June 11, 2004

With the click of a mouse, new information and assistance for small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs is now available in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Known as a the one-stop shop for business resources, the “Smart Business” website (www.smartbusiness4u.orgis an exciting new service for people interested or involved in small business.  The Smart Business website – a project funded through Industry Canada’s Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) Initiative – is known for its straightforwardness and for providing quality, up-to-date educational information, as well as information on local products and services.

Launched in November 2003 by Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation (KLCFDC), their focus was to provide current business information and services to the City’s residents, business owners and potential entrepreneurs.  The KLCFDC is hosting the “Smart Business” site through its own website at

Successful partnerships with community members and organizations are key to the strength of any project, but they were essential in the development stages of this website.  Many partners in the community were involved in the site's development, including Industry Canada and the Technology Alliance Group (TAG) for Kawartha Lakes.  The “” domain was created to help promote awareness for the new site.  This initiative brings together all the excellent businesses products and services that are available in the community, in one simple format.
Although the website was just "born" in November 2003, organizers strongly believe that, over time, it will benefit with the entire community.  In excess of 200 mini-CD Rom "presentation cards" were distributed early in the New Year and the feedback from their users was extremely positive.  Additionally, the site targets rural youth and potential Self Employment Benefit (SEB) Program participants.  Rural youth can easily research local employment opportunities, including skilled trades and self-employment, without looking to leave their community to work in larger centres such as Peterborough and Oshawa.  Prospective entrepreneurs and SEB Program participants can also access current government-sponsored programs easier and faster.
The site was designed to provide assistance to Kawartha Lakes consumers and businesses through business directories, posting of employment opportunities, on-line business assistance, requests for financial support and information on self employment programs, business planning and other advisory services.
Site pages include:
* Business Directories geared to feature both SEB-based businesses and established – local businesses for consumers
* On-Line Polls– that will work with local media leading to greater knowledge pertaining to community interests, opinions and needs, as well as business information
* Assistance for Business –planning, start-ups and expansions
* Job Mart
* Self Employment Programs
* Business Advisory Services
* Financial Assistance
The goal of KLCFDC is to provide long-term, sustainable community development for its region; contains sections for local residents and business owners to find important information.  For example, Job Mart contains the creation and promotion of employment opportunities.  The Assistance for Business, Business Advisory Services and Self Employment Services sections provide easy access to information and services, including details about starting or planning for a small business.  Additionally, the site is an opportunity to list one’s own business.  The Financial Assistance page provides on-line access to the Kawartha Lakes CFDC Loan Application Forms.  All of these opportunities will benefit the rural community on a long-term scale.
Small business is the life-blood of the Canadian economy.  This initiative’s goal was to provide current information and support, which will help small business owners remain sustainable and profitable in their communities.  Their goal was to also assist potential entrepreneurs access the support and information they need to launch their business.
“Thanks to the cooperation of our partners and the interest of local businesses and organizations, we’ve been able to deliver something we believe can be of value to almost anyone in the community”, said Andrew Wallen, General Manager of the KLCFDC.  The Smart Business project organizers, the KLCFDC and its partners, aimed this program at assisting local citizens with long-term, sustainable support for economic development.  Their dream for the new website is that it will be an ongoing and long-term source of information and support for all citizens in the City of Kawartha Lakes.