For scores of entrepreneurs in the Leeds and Grenville area, Ben TeKamp was the guiding force who helped turn their ideas into successful businesses. Ben TeKamp championed and advocated for local community economic development from both a public and private perspective.

As well as being a three-term Brockville Mayor, Ben TeKamp was a noted business owner and for many years helped co-ordinate the Self-Employment Benefit Program which gave many local entrepreneurs the opportunity they needed to start a successful business. He was also a tireless community volunteer and was a board member of the Employment + Education Centre for many years. This was a passion of Ben’s and a career that made a difference in the community.

Mark TeKamp, son of Ben, who is on the award committee, commented on the significance of this award: “It’s a meaningful way for all of us to recognize and honour great ideas and hard work within the local business community, which is something my father would have been very supportive of. My father believed strongly in the role which entrepreneurs and innovators play in our local economy.”

Now it’s the turn of a successful local entrepreneurs to be recognized for their contributions, with the 4th annual Ben TeKamp Memorial Award, which will be awarded during a special ceremony on October 24. The successful recipients will be awarded a monetary prize to be used for further development of their business.

Successful applicants for the Ben TeKamp Memorial Award must be located in the Leeds-Grenville area. The award will be presented to an outstanding business that is new, or has reinvented itself, to meet the changing needs of Leeds and Grenville. These nominated businesses will have displayed a strong sense of innovation and creativity. Applicants will provide a brief account, describing how they can make a contribution to the community of Leeds and Grenville. The full award criteria is available at www.eecentre.com.

In 2017, the award was received by Elgin Street Convenience and Gas, 1000 Islands Hearing, and LeMar LUXE Spa Studio.

Applicants can nominate themselves, or be nominated by someone else. In the case of being nominated by a third party, a nominee will be notified before their name is made public. Award winners will be required to inform the TeKamp family how they used the bursary for their business.

Applicants can apply online at www.eecentre.com. Please email the completed nomination package, with references, by October 8, 2018 to bentekampaward@eecentre.com.

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