people inspiring other people!  It’s about helping to fulfill someone’s dream of becoming the next entrepreneur in Brussels.

    Submit Your Space Form Submission