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Celebrating Small Business Month in Windsor-Essex

Monday, September 28, 2020

October 1st marks the start of Small Business Month, a time to recognize the enormous contributions Windsor-Essex entrepreneurs and small business owners make towards growing our local economy and building the communities in which we live, work, play, eat and shop.

At the Small Business Centre, we understand that starting and running a small business involves many hours of planning, dedication, networking, and hard work. This month we would like to take the opportunity to recognize our local entrepreneurs, and the time, commitment, and dedication these individuals have contributed to keep their businesses moving forward during these unprecedented times.

As a tribute to Small Business Month we’re highlighting three Windsor-Essex entrepreneurs who have not only survived during these times, but quickly adapted their business models to continue to thrive. 

Claudius Thomas - Turaco Web

Claudius Thomas is the founder and CEO of Turaco Web, a digital services company assisting businesses to automate their workflows and business processes.

After the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to their original busines plan and income stream, they began offering a new lucrative service. “We pivoted to provide web and digital services including application development, which has seen our business grow over 50% with an opportunity to hire staff” said Thomas.

Moving forward the company will continue to adapt to the changing times and provide relevant services and application design. An example of this is Turaco Web’s new electronic COVID-19 screening questionnaire. The COVID-19 application in its current form enables patrons that visit businesses with public facing facilities to complete the form on their cell phones. “We have customers for this application already, and it is currently in use by home building companies” stated Thomas, adding, “we plan to develop the application into a fully operational health & safety application.”

Thomas continues to take advantage of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our area to grow his business “The WindsorEssex Small Business Centre has been pivotal to the startup and growth of Turaco Web, helping us create our initial business plan and awarding us with the Starter Company Plus grant.”

Eddy Hammoud - Tabouli by Eddy's and Eddy's Mediterranean Bistro

Eddy Hammoud is the owner of Eddy's Mediterranean Bistro located at 420 Tecumseh Rd East and Tabouli by Eddy's located at 1614 Lesperance Rd. Having been in the restaurant industry for over 10 years, he has extensive knowledge of how to operate his restaurants successfully.

Covid-19 took everyone by surprise, however, Hammoud strongly believes being able to adapt to change is essential for the success of any business. When Covid-19 hit Hammoud had to adjust to ensure his customers were comfortable and safe. “We introduced our own online website which included a full ordering system, in addition to giving the customers the option of doing contactless delivery or pick up.” Throughout the pandemic, both locations also handed out 600 orders of complimentary hummus through the "Adopt an Essential Worker" initiative, which gave approximately 2000 meals to 40 establishments with essential workers.

“We don't know what the future currently holds, however, we’re ready to make any adjustments necessary to keep customers happy, safe and enjoying great food.”

Hammoud strongly believes in the importance of small business and community. “It's the small businesses that hold the community together, gives members in the community an experience and an opportunity to learn and grow.” said Hammoud, adding “ the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre provides resources for small businesses to be successful and grow, and is a part of keeping our community stronger and united.” 

Sawyer Telegdy – Shred Shop

Sawyer Telegdy, owner of Shred Shop, offers a fitness facility providing the mastery of exhilarating energy and group motivation, paired with the accountability and specificity of personal, one-one-on fitness training.

The fitness industry was thrown a curve ball this year with the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing gyms to close for five full months. “This unpredictable change challenged us to expand our services, get creative with at-home workouts and provide our clients with a virtual community when they were feeling overwhelmed and isolated.” 

Telegdy quickly adapted by renting out their equipment to their members for at-home workout circuit tutorials, movement instructions and yin yoga classes. These daily workouts were paired with weekly Zoom gatherings and nutritional seminars. They also held a 30-day challenge with Zoom check-ins to keep their members accountable and motivated.

“This city is built on small businesses….it is the heart of the city. It’s the pulse of our community and we will refuse to let this pandemic ruin that” stated Telegdy, adding, “ we are beyond grateful to have the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre - a soild outlet to turn to.”

As a community we can all do our part to continue to support small businesses and celebrate the successes of our local entrepreneurs.