New businesses coming to town

PORT HAWKESBURY: The winner of a recent entrepreneurship contest is moving ahead with plans to open her new business.

After the Town of Port Hawkesbury’s January council meeting, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton gave an update on the winner of the Start-Up Port Hawkesbury competition, Michele Tabensky, who is currently working with the town to secure a site for her business, That Dog Place Incorporated.

“Right now we’re working on some potential land. She’s going to be looking at building,” the mayor said. “She’s certainly working away and we’re all very excited to have her start up her new venture with That Dog Place.”

Chisholm-Beaton said that due to the nature of the business, Tabensky was not able to find an existing building in town that suited her needs.

“It is definitely a unique situation mostly because of zoning. There are only certain zones where you would be able to establish a kennel type of an entity,” she said.

Tabensky told The Reporter last week that she has been very busy making plans. In addition to working on finalizing a location that will fit both her indoor and outdoor needs, she has reserved her company name, finalized building plans, and is waiting for quotes from contractors. Tabensky also plans to search for a groomer to work with her business. She says the community has been very supportive.

“People are still approaching me constantly asking me when it’s going to be open and how it is coming and all that kind of stuff, so people are excited about it,” said Tabensky.

That Dog Place will offer daycare, boarding and grooming. After her business is up and running, Tabensky hopes to offer training services as well. She plans to begin building in the spring or summer.

Following Monday’s council meeting Mayor Chisholm-Beaton said she is also pleased with the recent news from runner-up, Liam Brophy. Brophy has announced he plans to open his new escape room and gaming shop, Island Enigmas, on Granville Street in February.

“So we already have the winner and the runner up who are going to be opening their doors in the near future. So it’s certainly a wonderful indicator that the Start-Up Port Hawkesbury initiative was a tremendous success,” said Chisholm-Beaton.

The town launched the competition last July in partnership with the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network to encourage entrepreneurship in the community. The winner received a variety of prizes including a business loan, legal advice and training. That Dog Place, Island Enigmas, and the marketing and apparel business Proud Maritimer Marketing were the three contestants selected out of a total of 20 submissions to present at the finale on November 23.

“There is going to be some follow-up with some of our former contestants as well to do some workshops with the ESREN and maybe with the Chamber of Commerce and probably InRich, just to see what we can do to continue to support them and potentially have even more businesses opening in 2018 or beyond,” said Chisholm-Beaton.