Small business grants gives room to grow
The recently renovated spa at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel and Convention Centre is a tranquil oasis inside a bustling hotel.
Dim lights, peaceful music and essential oils welcome clients in the waiting room where they are offered a 'cloud chair' and a refreshment. The peaceful space is the long-realized dream of local entrepreneur Michelle Vail, who has owned the Cocoon Wellness Spa (formerly on St. Peters Road) for 18 years.
Through support from the province’s Small Business Investment Grant, Michelle has been able to move, expand and improve her business. She now has what she calls her "dream team" working in beautiful new spaces, offering new services and the right equipment to make their clients feel at ease.
“The PEI government grant allowed me to grow my business by purchasing tangible things, like these chairs,” she says, gesturing to several oversized, reclining leather pedicure chairs. “This is what makes the whole experience better. We need all the help we can get, there are so many expenses. Every little thing helps with the hope of profit in the end.”
Vail wants other small business owners to realize the kind of financial support that is available from the provincial government.
“So often we don’t realize what is out there,” she said. “It’s an easy program to apply for and it is applicable to most small businesses.”
By growing her space, Michelle was able to offer Island artisans a front window to display items for sale.
“There isn’t a gift shop in the hotel anymore, people appreciate it,” she said.
With 2,000 square feet left to renovate, the spa is now 3,000 square feet and growing and Vail has plans to build a hair salon and a hydrotherapy suite.
“This support allows us to keep moving forward and do the next great thing. Getting 15 per cent of a $25,000 investment back is a huge help. And, when I have success, I can give back to my community.”