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The Small Business Centre, established in 2002, is an on-going economic development partnership between the Province of Ontario, the City of Woodstock and Oxford County and proudly serves our diverse and talented community of entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout Woodstock and Oxford County. We’re committed to helping small businesses and are eager to help you plan and take the next steps towards achieving your personal success. We offer free guidance, resources, local connections, business coaching and accountability, mentoring, professional service referrals, workshops, and networking events to help you explore, connect and succeed in business.  You are not alone!

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Shawn McNamara


Shawn is a lifelong Oxford County resident who as the former owner and manager of a long-standing Insurance Brokerage in Woodstock, is able to provide practical insights into business risk, day-to-operations, staffing and marketing and sales strategies to clients interested in business start-up or growth. Shawn is a strong communicator,  business coach and mentor who excels at working with clients one-on-one or when facilitating workshops that look to provide entrepreneurs with the necessary skills they need to run a successful business. He believes in building entrepreneurial networks, sharing our collective business knowledge and finding ways for our clients to work together in Woodstock, Oxford County and beyond. Shawn is well known in the community and consistently strives to create lasting relationships with both clients and community partners.

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Brenda Tait

Small Business Consultant

Brenda’s passion is seeing people achieve greatness. With over 30 years of sales, customer service and management experience,  Brenda has honed her skills as a communicator.  As a Wordsmith and small business owner herself, she understands the challenges and triumphs that small businesses face.  She is an expert at getting people motivated and believing in themselves. Brenda works both one-on-one and in workshops with clients and offers practical advice to help them start or grow their businesses. She is an enthusiastic coach and mentor whose specialties includes sales, social media/online and marketing strategies.  Brenda is a public speaker and active member of the community, hosting a variety of events.  Brenda’s philosophy is "Let’s work and rise together!" 



As entrepreneurs - we've been there, we've done it, we've done it well and we've made some big mistakes and we want to share all of this with those that are starting out or looking to grow their business. Our coaching and mentoring is based on the concept of "If we knew then, what we know now..." what would we do or not do in starting or growing a business. We truly believe that when you love what you do - you really never work a day in your life - and it shows.


We provide our clients with practical day-to-day advice that they can understand, assess and use in their own businesses. We know how to run and manage successful businesses and know how to work with clients to plan, identify milestones and set targets that they can achieve in whatever industry they chose to set-up shop. We know the "business-end" of their business and can teach them how to know it too. 


Our business planning and implementation processes are based on each client's individual needs, skills and abilities.  All clients are encouraged to participate and share in a way that is meaningful to them, whether in classroom discussion, one-on-one  meetings, peer support or through self-directed assignments and work. Accommodations and modifications are made to meet the individualized needs of each participant throughout this process. 

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