Roots 2 Wings is the first winner for 2016


By: Shelby Wye

Last week, local business Roots 2 Wings was awarded $10,000 by ADP Canada as part of a 2016 Small Business Grant Contest.

The contest gives the winner $10,000 cash prize, and a year of free payroll services, valued at $3,500.

Roots 2 Wings, located on 3230 Jefferson Blvd, provides services to youth and young adults with disabilities, and provides an environment to learn life skills, be involved with the community, socialization with their peers, professional development, and recreation to enrich the livelihood of every client involved.

Jody Lowrie,  founder of Roots 2 Wings, said that the announcement brought her to tears.

“I was out, actually leaving Ten Friends diner with my clients and volunteers,” she said, “It was really exciting for all of us to hear the news.”

She thanks the volunteers for the overwhelming support, from the co-op students who encouraged their classmates to vote, to the therapy dogs that wore collars reminding everyone to support Roots 2 Wings.

She said that it means so much to her organization, and will help them keep strong and keep moving forward. “We can make it so much more accessible for our clients,” she said.

Part of the grant money will go towards accessibility features, like more handrails, and much needed lift and transfer equipment to help with transportation. They are also looking into a Snoezlen addition, also known as a controlled multisensory environment, for their clients to enjoy.

The money will also support the current programs that they host, such as Inspired Sounds Music Therapy, Dance with Soul to Sole, Winstars Gymnastics, Potter & Palettes, pet therapy and other volunteer initiatives.

And, finally, it will help start the funding for a van or a bus to help ease the process of transporting clients to and from outings.

Roots 2 Wings was established in 2013. Jody Lowrie’s son Gabe has autism. When Gabe graduated from high school, Lowrie found the lack of support for young adults with disabilities hindering her son’s opportunities.

“While I was looking for programs, I remember talking to people, saying I could probably make a program of my own. The response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Lowrie. She knew that other people were facing the same problems she was.

“Life isn’t over for our kids when they turn 18. They still want to be out and be social. There were programs, but they weren’t integrated with the community,” said Lowrie. She said it’s important for these young adults to be around their peers, just like any other youth of that age.

“It’s heart-warming to see that the ADP Small Business Grant will be helping small businesses like Roots 2 Wings,” said Virginia Brailey,Vice President, Marketing and Strategy at ADP Canada. “We are pleased to see Roots 2 Wings will be able to expand its resources, and continue to make such a meaningful contribution to the community of Windsor.”

It started out of her home, but has moved a couple times as her clientele grew larger and larger. Now, Roots 2 Wings is well on its way to being a small business that will keep for a very long time

Holistic art-based business wins grant

Danah Beaulieu, founder and owner of Art Indeed is shown at her Windsor, ON. art studio. She offers holistic-based programs for children, families, teens, adults and seniors. The organization just received a $10,000 grant. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

Danah Beaulieu, founder and owner of Art Indeed is shown at her Windsor, ON. art studio. She offers holistic-based programs for children, families, teens, adults and seniors. The organization just received a $10,000 grant. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

By: Kelly Steele

Being creative has always come naturally to Danah Beaulieu.

So, when her business Art InDeed — Wellness Though Creativity was competing for a $10,000 grant she knew how to step up her game.

“Basically I had to tell the story of Art InDeed,” she said. “We had to talk about what we do and why I’m passionate about this business.”

In her business, which offers holistic arts-based program for people of all ages, she often tells her clients creating is non-verbal. So, she put her advice into practice.

“We made a video and put a bunch of pictures of the staff up, including a sign that said Vote for Art InDeed and then we shared our story visually,” she said. “We didn’t use any words because we wanted it to be touching to those deeper parts of ourselves.”

Art InDeed embraced social media hitting Facebook and encouraging friends and family to vote for them. Over 250 businesses nationwide entered into the contest sponsored by ADP Canada which is one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. The top five winners picked by community votes were then put before a panel of judges.

“We were so excited to see we made it into the top five,” she said. “Then after weeks of waiting, I finally got the call that we had won and I started to cry. They told us Art InDeed was the company that made the biggest impact.”

The $10,000 will be used to add staff to the growing Victoria Street business. Since opening its doors in 2005, the business has expanded to offer programs at organizations like Hospice, the Alzheimer Society of Windsor-Essex County, House of Sophrosyne, Roots to Windsor and Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society in addition to those at the studio.

“We offer art programs that are both theme-based and media-based,” Beaulieu said. “We do offer classes that explore some technique to build artistic skills but mainly we focus on the creative process of making art. We don’t worry about what it’s going to look like in the end, we encourage them to let go and not worry about the outcome — just enjoy the moment.”

Art InDeed offers programs for those interested in exploring and experiencing art-making, nurture and discover their creativity, increase their art skills and heal mind, body and spirit.

“We offer a relaxed atmosphere so people are able to get a sense of self-affirmation which is great for building self confidence, self awareness and self knowledge,” she said. “That is key in feeling empowered whether you are a child or adult. Whether you have child dealing with loss and not sure how to talk about it or an adult undergoing cancer treatment, this process helps with some self-discovery in a playful way.”

Beaulieu’s studio is packed with paint brushes and easels, there are mounds of clay, boxes of shells and the walls and flowers are covered in paint spatter.

“Creativity is messy,” she said. “People come here to nurture their creativity and discover it. Creativity is an adventure of remembering the truth of who we are and the freedom that comes with that.”

Source: Windsor Star

December Winner Chinched Bistro Keeps It Fresh

Congratulations to our December winner: Chinched Bistro! A labour of love for chefs/owners Michelle LeBlanc and Shawn Hussey, Chinched Bistro has been serving gourmet bistro cuisine with a focus on fresh local ingredients in Fogo Island, NL for the past four years. Their commitment of serving food that stays true to the region was recently recognized as Best Integration and Promotion of Local Agriculture by the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Forestry and Agriculture.

While their passion for food is unquestionable, the day-to-day costs of running a restaurant have prevented them from investing in the little things that help a restaurant stand apart. After winning the ADP Small Business Grant Contest this December, they’ll finally be able to make some exciting updates to their dining room. As Michelle puts it, these days “people eat with their eyes”, and staying competitive is as much about creating a unique atmosphere as it is about serving delicious food.

Winning the ADP Small Business Grant Contest will help Michelle and Shawn evolve Chinched Bistro. “Having this financial flexibility is incredibly wonderful,” says Michelle, “We could not be happier to have been selected for the grant.” We’re so excited for the whole team at Chinched Bistro and can’t wait to watch them thrive. Stay tuned for updates on future winners in the ADP Small Business Grant Contest, and if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by for some first-rate Newfoundland fare.


By: Ian Hardy

The annual Small Business Grant contest was announced earlier this month by ADP Canada. Similar to previous years, ADP is offering up six $10,000 grants to small businesses in Canada. The contest is currently open and looking for submissions that speak “to the real benefit of winning $10,000″ and how it will positively impact your business.

ADP announced the first winner of the contest is Le Doggy Café, Montreal’s first “dog café.” Owner Gabrielle Aubin stated she has used the funds to hired staff, move and redesign the office space, and also renovate the cafe.

Le Doggy Café is a unique space where owners and their dogs can socialize and relax. It acts as a coffee shop and also provides an indoor dog park that features custom made furniture, which is human and pet friendly. Gabrielle’s goal is to create an environment that is different from the usual restaurant while also aiming to be a positive contribution to the community.

“Winning the ADP Small Business Grant Contest means we will be able to equip our store with custom made furniture to comfortably accommodate our customers and their companions together,” said Gabrielle Aubin, owner and operator, Le Doggy Café. “The grant will also help us purchase a photo booth for inside the restaurant to provide a creative and fun way for our customers to interact with their pets and leave our restaurant a great memory.”

“It’s inspiring to see new start-up companies like Le Doggy Cafe applying for the grant and sharing their story,” said Greg Secord, President, ADP Canada, Employer Services Division. “We wish Le Doggy Café great success as they open their doors this month and look forward to hearing how the business evolves within the community.”

Source: BetaKit

November Winner Le Doggy Café Unleashes its Creativity

Congratulations to our November winner, Le Doggy Café! As the name suggests, this new one-of-a-kind café in Montreal will cater to both two- and four-legged customers. By creating a welcoming space for dogs, owner Gabrielle Aubin hopes to help café patrons relax and enjoy a cup of coffee without the stress of leaving their dogs at home or tied up outside.

This innovative idea comes with some interesting challenges, and winning the ADP Small Business Grant Contest will help Le Doggy Café tackle them. Gabrielle plans to invest the money in special canine-friendly furniture, so owners can comfortably keep their furry friends close by. She also plans to install a special photo booth, where café patrons and their dogs can create special memories that will last a lifetime.

Gabrielle is incredibly excited about the realization of her dream. “Winning the ADP Grant is the final push we needed to make our project come together,” she writes, “It made us feel worthy and grateful…it allows us to look forward, with confidence.” Congratulations to Gabrielle and best of luck with the opening of Le Doggy Café! Stay tuned for more updates on future winners in the ADP Small Business Grant Contest.

The first 2015 ADP Canada Small Business Grant winner, Gabrielle Aubin, owner and operator of Le Doggy Café, holding a cheque for $10,000 with France Schnob, Sales Executive, Small Businesses, ADP Canada.

The first 2015 ADP Canada Small Business Grant winner, Gabrielle Aubin, owner and operator of Le Doggy Café, holding a cheque for $10,000 with France Schnob, Sales Executive, Small Businesses, ADP Canada.


By Ian Hardy

Small businesses and entrepreneurs help drive Canadian businesses forward. ADP wants to recognize this and has announced its annual Small Business Grant Contest. Similar to previous years, ADP is offering up six $10,000 grants available to small businesses in Canada.

The contest is currently open and is open to companies with up to 99 employees, with the the final voting happeing on April 30th, 2015. The rules are simple and those interested can sharing their business story and also describe what they would do to improve their business with $10,000. In addition to the possible $10k grant, winning companies will also receive up to $3,500 in waived payroll services for one year.

“The incredible response to the ADP Grant Contest, and the success stories we’re hearing from our winners, remind us that small businesses are the economic heart of a community. Investments in small business are really investments in our communities,” said Greg Secord, President, ADP Canada. “We are pleased this year to invite even more entrepreneurs to share their stories.”

Source: BetaKit

ADP® to Award Six $10,000 Grants to Small Businesses in Canada

Third Annual Grant Contest open to Small Businesses with Up to 99 Employees

TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2014 /CNW/ – ADP Canada, the leading provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions to Canadian businesses, today announced that its popular Small Business Grant contest has returned for a third year, with six $10,000 grants available to small businesses in Canada. The contest opens for entries on October 1, 2014, with the first of six monthly voting periods beginning on November 1st. The contest has been extended this year to companies with up to 99 employees, and the final voting period closes on April 30, 2015. Winning companies will also receive up to $3,500 in waived payroll services for one year.

Applicants enter the contest by visiting, sharing their business story, and describing what they would do to improve their business with $10,000 and they can then invite their customers, employees, friends, and family to show their support by voting for their submission online. Starting this year, entrants will also be able to upload videos.

ADP, first launched the grant program in October 2012. Winners from the 2013-2014 contest included a wide range of small businesses from different industries and regions across Canada, all with a common desire to grow and improve their businesses. Tania’s Place, an Ontario-based centre that helps adults with physical and developmental disabilities, was the first winner from Fall 2013. Executive Director, Francie Trajkovski used the grant to help pay down renovation costs after moving to a larger location to service their growing clientele. In turn, this helped free up capital for Trajkovski to hire another full-time staff member, allowing the creation of three new spaces for client families.

“The ADP Small Business Grant was really a lifeline for us,” said Trajkovski, noting with the financial pressure from the renovation alleviated, they can now look ahead to better serving the community. “The money awarded to us by ADP was not just for Tania’s place, but for the whole community we serve. It is allowing me to plan for the future so that the business can grow and we can provide services to more families in the area.”

“The incredible response to the ADP Grant Contest, and the success stories we’re hearing from our winners, remind us that small businesses are the economic heart of a community. Investments in small business are really investments in our communities,” said Greg Secord, President, ADP Canada. “We are pleased this year to invite even more entrepreneurs to share their stories.”

Montreal-based EVOO, a restaurant specializing in French cuisine, used the grant money to create a new dining space to encourage repeat customers and stay competitive. “We saw an increase in the volume of customers coming in almost overnight, and we are selling more because people are staying longer,” said Peter Saunders, co-chef and co-owner, EVOO. “We were able to fully refurbish the dining room, and the investment has kept us competitive.”

EVOO’s plans for the future include adding new staff as volume continues to grow, and offering existing staff more training and opportunities. “Our staff is vital to our success, and the ADP Small Business Grant is creating new opportunities for us and our employees.”

About ADP Canada
ADP Canada Co. is a leading provider of human capital management, payroll and benefits solutions that power organizations to drive business success. More than 25,000 businesses across Canada trust ADP to help them succeed. For more information about ADP Canada or to contact a local ADP Canada sales office, call us at 1 866-228-9675, visit us at or follow us on Twitter @ADP_CDA.

About ADP
With more than $12-billion in revenues and 65 years of experience, ADP (Nasdaq: ADP) serves approximately 637,000 clients in more than 125 countries. As one of the world’s largest providers of business outsourcing and Human Capital Management solutions, ADP offers a wide range of human resource, payroll, talent management, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source, and helps clients comply with regulatory and legislative changes, such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). ADP’s easy-to-use solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine, recreational vehicle, and heavy equipment dealers throughout the world. For more information about ADP, visit the company’s Web site at

The ADP logo and ADP are registered trademarks of ADP, LLC. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright © 2014 ADP Canada Co.


Use windfalls strategically to help your company grow

National Post
By Rick Spence

How could $10,000 help your business?

That’s the question being asked by ADP Canada, the HR systems company that has chosen a unique way to promote itself in the small-business market: giving away $10,000 to a half-dozen winning companies each year.

With a third round of ADP’s “Small Business Grant Contest” gearing up next month, I decided to look back at some past winners to see how they spent their mad money. Can this cash take their businesses to another level? And how much transformation can 10 grand buy?

That may not be a life-changing amount of money. But it turns out to be just the right amount to help companies over the cash-flow hump — that awkward phase when success demands expansion, yet the costs of growth are higher than its short-term returns.

Case in point is the first winner in the fall 2013 round, Tania’s Place, an Ajax, Ont.-based activity centre that offers day programs to adults with special needs. In her contest application, founder and executive director Francie Trajkovski explained that Tania’s Place helps adults with physical and developmental disabilities find new life and learning after finishing high school. Now 10 years old, its programs focus on life skills, work placement, fitness, art and social studies.

Tania’s Place recently moved into a larger, 8,000-sq. ft. space, but operating costs keep climbing, and its hard-pressed customers say they can’t afford fee increases. Trajkovski’s submission to ADP cited the need to pay off her renovation costs and hire more staff.

Surveyed for the Financial Post by ADP six months after her win, Trajkovski confirmed she had paid down the line of credit that funded her renovations. She also hired a new staff member, which made it possible for three more families to benefit from the service. “For many of these families, Tania’s Place has meant they can go back to work, have a respite, or spend time with their other children. The money was not just for Tania’s Place, it was for the whole community.”

Asked what advice she’d offer to future winners, Trajkovski advised sticking to a plan. “Use the money for the right reasons, and not silly things that don’t help your business. Paying off debt is a good idea. Because once your debts are paid, you have more available revenue and can focus on the future and building your business.”

The next winner was Yearn to Learn YK, a youth tutoring service based in Yellowknife, NWT. Since founding the home-based business in April 2013, former teacher Kate Gilbert found herself stretched to meet demand for her after-school programs. With her $10,000, she was able to move the business to larger premises and hire employees to share the teaching.

In her follow-up survey, Gilbert said her win gave the business new visibility while enabling it to expand. “Becoming more recognized in the community makes us more accessible to people who want our services.” She also urged other entrepreneurs to take gifts like this seriously: “You need to set up a long-range plan and map out carefully where the money needs to go.”

Similar growing pains beset Eikonic Mane Inc., a men’s barber shop and hair salon in Brampton, Ont. Co-founder Jessica Hoach said that since opening in Bramalea City Centre in 2010, Eikonic has won over 6,000 clients, and the staff has grown from two people to nine. Suddenly Eikonic had too few barbers to meet demand, an outdated website, hot-water shortages, and insufficient seating for waiting customers.

Hoach says Eikonic Mane used its grant to hire new employees and redesign the reception area to improve customer flow. She also reserved half of the winnings to install a new hot-water system to ensure they never run out again. Best of all, she says, her customers notice a difference. “They see the changes we’re making and get excited about it. They take pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish.”

Two years ago, three young entrepreneurs on a shoestring opened EVOO, a restaurant specializing in French cuisine, in the Montreal neighbourhood of St-Henri. In seeking an ADP grant, they cited their location on an underrated but “not yet crowded” commercial street, and provided a photo of a dining room that had all the warmth of a bus-station cafeteria.

When they won $10,000, co-owners Sophie Ouellet, Peter Saunders, and Claudie Harvey say their first impulse was to buy a $3,000 blender. But they disciplined themselves to invest in a dining-room makeover. “We knew we needed to make the space consistent with the care and attention we put into our food,” they said. “We needed to add sections to make the dining room seem smaller and more intimate. We created an elevated section in front of the windows and built booths, and also put in all-new lighting and chairs.”

Walk-in traffic increased immediately, as did reservations called in from intrigued passersby. “The investment lets us remain competitive,” the chefs conclude. “We should have done the dining room like this initially, but we didn’t. And we felt the mistake right away.”

A fifth winner was the ALS Society of British Columbia, which supports patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the degenerative  neuromuscular disease. It invested its $10,000 grant in extra promotion for ALS Awareness Month in June, resulting in higher event participation and more funds raised. More recently, though, ALS BC has taken in nearly $100,000 from the Ice Bucket Challenge, a continent-wide phenomenon that has people dumping cold water over each other for a good cause.

Which proves that planning and discipline are both important, but sometimes it’s good to be lucky.

What could you do with $10,000?

What could you do with an extra $10,000? Few are the entrepreneurs who couldn’t do something creative with an extra 10 Gs in mad money.

That’s why payroll giant ADP Canada launched a contest late last year that awards $10,000 cash to one small business a month for the first six months of 2013. All the owners have to do is write a short essay about their business and what they would do with the money, then get their friends and family to vote for their story. The first winner was the slightly astonished Amy Lapointe, founder of Amy’s Quality Care/Home Care in tiny Gravel Hill, on New Brunswick’s economically devastated North Shore. Founded 11 months ago, Amy’s Quality Care provides patient care in hospitals and home care to the elderly and infirm who need a little TLC to stay in their homes.

Lapointe’s story is a touching slice of modern Canadiana – a success story carved out of an unforgiving landscape. Her business is located halfway between Campbell-ton and Bathurst, on the shore of Chaleur Bay. For most of the 20th century, the region prospered, thanks to its forest wealth and the 1928 construction of a giant pulp and paper mill in nearby Dalhousie. But it has been losing population and economic vigour for 30 years; the pulp mill closed in 2008.

Today, employment opportunities are few, and many young people from the North Shore head to Alberta for work. As a result, the region’s population skews nearly a decade older than the New Brunswick average and many of the older residents have no young family members close by to care for them.

Lapointe, a 36-year-old mother of two who went back to school to become a nurse and worked five years at Chaleur regional Hospital in Bathurst, couldn’t help but notice the number of patients who stayed in the hospital while waiting for rooms to open up in local nursing homes. Knowing that trained home-care workers could help many of these patients stay in their homes, she began teaching a certification course for personal-support workers. Last March, she formed her agency to better connect patients and caregivers.

Few high-tech startups anywhere in Canada can match Amy’s rapid growth. From a staff of three last March, the company now has 25 employees and is looking for more. Lapointe is especially proud of the impact she’s having on her region. “This is 25 people in this area that might have had to go out West to find work. Now they can stay in their own community, and help their clients stay in their own homes.”

Lapointe says humbly, her secret is she cares. “A lot of people know me in this area. I go to their homes a lot. I’m very hands-on.” Plus, she continues to teach through Bathurst’s Academy of Learning College, which gives her a chance to handpick the best talent.

Three weeks ago, Amy’s Quality Care won a contract to provide workers to a hospital in Campbellton, giving Lapointe her first foothold in the western part of the region. But it only exacerbates her cash-flow squeeze.

While the clients pay at the end of the month, her workers like to get paid every two weeks. So Lapointe has to finance payroll, which becomes more costly as her company grows. That’s a key reason she entered the ADP contest. “I would use the money for extra payroll capital to hire more employees and grow my business,” she
wrote in her essay. She also noted that since she was already an ADP customer, the company’s offer of free payroll services for a year would free up even more cash to invest in growth.

At first, Lapointe wondered how she could even hope to win a contest that solicits entries from across Canada. But she decided it would cost her nothing to try, and wrote her essay in a single evening.

The evaluation stage is in two parts: the five companies that received the most votes on ADP’s contest site make up a short list, from which a judging panel picks one winner. ADP encourages contestants to get everyone they know to vote for their entry, so Lapointe took the campaign to her Facebook page. That helped generate 350 votes and set the stage for her big win.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” she said. In addition to investing in payroll, she is looking to spend about $2,500 on advertising to attract more clients, especially in the Bathurst area. “I have workers who would like to work for me if I can get more business,” she says. She has just begun running half-page ads in a
Restigouche community newspaper, and looks forward to analyzing the results. She is also talking to a radio station. Lapointe shivers at the high cost of airtime, but she loves being able to experiment on someone else’s dime.

ADP’s Small Business Grant contest will name one winner a month until April. entries are being accepted until March 31.

Reproduced with the express permission of: “National Post”, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.