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January 21, 2016

Craig Bell is vice president of the OT Group in Belleville, a successful Bay of Quinte-area software company with multiple locations in Ontario. “Initially the present owner bought this company because he wanted to stay in the area with his young family,” Bell explains. Starting in 1988 as a photocopier company, the OT Group now boasts 60 employees working across three divisions of their thriving ICT business.

“We have lots of staffing opportunity here,” says Bell.

OT Group had no trouble finding the expertise it needed. Businesses throughout the region interact and co-operate with one another. People of various skills call this region home: well-trained tele-support employees on the lookout for different work; ex-Nortel employees who, like OT Group’s owner, wanted to stay in the region when their employer left. Bay of Quinte businesses can still draw upon that skill set. There was enough expertise at OT Group to develop a successful software (Unify OS) in house.

Unify OS saves a business time and money by integrating the separate collections of data a business must process. Unify OS provides a bigger picture—and therefore more accurate conclusions—of that data; the need for separate software can also be eliminated. Small and medium size enterprises find this useful product very affordable, and it has proven to be essential for some not-for-profit charities. The company developed the product to meet a need, and refined it over many years, using the expertise within the Bay of Quinte region.

Craig Bell discovered more than an accomplished workforce in Bay of Quinte…

The nearby airforce base ensures that internet in the region is top quality. Bay of Quinte’s manufacturing and industrial cluster provides OT Group with a variety of customers. The company also has access to more distant markets, since Quinte sits halfway between Montreal and Toronto on the nearby highway 401. As well, it’s a short trip by air to Chicago or New York City.

The Bay of Quinte region enjoys a regenerating pool of fresh talent: “There is great professional staff to choose from with Loyalist College, St. Lawrence College, Queen’s [University] and Sir Sanford Fleming College all near to use here,” says Bell. If the students, like the ex-Nortel employees, decide to stay in region, they have lots of ways to do so.

Quinte dwellers thrive in this tranquil locale

Craig Bell runs an efficient business from his office nestled in Bay of Quinte’s close-knit community. Living here means he also enjoys the advantages of semirural life. The area is easy to navigate without traffic jams, and children’s activities are available without waiting lists. Bell also notes that “the cost of living is way lower [than Toronto]. For $350K you can get REALLY nice homes here.” The Bay of Quinte is the kind of place where everything you want is here – you just don’t have to wait in line for it anymore.

Entrepreneurs will quickly recognize that lower-cost housing translates into lower-cost land and office space. And the region itself, perched on Lake Ontario, features plenty of natural beauty, outdoor activity, and clean air.

Bonus: Local businesses get a boost from the Quinte Economic Development Commission (QEDC)’s support

The Quinte region is already a jewel of a place to live and do business. The QEDC adds to the attraction. Chris King, CEO of QEDC, explains:

“The QEDC is here to help companies (in sectors like ICT) have multiple chances to flourish, grow and to connect with limitless opportunities.”

The team at the Quinte Economic Development Commission are always glad to discuss the resources available to entrepreneurs. They invite anyone interested to call 1-866-961-7990.

Tags: ICT

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Craig Bell is vice president of the OT Group in Belleville, a successful Bay of Quinte-area software company with multiple...

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