United Helpers opening for-profit business in Canton
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 11:42 am

 CANTON -- United Helpers plans to introduce a new for-profit business venture.

Sparx will soon open its offices at 85-91 Main Street in Canton. A news release issued by United Helpers stated that the new company would offer business management services, property management and plans to develop and operate new businesses solely or with partners.

“Our hope is that Sparx will be part of a community-wide economic transformation and common effort to create jobs in the North Country,” United Helpers CEO Stephen E. Knight, said. “We are exploring several different avenues at the moment, including a joint consolidated funding application with North Country Pastured, Northern Grown Food Co-op, Garden Share, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. While it is too early to speculate on that outcome, we are enthusiastic about the types of ideas that are coming to the table for discussion. We sincerely believe that partnerships, community collaboration and a regional perspective are going to be crucial when it comes to leveraging North Country assets and creating employment opportunities in St. Lawrence County.”

Sparx is pursuing the formation of a regional food hub and partnership with North Country Pastured LLC, working collaboratively with Garden Share, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and North Country Grown Co-op. “In concert with the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, our key strategy is to, maintain, establish and expand the presence of storage, processing and distribution in the region to promote the sales of value-added agricultural products that are sold locally and globally,” Knight added. “Additionally, I think that the hub’s scope can accommodate other regional products and be a retail destination for any locally produced products.”

“With the expertise and collaborative efforts of area business leaders, we are convinced that we can work together to innovate, improve upon and create new opportunities in St. Lawrence County,” Knight said.

With the support of Community Bank the United Helpers organization was able to secure the Main Street property and get the ball rolling on renovations.

"Community Bank is also committed to helping the community to grow and prosper, and supporting a project like this is just one way we do so," said Timothy J. Baker of Community Bank.

Sparx is a member of the United Helpers family of community services which is made up of six corporate centers: RiverLedge Campus, Mosaic and the United Helpers Management Company located in Ogdensburg, and Partridge Knoll, Sparx and Maplewood Campus, located in Canton.