When we think of local businesses what often comes to mind are the shops along Sykes Street, or manufacturing facilities, or the many farms that operate in our municipality.
What can be easy to overlook is that Meaford is also home to a number of unique and creative businesses who though they might not have a visible storefront, help drive our local economy.
Explainer Video is a perfect example. It is unlikely you have heard of this local company but their clients in Washington, Texas, and other locations in the United States certainly know who they are.
Jeff Allen moved to Meaford from Georgetown seven years ago and at the time the married father of two young children was working as a chef. After finding that his career as a chef wasn't providing him with enough free time to spend with his young family, three years ago he decided to follow one of his passions, and he started Explainer Video.
“I've been doing animation for 16 or 17 years. My father is in the software side of things, so it has always been in my life,” says Allen.
Allen said that after missing his daughter's first birthday due to work obligations, he decided to take his many years of amateur experience with flash animation, and jump into the field professionally. After first working for a company in Toronto for 10 months he ultimately decided to start his own company.
He built a studio and workspace in his home, and it is from there that he as well as one employee create promotional videos for a wide range of clients who use his creations to add some flair and pizazz to their websites.
Since Allen's business operates in the digital world of pixels and bytes, the decision of where to locate his company comes down to quality of life. In this age of email, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other social and business networking tools Explainer Video doesn't need to be located in Toronto or New York, and as Allen explains, Meaford is the place he wants to be.
“Business has been doubling every year,” says Allen, “To be able to work here and do what I do...I mean, I live a five minute walk from the beach. For my lunch I go for a swim. Sometimes I feel guilty,” he adds with a laugh.
Allen appreciates the lifestyle that Meaford affords him, and he is looking to give a little something back to his community.
Explainer Video currently does not have any local clients, and Allen feels that with so many fabulous businesses in the municipality, it would benefit the entire community for those businesses to develop a more comprehensive online presence. An enanced online presence for Meaford businesses would benefit more than the businesses themselves, it would help to promote the community and possibly stimulate both tourism and new investment.
Allen says that he would like to be able to show local businesses how they can better utilize the internet, particularly social and business networking tools to run special promotions, or to create interest in an event. He would also like to see local companies using video online to help market their products and services.
“I am looking at putting together some special packages for locals.” Allen says that Meaford deserves to show itself off effectively online and points to what businesses have done in nearby Thornbury as an example of how effective marketing can help grow small town business. “Thornbury is hot. And if you look at their websites, they are great.”
“Every business on this street should be on Facebook,” he suggests as he looks out toward Sykes Street, “It gets people talking, it really does.”
Allen hopes to continue to grow the client base of Explainer Video, and he is hopeful that the local business community will grow along with him.
For more information about Explainer Video, visit their website: www.explainervideo.com
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