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January 31, 2014, Orillia, ON – There is a lot of talk these days about how hard it is for young adults to find jobs. Many are considering  self employment for the first time and looking for ways to creatively monetize their unique skill set and passion. Tyler Knight, owner of District Media & Design has been doing just that for several years. Recently, the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) was pleased to be able to assist Tyler in growing his business with a grant through the 2013 Community Capacity Building Fund.

The Community Capacity Building Fund was established by the CDC as way to provide assistance through small grants to local businesses and organizations.   The intent of the funding is to strengthen our communities by supporting projects that are incremental, address local needs and priorities and result in long term benefits including job creation, economic diversification, and enhanced business competitiveness.

Knight explained, “I basically started this business through another passion of mine, which was skateboarding. I loved filming skateboarders and one day someone who had seen my films asked me if I would do a wedding.”  He recalled that he was “scared but decided to go for it and things just organically developed from there.”

Over the course of the next two years Knight gained a reputation for community involvement.  He has donated his time to producing videos for many events and organizations including the Mariposa Songwriters’ Club, Orillia Laser Tag, the Orillia Youth Centre, the Orillia Opera House and the Stand Up Orillia Against Bullying Campaign.

“One thing always seems to lead to another,” said Knight.  After doing the videos for the “Streets Alive Project”, he was then invited do the photography for the guide book. “That provided a great opportunity for me to re-explore my interest in photography and expand my business further.”

As District Media & Design became busier, Knight knew that his computer equipment was slowing him down. He had performed all upgrades possible but in the end needed new equipment.  “The $1000 I received from the CDC allowed me to purchase much better equipment that I can continue to upgrade as needed and the result is that it has easily doubled the amount of work that I am able to do,” said Knight.

Tyler Knight continues to be involved in community projects and also recently registered a new venture called “Discco”, a Canada wide business providing duplication and replication of music.

“The CDC will be happy to know I actually did a Business Plan for this one!” joked Knight.  “And I fully intend to get them to help me do one for my video business as well. I have learned what an important tool it is and that it’s never too late!”

For more information about business coaching, professional development or business loans with the CDC, please call us at 705-325-4903 or visit www.orilliacdc.com.

The CDC is a federally supported not-for-profit organization, working with community partners to develop and sustain the local economy through:

  • Business Financing
  • Business Counseling; and
  • Community economic development projects.