A resident in Telkwa is looking at the community for help to get her business up and running.
Joni Jones is a finalist in the ThriveNorth Business Challenge. She is one of the four finalists in the Best New Business Category (29-39).
She will pitch her business idea in person to a panel of judges in Prince Rupert on May 18 in hopes of winning the grand prize of $10,000 for her business.
Jones’ business is Juniper Health and Fitness. She hopes to open up a gym that offers fitness classes, personal trainers and children’s fitness right in the village.
On Tuesday she will make the journey to Prince Rupert and she will get trained and run through practices of her pitch for the judges.
“On Thursday we do a private pitch in front of the panel and whoever wins that will win $10,000 in their category which is really exciting. In the evening we do a public pitch and we have an audience and tell them our business pitch and they get to vote for us. There is also some online voting going on right now and that’s a chance to win $5,000,” she said.
And Jones is looking for the public’s help to achieve this prize.
For as long as she could remember she has had a passion for fitness. In 2015, she completed her personal training certification following her group fitness instructor national certification.
This led her to start a backyard boot camp with her friends and it started to take off.
“People started bringing their friends and people started to search for me and it got bigger and bigger. So I then took it to the community hall and I put on a Get Fit for Christmas challenge and that was so great,” she said.
She then started a New Years New You program and she was blown away by the amount of people who came in for the fitness class.
“I was only tapping into women, it was just all women coming to my classes and there are all these men out here who would probably love a gym membership and maybe aren’t into going to a class,” Jones said.
And from there she came up with the idea of opening a gym in Telkwa. However, her biggest road block has been finding a space for it.
“But we now have a space and will be able to open up in September,” she said.
Just as Jones had found a space for her gym, she also found out about the competition and decided to apply.
“I though that would be very helpful because we have renovations to do and start up cost,” she said.
She encourages everyone to help support her local business and vote.
You can vote for Jones at the ThriveNorth website: www.thrivenorth.ca/business-challenge