By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express
For any entrepreneur, opening a business comes with a long laundry list of challenges.
With the help of the Downtown Oshawa Business Improvement Area (BIA), a local business owner has bypassed the obstacle of finding a prime location in the city’s downtown core.
Late last year, the BIA launched its “Discover This Space” campaign, where local business owners pitched their concepts in hopes of securing a prime retail location in downtown Oshawa.
During a celebration event on Feb. 18, BIA chair Ivano Labricciosa announced Jenn DeLeskie, owner of Global Therapeutic Massage and Wellness, as the winner of the contest.
DeLeskie said her business will provide massage therapy services for the entire family.
“I want children to come to get treatment, as well as adults, and encompass the whole family, so we can start to reconnect ourselves,” she said.
She told The Oshawa Express she first launched her business in Sydney, N.S., before moving to Durham Region.
“One of the reasons I wanted to open in downtown Oshawa is it’s near and dear to my heart,” DeLeskie said, explaining her mother was born and raised in the city.
Labricciosa noted the BIA received many worthy business concepts and choosing a winner came down to the wire.
“This is the first of a series of things we’re going to be doing for downtown Oshawa, and we are so proud you are bringing your business to Oshawa,” he told DeLeskie.
Mayor Dan Carter congratulated the winner and said small and family-owned businesses such as hers represent the heart of Oshawa’s downtown retail core.
DeLeskie said she was made aware of “Discover This Space” through a friend.
“I was looking for a space, so when I heard about all the support you would get throughout, it was a no brainer,” she said.
As the winner, she’ll receive money towards a one-year lease, and additional services from other local businesses, including The Oshawa Express, to assist with her startup.
According to DeLeskie, she’ll be setting up shop at 67 King St. E., with an estimated opening in May 2020.
She said she chose this location because there is space for the business to grow.