November 13, 2018 7:35 pm
Updated: November 15, 2018 10:03 am

Durham entrepreneurs look to grow businesses at BizFest in Ajax

WATCH ABOVE: Businesses in Durham are marking Global Entrepreneurship Week. On Tuesday, local entrepreneurs in Ajax had a chance to network and see what resources are available in the region at BizFest. Aaron Streck reports.

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Local businesses in Durham took part in Global Entrepreneurship Week on Tuesday, as entrepreneurs in Ajax had a chance to network and see what resources are available in the region at BizFest.

Jill Johnston and her husband Brian started Building By Bri Handyman and Tree Service, three and a half years ago.

Since then, it’s grown and now the duo is looking for ways to continue that success which is what brought them to Tuesday’s business event in Ajax.

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“You want to get your name out there and you want to let people know what you’re doing with your business and you need to have exposure, and all these other companies, you get to see what they can bring to your business and your table,” said Jill Johnston, Building By Bri Handyman and Tree Service business specialist.

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This is the third year the Town of Ajax has put on BizFest, a networking opportunity for local entrepreneurs and a chance for them to get more support.

“We understand that a lot of economic growth in the Durham Region and specifically Ajax is going to come from local business, local entrepreneurship. We have over 2,000 businesses in Ajax — if we can help each one of them grow by one employee, we can create 2,000 new jobs in Ajax,” said Andrew Poray, Town of Ajax senior economic development officer.

“The whole intent was, ‘How do we put Durham Region on the map and let the world know we’re open for business?'” said Patrice Esper, of Business Advisory Centre Durham.

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BizFest coincides with Global Entrepreneurship Week, and the Business Advisory Centre Durham is spearheading an initiative called “Do It In Durham.”

Tuesday’s event is one of about 50 taking place in eight Durham municipalities.

“We’re seeing so much growth and development in our region from technology-based, innovative-based and definitely main street-based businesses. As a single voice, it’s very hard to be heard. As a collective, we can make a boom,” said Esper.

As for Jill Johnston, she was right in her element, not only looking to grow their business but to help others as well.

“It’s a win, win — helping each other. That’s what I love,” said Johnston.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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