Hamilton Economic Development

Eat Street comes to Hamilton

A huge congratulations to Gorilla Cheese for their recent success in attracting Food Network’s Eat Street to Hamilton to feature one of the city’s favourite food trucks (http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/770103–eat-street-comes-to-hamilton). Not only will the feature be a great profile for Gorilla Cheese, but we believe for the city as well. Did you know that Gorilla Cheese is one of the Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre’s (SBEC) success stories? The SBEC played a role in assisting the team at Gorilla Cheese with their business plan, commercial licensing and kick-off marketing. If you don’t know, Hamilton’s SBEC provides the information and tools that entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses. Operating as an arm of the Economic Development Division of the City of Hamilton, the Centre is a one-stop source for business information, guidance and professional advice on starting and running a successful business – for both start-up and growing businesses.

Maybe you’ll be the next star food truck, or salon, or architect or whatever you want to be. If you want to start your own business in Hamilton, visit us at:




Eat Street comes to Hamilton

The Eat Street production crew interviews brothers Mike, left, and Stephen Algera about their grilled cheezer experience.Addison Forret and his family drove all the way from Stouffville to wait in an hour-long line just for a grilled cheese sandwich.

The Forrets love food trucks — they plan family vacations around the Food Network show Eat Street. So when they heard host James Cunningham would be in Hamilton Sunday to feature the Gorilla Cheese truck, they knew they had to make the trek.

“Yup, it was worth it,” Forret grinned, digesting on a bench in the park.

Eat Street is produced in Canada but typically focuses on American food trucks. In Canada, trucks more often run into climate and bylaw restrictions, Cunningham said.

The Toronto-born Food Network star kicked off his comedy career at Yuk Yuk’s in downtown Hamilton, he said, so he was excited to be back for the shoot.

“We love our Canadian trucks … this is a really, really positive thing (for the city). Trucks bring gourmet food to the streets at affordable prices,” he said.

Gorilla Cheese won its segment on Eat Street through the show’s online video contest.

“And first of all, I love grilled cheese. They do what they do really well and they do it in a pretty cool way. And they create excitement … look at all these families out,” Cunningham said.

Sunday’s filming (the episode won’t air for a few months) lined up perfectly with Gorilla Cheese’s one-year anniversary on Saturday.

“Of all the things in the past year, winning Lion’s Lair and winning tourism awards, changing the bylaws in Hamilton was probably our biggest achievement,” said Graeme Smith, co-owner of Gorilla Cheese.

And its Food Network debut this year is a pretty good way to start off year two.

“It’s awesome, it’s important on quite a few levels. I mean, it will be great to be showcased in 40 countries,” he said. “But the most important thing is that we were voted in by all these people.”

Article courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator.

Who’s the boss?

Sarah BrownAge: 22School: Landscape architecture grad from University of Guelph. Starting her Masters of landscape architecture program at Guelph in September.Business: Ladybug Landscape Designs is a residential and commercial landscape design business. The designs are made to scale, in colour with a focus on the installation of plants and shrubbery. She also provides elevation and perspective drawings when necessary. The average cost for a design of a residential front or back yard is $350, but varies depending on the size and complexity of the project.Origin of Business Idea:  My mom has been a landscape designer for 20 years and I’ve worked with her in the past and it inspired me to go into the program. And I’ve been opened up to opportunities I never thought existed, like historic restoration.Goals: For the summer I’m earning money to go back to school. In the long-term my goal is to continue on and make this a career. It’s really awakened me to what it’s like to really work hard and be an entrepreneur.Why the Summer Company: I think it’s such a great experience for young ambitious students to get real-world experience that’s going to help shape their careers in the future, whether its being an entrepreneur or not. I also thought it was a good way to get my name out there as a designer and launch myself into that business environment.Hardest part of being an entrepreneur: It’s difficult to learn how to manage your time and your money because when you work for someone else you know how much you’re going to be earning and you have set hours. It’s all been challenging but in a good way. Contact: ladybug.design.ontario@gmail.comPhotography, swimming, cleaning and landscaping are just four of the avenues young entrepreneurs have chosen for their summer business through the provincially-funded program, Summer Company.

“They’ve taken a hobby they have an interest in and turned it into a business,” said Dragica Lebo, the co-ordinator for Summer Company. “Most want to work for themselves rather than someone else.”

The Hamilton program is run through the city’s small business enterprise centre. The city provides the new entrepreneurs with mentors and hosts seminars to help them with the details of running a business.

The Ontario-funded program started a decade ago and provides students aged 15 to 29 with a one-time $3,000 grant to help run their business.

To qualify, a student must live in Ontario, be in school and plan to return in the fall, must not be operating an existing or previously existing business, and be prepared to commit a minimum of 35 hours a week for at least eight consecutive weeks if in high school or 12 consecutive weeks if enrolled in a post-secondary program.

Applicants are also required to submit a business plan and go through an interview. If the business gets a passing grade and the interview goes well, the student receives the first $1,500 to cover startup costs from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

“Most of the students who participate in the program have never taken a business course before,” Lebo said. “So it’s not just for commerce students, it’s up for anybody who wants to gain the experience and learn.”

Once students are in the program, they’re matched with mentors to help them go over details of running a business and attend presentations and seminars by a variety of business professionals.

The money earned during the summer is theirs to keep and at the end of the summer, if students complete their journals and the required 12 hours of business training and mentoring, they receive the second $1,500 to help with their business after the program is completed.

The program runs until the end of the summer, but students can choose to continue with their business throughout the year or go full time next summer and have the opportunity to run for the next five years because their business is registered with the province upon acceptance in the program.

“The best part about the program is that it gets them going,” said Lebo “Some students do it part-time and come back full force next summer and others have actually turned the business into a full time job.”

This summer, 76 students applied for the grant and 15 were accepted.

Article courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator.

Michael Marini & Mark Stewart on CHML

The Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Director of Commercial Activities Mark Stewart and Marketing Coordinator for Hamilton Economic Development Michael Marini joined the Scott Thompson Show on July 11, 2012 to speak about the new AGH Design Annex opening up on James Street North in Downtown Hamilton.

Click here to listen.  (Run time 14:57)

Councillor Lloyd Ferguson and Michael Marin on CHML

Ward 12 Councillor Lloyd Ferguson and Marketing Coordinator for Hamilton Economic Development Michael Marini joined Jamie West (filling in on The Bill Kelly Show) to speak about Ancaster’s new gateway feature and upcoming events to support small businesses in Ancaster.

Click here to listen.  (Run time 17:08)

Cash Mob in Ancaster this Saturday!

This Saturday, July 14th from 10am-2pm, the Ancaster BIA will be holding a Cash Mob to welcome patrons back to the BIA after several months of construction. Follow this link for more information and hope to see you there!

Triple pad hockey facility rising in Stoney Creek

Danny Trombetta stands in the shell of a triple pad arena he is building on the South Service Road at Fruitland Road in Stoney Creek.A $25-million privately-owned triple pad hockey arena complete with gymnasium, running track and full-serve restaurant is taking shape in Stoney Creek.

Called the Gateway Ice Centre, the facility is located at Fruitland Road and South Service Road, adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Way.

“Fruitland Road is the gateway to Stoney Creek,” owner and president Danny Trombetta said when asked about the name during a tour of the work site Wednesday. “We’re easy to get to. It’s 20 minutes from anywhere you want to be.”

The Trombetta and Ferrelli families are partners in the venture and also operate Grand River Natural Stone Ltd.

“This is an exciting project,” said Trombetta. “Stoney Creek-Hamilton is very important to us. We have over 40 years of business experience in Stoney Creek. We saw there was a need. We’re giving back.”

Trombetta says the size of the arena is just under 100,000 square feet. Two of the three ice surfaces will be regulation NHL size, with the other being slightly smaller.

The main rink — with 12 change rooms — features 1,600 backed seats located in a bowl shape around the ice. The other two rinks each have seating for 400.

In addition to the three ice pads, the following features are scheduled to be part of Gateway Ice Centre:

• An 8,000-square-foot 5-Star Fitness and Nutrition Centre, with membership open to the public

• A Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, with connecting outdoor patio, overlooking rink No. 1

• A three-lane rubberized wraparound running track over rink No. 2

• A fan friendly viewing area with 49-foot ceilings, two private boxes and an oversize press box

• A sport shop with skate sharpening.

“We should be ready by the end of September,” Trombetta said of the expected completion date. “We tried to hire as many of the local trades and contractors as possible when we had the chance. The bulk of materials also came from Ontario and Canada.

“Hundreds of people have been working on this site.”

One of Gateway’s tenants for the upcoming season will be the Stoney Creek Junior B Warriors. The Stoney Creek Girls’ Hockey Association also will shift its AA and Junior A teams to Gateway.

Another organization calling Gateway home will be Steel City Hockey. It’s expected to have 600-900 players this season. Peter Caco has been owner and operator of the organization for the past 17 years. He has also joined with the Canadian Independent Hockey Federation to run a noncontact development league beginning in October.

“Over the years, people have asked me, ‘When are you going to start your own winter league?’” Caco said. “I told them ‘When I get a rink’. Then the word got out that this rink was going to be built. They want me to be the main user.”

Trombetta says public ice rental fees of $235 per hour are competitive with other rates in the city. Gateway is located near another privately-funded indoor recreational site — Players Paradise. Its artificial turf is used for a variety of sports.

“It will have a natural stone feel,” arena project manager Tony Falasca said in reference to the exterior’s eventual appearance. “It will look sharp.”

“These guys are really stepping up to the plate as an ownership group.”

Article courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator



    Ranked Canada's most diversified economy, home to Canada's busiest multi-modal cargo airport, the busiest port on the Canadian Great Lakes, and centrally located within a one hour drive to Toronto, Waterloo and the Niagara/US Border, Hamilton is at the center of it all. With two internationally renowned post-secondary institutions in the city (surrounded by 23 other), a diverse and learned workforce and both ample greenfield and urban sites upon which to build, we're ready for your investment.

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