Seven Canadian small businesses received their Christmas wish early this year landing their share of a $10,000 prize from Vistaprint. Businesses were selected from hundreds of entrants to the Vistaprint Wish Program, which invited small business owners across Canada to enter a contest to secure funding for vital items on their ‘wish list’ that would help them push their business to the next level.
Each entrant shared the story of their business, what was on the top of their wish list this year, and the impact having this wish granted would have on their operations. Wish lists included a wide variety of items from a new video camera and computer upgrades, to a labeling machine and the equipment to finalize a food truck.
As a company that serves one million small businesses across Canada, Vistaprint launched the Wish Program after consistently hearing that, along with marketing, access to finances is one of their most difficult challenges. The Program aims to help remove barriers to growth for small businesses by offering tangible financial support and equipping them with the tools and know-how needed to excel in their respective industries.
“For small businesses, any investment in the right area can make the difference between surviving and thriving,” says Vistaprint’s Canada Country Manager, Cabral Thomas. “A lack of finances is one of the biggest pain points for Canadian small businesses, but we believe that all business owners should have the tools to work efficiently and look professional. That’s why we’re excited to offer Canadian small business owners this financial help to make their business wishes come true.”
Vistaprint Canadian Small Business Wish List Winners:
Emily Schutz Photography (Alberta) — Emily’s passion for photography began at a very young age when she purchased her first DSLR camera. Her family’s history of capturing beautiful memories through photography inspired her to pursue this as a full-time career. As Emily grows her business, she continues to focus on the development of skills and resources needed to support the quality of her work. Oftentimes, this means sustaining financial strains due to the high cost of quality equipment. The support of Vistaprint through the Wish List Contest will alleviate these financial burdens.
“The first few years of owning a small business tend to involve a lot of spending. Purchasing my photography equipment, editing programs, insurance, marketing materials, and so on, the list is endless,” Schutz says. “The support of Vistaprint’s Small Business Wish List Contest has made one of those purchases possible.”
Halifax Mermaids (Halifax, Nova Scotia) — Through entertainment, education, and the power of imagination, Halifax Mermaids provides clients with a lasting experience that helps nurture their inner child, while learning about the world around them. Due to closures and renovations of venues, the business has experienced significant hardships. Their strategy to monetize their digital presence will require significant investment into resources that they currently cannot afford. They will use the funds to purchase a better backdrop for filming and a microphone for podcasting.
“Our business has reached a rocky path, limiting the amount of in-person entertainment we can provide,” Norman says. “Having the support from Vistaprint to strengthen our social channels and develop additional income streams will keep our company afloat during these dry spells.”
Black Cats BBQ (Taylor, British Columbia) — A shared passion for food and bringing the community together was the inspiration behind Black Cats BBQ a company that began by selling custom spices at the local Farmer’s Market. Now operating out of a concession space, the dream has always been to build a food truck that would serve the community. Due to a recent medical diagnosis, the urgency to finish the truck and fulfill this dream has been top of mind. The funding from Vistaprint brings the company one step closer to this dream.
“The money will pay for the equipment needed to help complete our food truck and take our business to the next level,” says Melville. “We’re very excited to be able to take our business to our customers instead of waiting for them to come to us!”
Hope Metal Studio (Clinton, Ontario) — This husband and wife team, that creates custom metal designs with meaning, is at an exciting point in the growth of their business but are also restricted by their current equipment. New equipment would allow them to accept orders they currently have to turn down due to size limitations, but it also requires a large investment. With the funds they plan to purchase new, Canadian-built equipment, meeting the demands of their business thanks to Vistaprint’s support.
“My wife and I are so thankful to Vistaprint for recognizing small businesses and the vital role they play in our economy,” Jared says. “This money will not only impact my family and our business but our community as well.”
Miss Helene’s Gourmet Foods, Ltd. (Saskatchewan) — The mother and daughter team founded the company through their love for cooking. As demand grew for their special sauces sold through their restaurant, the business quickly grew. The sauces are now manufactured and manually labeled and are then sold to local retailers. As manual labour continues, the current operations strategy will inevitably require an update. Vistaprint’s support will provide funds needed to purchase machinery that will help update the current process and significantly impact the company’s future success.
“The $1000 small business grant provided by Vistaprint will help us purchase the equipment that we need to continue and expand production in Miss Hélène’s new home,” says Ferne Hebig. “We couldn’t be more thrilled!”
Tiny Tinkles Music Studio (Chilliwack, British Columbia) — Debra is a Registered Music teacher in B.C. Her goal to own her own studio came to reality last month as she opened the first “Mommy and Me” studio in Western Canada. The studio combines her passion for music and community, Debra’s need for additional resources to support the demand of the studio can now be met thanks to this financial support from Vistaprint. Funds will go towards a new program and materials including desk bells, and a projector to support teaching.
“My business is all about putting smiles on little faces. With the support of Vistaprint, I can now bring my newest program, Preschool Prodigies, to my students, continuing to help little musicians grow!”
Warehouse Media Group (Northwest Territories) — Young entrepreneur Devran Gelale created the business to fulfill the need for innovative business solutions in the North of Canada. Warehouse Media Group works strategically to source creative solutions that are affordable, yet sustain a corporate image needed to retain clients. The funds from Vistaprint will go towards new equipment including an additional laptop that will support the innovative content being created.
“Operating in a competitive market as a young entrepreneur, I pride myself in being innovative and up to date. I want to be someone who encourages the next generation and shows them that anything is possible regardless of your geographic location”