Heart and Soul KCBSN’s award winner

KANATA – It was standing room only for both vendors and visitors at the fourth annual Kanata-Carleton Small Business Network (KCSBN) Business Fair last Saturday (April 6).

KCSBN chair and founder Dr. Rouba Fattal said there were 70 vendors packed in to the Turkish Community Centre Hall on Michael Cowpland Drive – 50 of them small businesses from the Kanata-Carleton riding. She said it’s the KCSBN’s biggest fair to date.

“Wonderful, amazing, the energy is buzzing,” Dr. Fattal told West Carleton Online from the lobby of a busy foyer.

It was an afternoon of keynote speakers and networking for the small business community within the riding. MP Karen McCrimmon opened the event, Minister Mary Ng brought greetings via video, Coun. Eli El-Chantiry and Mayor Jim Watson all spoke.

Councillors Glen Gower, Allan Hubley and Jenna Sudds were also on hand.

A highlight of the event is the Outstanding Local Small Business Award which went to Dunrobin’s Heart and Soul Café owners Jody and Jim Bowen, in part due to their response following the September 2018 tornado.

Jim Bowen and Alena Groebner, representing the Heart and Sould Cafe pose for a photo. Photo by Jake Davies
Jim Bowen and Alena Groebner, representing the Heart and Sould Cafe pose for a photo. Photo by Jake Davies

“Jody and Jim opened their heart and soul as well as their business to help the community in the aftermath of the tornado,” Dr. Fattal said in her presentation.

“It’s pretty flattering,” Jim told West Carleton Online after the presentation.

The café, which also has a gift shop, had a booth and display at the fair.

“I’m impressed,” Jim said. “It’s been a really good networking opportunity.”

The theme of this year’s event was connecting rural and urban entrepreneurs. Fattal says that theme may stick around.

“I think it’s going to be a recurring theme for a few years,” she said. “We need more. We have to get this message out there until it becomes part of our identity.”

Fattal says she has businesses here from as far away in the riding as Fitzroy Harbour, and that small business would be Syd and Judy Gravel’s The Olde Meeting House.

“We need to work together as a community,” Fattal said. “We need to work together to grow together. Magic really happens when we come together.”

The KCSBN is a not-for-profit enterprise that believes in supporting local businesses and helping its community. KCSBN events aim to bring together entrepreneurs of all levels, to connect them with each other and the resources they need, whether they own an established business or are looking to launch a business the KCSBN are here to support them. You can find the KCSBN at www.kanatacarletonsbn.ca.