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Connect The Dots is NOW OPEN!

Event date: Wednesday, November 20, 2013, at 10:30 AM
Location: 206 Park Avenue, 2nd Floor

November 20, 2013 – A new Thunder Bay business aimed at providing a unique, nature-oriented education experience to Thunder Bay children and parents has officially opened its doors.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place today at Connect The Dots, located at 206 Park Avenue, 2nd Floor. Owner Natasha Robertson worked with the Thunder Bay & District Entrepreneur Centre (located within CEDC) to launch the business.

“The Entrepreneur Centre assisted me considerably in all facets of opening a small business,” Robertson said. “Stacia Kean of the Entrepreneur Centre helped me to connect with the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation Grant, the Canadian Youth Business Loan and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). In order to apply, I needed to write a business plan. The Entrepreneur Centre guided me through the lengthy process and I now have a 50 page business plan that will assist me with the application process for grant and loan approvals.”

Robertson is an elementary school teacher who, after becoming a mother, realized mothers are looking for new, unique and fun activities to do with their children.

“My job didn't have a viable option for me to work part time and be a truly dedicated mother” Robertson said. “I have two amazing children, one-year-old Malcolm and four-year-old Fynnley, and I really want to teach them that life is all about family.”

She said opening Connect The Dots allowed her to be with her children while still doing what she loves to do: teach.

“My goal is to have fun with my children all while sharing what I love to do,” Robertson said. “I love to create, I love teach and I love nature!”

Connect The Dots is a nature-inspired play centre that provides children with hands-on play and a stimulating environment, allowing children and parents to explore, learn, play and discover together.

 “Small businesses contribute to our local economy by bringing growth and innovation to our community,” said Stacia Kean, Development Officer for CEDC.  “Small businesses are the cornerstones of our economy, creating jobs that support families in our community. Part of the Entrepreneur Centre’s mandate is to assist people in starting new businesses and firms locally. Thunder Bay is open for business, and we want to do everything that we can to help small business owners grow and be successful.”

Mayor Keith Hobbs, who participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said entrepreneurs like Robertson are a crucial part of Thunder Bay’s economy.

“Small businesses are vital to our economy, economic growth, strength and sustainability of Thunder Bay,” said Mayor Hobbs. “I am happy to be here to celebrate Natasha’s grand opening. Small businesses and startups provide more than just jobs for community members. They can also improve innovation and productivity on a local level.”

For more information, visit www.connectthedotstbay.com.

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Contact:   Karen Martin, Marketing Officer – CEDC, 625-3969