Saturday, May 25, 2024

Chamber of Commerce in Search of Dragon Slayers

The Meaford Chamber of Commerce is actively seeking five or more brave entrepreneurs to face off against five savvy Dragons at the 15th Annual Meaford Dragons event scheduled for Thursday, November 9. Deadline for contestant applications is noon on Thursday, October 5.

Based on CBC’s Dragons Den franchise, the Meaford show is quite a bit more friendly. The announcer will be JD Moffat from local radio station Lite 99.3 and the emcee will be comedienne Adrienne Fish, who was a hit last year.

This year, we expect to have some 40 students from the high school and from Georgian College in attendance. And a full house at Meaford Hall adds much to the show; I hope you will consider buying your tickets early,” said organizers.

The Dragons seek not to embarrass nor to negotiate equity. In fact, they can be very helpful and supportive. Many have offered their advice, additional cash, and strategic introductions to their contacts. They join the Chamber of Commerce, the Municipality of Meaford, and many other local businesses in supporting the energy and passion of those who wish to own their own business, or those smaller businesses that are seeking help to get over the tipping point to success. A little guidance can go a long way.

We owe much thanks to our Dragons, past and present, who are seasoned business owners and professionals and add much to the show with their cash, banter, and generosity of spirit,” said organizers. “Past Dragons are a who’s who of local talent and success including 2022’s Tim Fischer (Mentor Technologies), Trevor Shaw (Brokerlink Insurance), Shannon Fry (Thornbury Pharmasave), Cathi Parrish (Royal Lepage Locations North Realty Inc.), and Blair Almond (Bruce Street Technology). Past Dragons include Bill Brick (Owen Sound VW), Russ Ellis (CTRE), Marie Catherine Marsot (Frauxmagerie), Nancy Butchart (Brokerlink), Daryl Johnson (Amici’s), Steve Bosman (MSW), Alex Hector (Bluewater Angel Investment Group), and Kim Wingrove (CAO Grey County). And of course, so many others… Thank you!”

Over the years, prizes included: advertising packages on local radio and with The Meaford Independent, video creation, business mentoring, free Chamber membership, free bookkeeping for a year, website and social media, and of course, cash – over $270,000.

The previous 14 shows showcased some 68 local business owners and hopefuls. Not all will run a 20-year business, but they all had an urge to go into business to see if they could do it, and the Chamber said they are proud to have helped them try.

We help with your business plan and with your preparation for the show. We even provide free makeup. And those who have been participants are enthusiastic about the learnings and experience of pitching in front of a live audience. And Dragons. Yikes!” said the Chamber. “The Chamber does a lot around Meaford, as do Chambers of Commerce all across the country and indeed the world. From our Community Awards, support of the Wave/Summerfest, Scarecrow Invasion, Beautiful Joe, and Christmas on The Bay, our After 5 networking events, running the Tourism Apple, offering the Chamber Benefits Insurance Plan, and member support including advocacy with the Town, and even handing out popcorn at MIFF and the Santa Claus Parade, our Administrator and Board of Directors are big participants in the activities of Meaford. But one of our favourites is Meaford Dragons. It is our chance to give back to the community on a personal level. We know so many aspiring entrepreneurs need a nudge and so many existing business owners need just a helping hand to get to a better place a little sooner. Let us help.”

Past winners and participants include:

  • 2022 – Sheardown’s Restaurant, Spencer Safety Solutions, Green Peak Therapy,

Christmas on The Bay, and L’AB Fitness Studio/Holistic Health Clinic/Botanical Apothecary.

This was our first show to feature 5! female contestants!

  • 2021 – Still Fields Brewery, East Grey Hunters & Anglers, Sheardown’s Restaurant, Amy Tremblay Psychotherapist, Love Me Long Time Boutique
  • 2020 (video show, due to Covid) – The Purple Hollow, Northern Nutrition Pet Food, Czech It Out, Little Wren Hair Studio, The Big Canoe Project
  • 2019 – Free Spirit Forest and Nature School, Back 40 Glamping, Postings K9 dog training, Pampered Paw Spa (now The Groomery), Silk Family Homestead
  • 2018 – Outback Woodshack, Mojo’s, Fresh Express

Other Slayers of note include Quench Buggy, Ride On Bikes, Home Buttons, CTRE Productions, Windswept Cider, Mutable Arts Dance Studio, Kilannan Brewery, The Frauxmagerie, Meredith’s Ginger Syrup, Rapid Fab, Zaagi Soap, and Bayview Escarpment Furniture.

Applications for this year’s contestants, aka Slayers, are available at the Chamber office and online.

Tickets are available at Meaford Hall.

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