Sandwich Business Development Summit 2020

The construction phase of the Gordie Howe International Bridge project will bring more than a thousand workers to the area, along with long-term community development opportunities.

The first Sandwich Business Development Summit took place on Tuesday October 27, 2020. This event was directed towards businesses in Sandwich/west Windsor and Windsor-based entrepreneurs to learn more about leveraging the construction of the Gordie Howe International Bridge for business opportunities.

The 2020 Sandwich Summit Resource Guide was created to provide event attendees and other local businesses with detailed information about the program supports that will be offered through the Sandwich Business Development Program and how to register. The resource guide also includes information about the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the Community Benefits Plan for the project, Sandwich Street Reconstruction and additional business resources that may be of interest to Windsor-based entrepreneurs.

Program Details:

Welcome Remarks - Gordie Howe International Bridge Team

Keynote Address: Build It So They Will Come, Work, Live and Stay: Designing for the 21 st Century Demographics - Simon O’Byrne, Stantec

Launch of New Programs to Support Local and Emerging Businesses - WindsorEssex Small Business Centre and The Accelerator in partnership with Baker Tilly Live

Concurrent Breakout Sessions:

1. Commerce Beside Construction: Best Practices for Construction in Business Districts by Kelly Kay, Corporate Communications, City of Kelowna, British Columbia

Session Description: The revitalization of Bernard Avenue in Kelowna, BC, included road construction, improvements to city sidewalks, and enhancements to the local streetscape and pedestrian environment. With construction activity occurring on the doorstep of more than 140 businesses on Kelowna’s main street, the City undertook an award-winning engagement strategy to stay connected with the local business owners. Join Kelly Kay of the City of Kelowna to learn more about the lessons learned and best practices for businesses that emerged through the Bernard Avenue Revitalization project. This session will include a presentation followed by a moderated question and answer period.

2. Small Business Marketing by the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre

Session Description: As a small-business owner you are forced to wear multiple hats with only a limited number of productive hours in a day. To be successful you need to make smart, strategic decisions in all areas of your business, particularly when it comes to marketing. In this breakout session, lead by Natasha Marar, Business Advisor at the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre, you will learn a basic overview of marketing and how to effectively reach your customers to increase sales. Key topics include: Creating your marketing plan, cost effective marketing solutions and how to reach your customers online.

3. Clarity Break by Baker Tilly Live

Session Description: You have to step back and take a look at the big picture on a regular basis. This 45-minute breakout will teach you the importance of how to step out of your business and take uninterrupted clarity breaks that will assist you in seeing your business more clearly and ultimately make better decisions.

4. Business Supports for Women-Centric Businesses by The Accelerator

Session Description: The Accelerator will host workshops for business development and discovery, both for established businesses in Sandwich Town and for individuals who want to start a business in the area. Both workshops will emphasis the economic opportunity that the construction of the bridge will provide. After the workshops, wrap-around service will be provided by the Accelerator to deliver business coaching and business development to turn the ideas from the workshops into actionable plans. In this activity The Accelerator would like to receive feedback on what we plan to accomplish and suggestions on how to improve it.

5. Business Supports for Local Businesses by the Accelerator

Session Description: The Accelerator will provide programming for women interested in starting a business in the Sandwich Community. The project will leverage the audience and network that The Accelerator has developed over the past seven years through our Windsor Women Accelerate (WWA) Networking Programs, coupled with marketing efforts to reach new participants in this demographic. To lead this project, The Accelerator has engaged a group of six women entrepreneurs that are part of the Accelerator. This team has developed a series of workshops and events that will provide women interested in starting or growing a business in Sandwich Town. In this activity The Accelerator would like to receive feedback on what we plan to accomplish and suggestions on how to improve it.


This event was funded by the Community Benefits Plan for the Gordie Howe International Bridge.

The Gordie Howe International Bridge, in partnership with the Small Business Centre, Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, barktilly and the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce