July 9, 2019
The Bay of Quinte is home to a well-established and flourishing manufacturing cluster, supported by the QEDC (Quinte Economic Development Commission). On top of high-tech manufacturing plants, many smaller businesses exist to support the larger operations.
The QEDC supports the entire business ecosystem and a strong supply chain in the region, which includes niche-market start-ups. One such venture was born from a Loyalist College graduate combining his technical skills with his passion for motorsport. FDF Race Shop is now a rapidly growing business based out of Quinte West, Ontario.
The business started out of a weekend hobby, where owner, Josiah Fallaise, would design and build suspension components for local amateur racers on the drifting scene. Fallaise’s quality work was increasingly recognized in the racing community via social media. He built a business serving the niche market of drift racers using his manufacturing and design skills as an engineering technician.
Manufacturing Cluster Supports New Tech-based Start-ups
Because of the large manufacturing cluster in the Bay of Quinte, many smaller businesses are in place to supply those industries. One example supplier that supports large industries just as much as start-ups is The Machining Center. Fallaise, owner of FDF Race Shop explains:
“All our kits require small pieces to be machined, so I design them at my shop and simply send the drawings to The Machining Center to be made. As a start-up, this has saved me from spending time and money on obtaining and teaching staff to use CNC equipment. I can easily get my parts manufactured at a fair price, right in the region.”
The supply chain for FDF Race Shop also includes Kawartha Metals in Peterborough, where the raw materials for roll cages and metal components are obtained. HAI Precision Waterjet and Precision Plate Ltd. are also located right in Quinte West, supplying waterjet cutting and coatings for the suspension and kinematics kits produced. Quest Tech from Belleville supplies FDF Race Shop with powder coating as well.
QEDC Provides the Guidance and Connections for Growth
Fallaise has grown his business thus far based on word-of-mouth and social media following in the world of drifting. FDF Race Shop’s business is booming, and it’s starting to outgrow the current location in Trenton. Luckily, FDF Race Shop has a relationship with the QEDC in order to start making plans for growth.
Fallaise met with the QEDC and its extensive network of local connections to determine the next steps for funding, grants, and site selection. When needed, the QEDC will help FDF Race Shop in its search for a larger site in the Bay of Quinte, supported by the local supply chain.
Another strength of the QEDC is facilitating the connections for smaller businesses with organizations that provide funding and counselling on growing a start-up. In the case of FDF Race Shop, the QEDC connected them with Trenval to discuss financing options for and to provide guidance on the process. In addition, the QEDC helped to create a relationship between FDF Race Shop and IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program), in order to secure funding for future design and development processes.
“Before, I was doing all of this on my own. I had no idea that such an extensive ecosystem existed in the Bay of Quinte to support business growth. Now I’m grateful that I don’t have to do all of this on my own. The QEDC and their partners at the Quinte Business Development Centre have been a huge support,” says Fallaise.
The QEDC and the Local Supply Chain in the Bay of Quinte Support Small Businesses
In addition to the support that the QEDC supplies to site selectors and large industry, it connects businesses of all sizes to the services and organizations they require to grow and prosper in the Bay of Quinte.
If you are thinking about starting or growing your business in the Bay of Quinte, you can learn more from the QEDC online.