Thirty new full and part-time jobs will arrive in downtown Brantford when Extend Communications Inc. takes over much of the first floor of Darling Street’s Chelsea Place building next spring.
“After growing aggressively outside the city, we are extremely excited to be expanding again in downtown Brantford,” Extend Communications president Scott Lyons said during a media conference on Tuesday. “The world is a smaller place now and technology allows us to consolidate, improve efficiencies and ultimately provide an even better level of service to our clients.
“We will bring the entire company back to its roots, literally across the street from the Bridge Street location where my grandfather founded the company in 1956.”
Extend Communications provides telephone-answering, emergency dispatch, customer service, e-mail handling and other communications services to nearly 700 clients, including Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, non-profits and governments, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Lyons said the company plans to merge its three operations centres, currently operating in Georgetown, Cambridge and the company’s current Brantford location at Charlotte and Wellington streets, into a newly renovated space in the Chelsea Place building by next April.
Brantford’s downtown is taking off and Lyons said the company is looking forward to expanding in the city’s core.
“We are really excited about re-investing in the downtown,” Lyons said. “It’s a vibrant and growing community down here. Brantford has a great workforce and we are excited to be expanding our workforce down here.”
Lyons said about 70 people will be working at the office when the new location is up and running.
The Lyons family has a long history of doing business in the city’s downtown, Lyons said.
“In 1858, there was a company called the Brantford Carriage Company and that was a company that manufactured horse buggies and sleighs,” Lyons said. “It was located right here at this corner at Queen and Darling (streets). That company was run by my great great grandfather, Woods Lyons.”
The company now known as Extend Communications began during the 1950s in downtown Brantford.
“It was my grandfather, Franklin Lyons, who started Brantford Telephone Answering Service in 1956 on Bridge Street, right across the road, which was the first spot for what is now Extend Communications,” Lyons said. “My dad, Hilton, ran Brantford Telephone Answering Service for about 30 years, from about the mid-1960s until the mid-1990s.
“Over the last 20 years or so, my brother and business partner, Todd, an I have run the company from various locations across southwestern Ontario, but we have always been headquartered right here in downtown Brantford.”