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Quinte West opens new business centre

Story by Mike Fleming [1] and video by Julia Lennips [2]

TRENTON – The Quinte West Business Centre officially opened its doors Wednesday morning, with a focus on businesses that don’t need traditional office settings on a permanent basis.

The centre shares a space with the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce [3]. It features two temporary offices and a boardroom for business owners to rent by the half or full day.

At a short ribbon-cutting ceremony, the business centre was officially unveiled to a packed room. Chamber general manager Suzanne Andrews said the hope for the centre is to address a growing demand for temporary work spaces.

“We’re getting more and more businesses that are mobile, where they’re in their car, working out of their cars going to visit clients,” she said. “Or they’re home-based businesses that conduct most of their business from home but maybe want one day a week to meet with clients.”

In addition to the work spaces, business owners will also have access to the Small Business Centre [4], which occupies an office two days a week to offer assistance with any business-related issues. Andrews said she hopes this will help turn the business centre into a one-stop business hub.

Suzanne Andrews, the general manager of the Quinte West Chamber of Commerce, says she hopes the business centre will evolve into a one-stop business hub for the city. Photo by Mike Fleming, QNet News

“Businesses can come in and get one-on-one counselling with the small business centre, or they can meet with representatives of MPP Todd Smith [5] if there’s a provincial issue that’s affecting their business,” she said, referencing the fact that Bay of Quinte Conservative MPP Smith runs a satellite office in the building on Wednesdays.

Amber Darling, the executive director of Trenval [6], the managing partner of the small business centre, says there is an idea to create a larger “innovation centre” in the Quinte region that would offer even more resources for businesses.

“We don’t have something like that here, a larger centre, but we’re actually working on something like that, that may see something in the next couple of years,” she said, mentioning Venture 13 [7] in Cobourg as a model of what Trenval is hoping to achieve.