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The Nite Owl Barber Shop is a 2021 GoodSpark Winner

Congratulations to The Nite Owl Barber Shop with your 2021 GoodSpark Grant win! Another worthy recipient of the Desjardins GoodSpark Grants Program, together with five other winners in the beauty and cosmetics category. We received more than 6,000 applications for the grant program and are thrilled for the 150 winning businesses.

Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network (DFSIN) Toronto West supports the statement made by Mr. Guy Cormier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group, when he said, “Entrepreneurs are passionate and engaged in the community! And that’s why I’m so proud of the Desjardins GoodSpark Grants program. We can all play a role in supporting our small businesses by buying local, promoting our favourite businesses, or by simply offering some words of encouragement.”

Original, Authentic Barbering at The Nite Owl

The Nite Owl Barber Shop has been a fixture on Toronto’s Lakeshore Boulevard West since 1947. Brian Hurson is the current proprietor and brought the shop back to life after the original barber crew retired, and the shop lay idle for nearly ten years. Brian served his apprenticeship in traditional barbering at the world-famous Waldorf Barbershop & Shaving Saloon in Dublin, Ireland.

The Nite Owl Barber Shop maintains its 1940’s authenticity at the original and historic shop in Long Branch (Lakeshore & 29th Street), Etobicoke, as well as the seven-chair flagship shop in Brockton Village (Dundas & Landsdowne), Toronto. They are open seven days a week from 11 am to 7 pm, and bookings can be made online. You can also follow The Nite Owl Barber Shop on Instagram and Facebook.

Brian has a team of eight senior barbers, Jill, Antony, Waylon, Dan, Steph, Devon, Roby, and Roman. Roman started visiting the barbershop at thirteen, completed his apprenticeship at sixteen, and is currently studying commerce at Queens University. Dylan, Consigliere to The Nite Owl Barber Shop, entered the business for the Desjardins GoodSpark Grants Program.

The Nite Owl Barber Shop grant cheque presentation

The Nite Owl Barber Shop received its Desjardins GoodSpark Grant cheque from Ian Gawel, Life and Health Insurance Advisor with Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network (DFSIN) Toronto West. Ian shares what he experienced during the hand-over.

“I met with Brian and Dylan (Shop Consigliere).  They were very excited to hear they were one of the GoodSpark winners.  Brian had no idea Dylan had been working on the application, and Brian was in shock to hear they would have the $20,000 as a grant.

This was just the break he needed to get the new location started. The pandemic had been tough on the barber shop industry and with the current location rental rates were going up. They had some tough decisions on the horizon for one of the locations. During the pandemic, Brian said he was in a funk and not really motivated to passionately focus on the business.  With the news of the winnings, he now has a renewed passion to build the shops for the local communities again.

During our meeting we discussed business planning and how we can help.  At this time his main focus is to get the new shop open and bring in some much-needed revenue.  In 6 months, he would like to revisit some of the ideas we discussed.”

2021 Desjardins GoodSpark Grants Program

To all entrepreneurs who spark their communities, thank you.

Desjardins is honoured to be supporting the inspiring work of all entrepreneurs, but especially the winners of the 2021 Desjardins GoodSpark Grants Program. The program awards 150 grants to the value of $20,000 (gross) each to successful applicants, with Desjardins delivering grants to the value of three million dollars.

The GoodSpark Grants program has nine categories of businesses that can enter. These categories are Agriculture/Agri-food, Arts and culture/Sports, Beauty and cosmetics, Education, Food and beverages, Health, Retail, Services and Technology. When small businesses apply for the GoodSpark Grant, they must select from three focus areas to indicate how the grant will be used for their business. The focus areas are:

Sustainable development. Development that meets present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Employment. Engaging with employees through employee programs, training, education, talent acquisition and diversity.

Innovation. New initiatives to help modernize the business.   

 We look forward to seeing the results of the 2021 GoodSpark grants throughout the year and hope even more small businesses will enter the program in future.

DFSIN Toronto West offers health insurance for small businesses

Small business owners need health insurance to guarantee business continuity and retain the best talent. DFSIN Toronto West provides critical illness insurance for key persons in a business and health insurance. Desjardins recognizes that entrepreneurs are essential to the vitality of our economy and congratulates The Nite Owl Barber Shop on its 2021 Desjardins GoodSpark Grant win.

To learn how DFSIN Toronto West can help you, contact us today.