Halton supports entrepreneurs start, grow and build their business

As everyone knows, Halton is a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire, and it’s also a great place to start, grow and build a business!

Halton Region is committed to building a strong economy, and a key part of driving economic growth is inspiring and supporting our entrepreneurs. From the beginning of a business idea to managing daily operations and expanding a business, the Halton Region Small Business Centre has resources and programs available to support entrepreneurs and local business community and help them thrive.

Through the Halton Region Small Business Centre, entrepreneurs can get help from consultants and local professionals to establish a business. For example, entrepreneurs are offered one-on-one consultations from the Centre’s knowledgeable business development consultants and are also connected to professionals, such as accountants or lawyers, through the Access to Professionals program. After meeting with the Centre’s consultant for a referral, this program offers one, free, 45 minute consultation to any listed local professional.

Younger entrepreneurs, under the age of 39, can also apply to one of the youth programs offered through the Centre. These programs include:

The Halton Region Small Business Centre offers services for any age of entrepreneur to help make their business dreams a reality. Services include: marketing and financial planning, export or import advice, free publications, computer access, reference materials (including a lending library) and paid seminars and free sessions.

To find out more, follow Halton Business on LinkedIn or visit our website at haltonsmallbusiness.ca.

I wish all of our present and future entrepreneurs the best of luck on their business aspirations and thank you for contributing to our strong economy in Halton.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Continue making Halton a sustainable place to live this fall

Protecting the natural environment is one of the strategic priorities in the Halton Region Strategic Action Plan 2015-2018. That priority includes increasing the Region’s waste diversion rate.

As part of that commitment, we want to help residents practice the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and contribute to making the Region a more sustainable place to live.

To do this, Halton Region is once again offering compost to residents free of charge and helping them dispose of electronic and household hazardous waste, during our fall Compost Giveaway Day and two fall Special Waste Drop-off Days.

Compost Giveaway

Visit the Halton Waste Management Site on Saturday, September 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to take home your
share of compost during our fall Compost Giveaway event.

Remember to bring:

  • Your own bags or containers (maximum seven garbage bags or equivalent per household) and a shovel, in order to bag your own compost; and
  • A non-perishable food item or cash donation to be distributed to Halton-area food banks

During last spring’s Compost Giveaway, 3,610 residents picked up approximately 1,500 tonnes of compost created from all of the leaves, brush, tree and garden trimmings collected curbside and dropped off at the Halton Waste Management Site. Residents also donated $7,878 and close to 4,000 kilograms of food to local food banks as part of the event.

Special Waste Drop-off Days

On Saturday, September 19 at Sheridan College in Oakville(9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Saturday, October 24 at Mohawk Race Track in Campbellville (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), you can safely recycle and dispose of your electronic and household hazardous waste.

A few items being accepted include:

  • Pesticides
  • Paint
  • Motor oil
  • Propane tanks
  • Computers
  • TV

Be sure to view the complete list of acceptable materials before you head to one of the drop-off locations. Remember, commercial waste will not be accepted.

I encourage you all to practice the 3Rs, give back to our community and help reduce our ecological footprint. For more information, visit halton.ca/waste under Events, Workshops and Tours.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Excellent programs and supports available for Halton’s parents

Raising a family can be a full-time job for many parents. Many of us strive to create a balance between home and family, work, friends, health and hopefully some community service. With so many competing interests, it’s comforting to know that Halton Region offers parents some excellent programs and supports.

Local parents can connect directly with a member of the Halton Region public health nursing team through our ever-growing HaltonParents online Twitter and Facebook communities or by dialing 311. For busy parents in search of timely information, the Region’s nurses also offer quality health information in their HaltonParents blog and provide a wealth of excellent online resources at halton.ca/haltonparents.

Whether you are transitioning to parenthood or working to improve your relationship with your teenager, the Region’s website offers parenting information for every age and stage, including topics such as pregnancy, growth, development, child safety and breastfeeding support.

At Halton Region, we want to ensure that your little ones get the best possible start to help build the foundation for a lifetime of good health. As a designated Baby-Friendly health unit, the Halton Region Health Department protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding in the community. In fact, we offer residents several great programs, classes and workshops focused on prenatal and early childhood development, including Healthy Babies, Healthy Children, the Halton Prenatal Nutrition Program and Halton Breastfeeding Connection.

Whether you are just thinking about having kids or your exciting journey has already begun, Halton Region and our public health nursing team is with you every step of the way. A complete list of our parenting programs, workshops and seminars is available on the Halton Region website.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”

 

Working together to keep Halton’s roads safe

This week is Stop on Red Week in communities across North America, helping to remind drivers to contribute to a safer community by stopping at red lights.

While Halton Region is a safe community, every day, thousands of vehicles drive on Regional roads. When speaking with residents, they often mention the importance of road safety and it’s essential that we work together to keep the roads in our community safe.

Stop on Red

This year, Halton installed seven new red light cameras across the region, bringing our total to 12 active red light cameras. These cameras, which capture photo evidence of anyone entering an intersection after a light has turned red, help remind people of the dangers associated with driving carelessly and help deter the needless running of red lights.

When we surveyed drivers in Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville, we found that half of Halton drivers worry about getting into an accident when driving through an intersection. More than 60 per cent of drivers also reported seeing a near-miss accident as a result of someone running a red light. Please help keep our roads and residents safe—be sure to stop at red lights.

To learn more about how red light cameras work and how they help improve the safety of our intersections, please visit halton.ca/stoponred.

Don’t drive while impaired

With plenty of warm days still ahead of us, Halton offers residents and visitors plenty of summer activities! Whether you are out enjoying the region’s many attractions or simply getting together with friends and family, please remember to drive responsibly and if you plan on drinking, don’t drive—use our online resources to plan for your ride.

The story of Oakville mom, Sharon McGregor, who lost her son to impaired driving, reminds us of the ultimate price of impaired driving. Sharon has joined forces with Halton Region and Halton Regional Police to share her story to help eliminate impaired driving on our roads. And remember, if you’re on our roads and think you see an impaired driver, please dial 911 to report it. Impaired driving is a crime in progress and one call could save a life!

Be a Halton Road Watcher

Our Police partners have an excellent program called Halton Road Watch. If you see dangerous or aggressive driving, you can report it by completing an online form at haltonroadwatch.ca. Police will review the report and may send a letter to the registered owner of the vehicle reminding them to drive safely. If you have a passenger, ask for their help in writing down the license plate number so you can file a report. See it. Report it. Keep our roads safe.

Through our Drive SAFE (Safety Awareness for Everyone) program, we will continue to improve safety on our roads. Working together we can make sure Halton remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter,”The Carr Report.”

Keep you and your family safe this summer

Emergencies can happen at any time, and now that summer is here, it’s important to prepare ourselves in the event of a summer storm event. Here at Halton Region, we work with our local partners every day to ensure we are well-prepared for emergencies. Severe weather, floods and power outages are just a few things summer can bring.

Individuals and families need to be prepared in advance so they know what to do during the first 72 hours of an emergency, while fire, police and paramedics help those who need immediate support.

Stay safe for the first 72 hours by following these 3 simple steps:

  • Know the risks specific to your community.
  • Make a plan: Have an emergency plan in place to help you and your family know what to do if disaster strikes.
  • Get a kit: Buy one or make one yourself.
    • An emergency kit should include these basics:
      • Your personal emergency plan
      • Flashlight
      • Battery-powered or crank radio
      • First-Aid Kit
      • Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
      • Bottled water

Be sure to check out the full list of emergency kit items and for information on where to buy a kit.

For more information on how to keep yourself and your family safe before, during and after an emergency, visit halton.ca/beprepared or dial 311. Also don’t forget to read our flood guide to learn how to handle flooding.

Stay safe, be prepared and enjoy your summer!

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

ReThink Water this summer

Halton is proud to provide our residents with access to high-quality tap water. The Region has a variety of programs and services in place to help protect and conserve our water resources and ensure that water is safe when it reaches your home, school or business.

Our water purification plants, source water protection plans and well water monitoring programs monitor the quality and provide protection of Halton’s drinking water systems 365 days a year. Initiatives like the toilet rebate program, the annual rain barrel truckload sales and the Household Guide to Water Efficiency help engage residents in water conservation to ensure the community can enjoy a safe reliable supply of tap water both now and in the future.

This summer, residents are asked to ReThink Water and make water efficiency an important part of your daily life. With the arrival of warmer weather, be mindful of your outdoor water use to ensure there is always sufficient water supply for essential use and emergency services like firefighting.

Water conservation is very important during the summer months, especially in residential areas supported by municipal well-based systems. Residents are asked to use water efficiently by not overwatering lawns or watering just before, during or after rainfall, sweep or rake driveways rather than using a hose, use a pool cover, and ensure any irrigation systems are operating efficiently. Halton’s Outdoor Water Use program consists of a numeric colour-coded system which indicates the extent of any restrictions on outdoor water use

The Outdoor Water use program considers different factors such as water demand, water storage levels, stream flow and groundwater levels and weather patterns. The three levels of the program include:

LEVEL 1 (Blue) – Careful Use

  • Voluntary odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
    • Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
    • Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
  • Car washing and watering of trees, shrubs and gardens is allowed.
  • Although level one is voluntary, resident cooperation to reduce regular outdoor water use is important.

LEVEL 2 (Yellow) – Limited Use

  • Mandatory odd/even lawn watering between 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. & 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.:
    • Properties with odd address numbers water on odd numbered calendar days
    • Properties with even address numbers water on even numbered calendar days
  • Watering of trees, shrubs and gardens should be done using a hand-held device such as a watering can.

LEVEL 3 (Red) – Stop Use

  • No outdoor lawn watering or car washing is permitted in order to conserve water for emergency and essential services.
  • Watering of trees, shrubs and gardens can be done using a hand-held device following the odd/even watering rule.

Halton Region is committed to working together with our residents and community partners to protect our natural resources to ensure we can meet our needs today and in the future. This summer, re-think your water use by using it as wisely and efficiently as possible.

If you would like to learn more about Halton’s water, tips on how to conserve, or to check the current water restriction level, please visit halton.ca/water or dial 311.

Supporting student entrepreneurs helps build a strong economy

Supporting our youth through innovative entrepreneurship programs and services plays a critical role in job creation and economic growth in Halton, for today and for the future.

Summer Company, a provincially funded program co-ordinated by the Halton Region Small Business Centre, provides students aged 15 to 29 with the necessary support to become self-employed during the summer months. The program aims to support students interested in entrepreneurship as a possible career, through funding and mentorship from local business advisors.

Successful applicants can receive up to $3,000 in funding, including up to $1,500 for start-up costs and up to another $1,500 upon completion of the program.

On behalf of Halton Region, I’d like to congratulate our 2015 Summer Company student participants, who were selected from a large group of applicants from across the region:

  • Darryl Apple, InFaction Studios, Oakville
  • Marlee Armour, Summer Swim Academy, Burlington
  • Leslie Ashworth, Suite Melody Care, Oakville
  • Evan Attard, Art Hero Summer Camp, Burlington
  • Neha Bhasin, Summer Soaps Co., Oakville
  • Michael Clegg, Clegg’s Athletic Program, Oakville
  • Julia Dedic, Jewels by Julia, Oakville
  • Lucy He, Keys to Success Piano & Tutoring, Oakville
  • Emily Hollick, Golden Years Training & Care, Oakville
  • Stephen Johnson, Jeunessis, Oakville
  • William Lomoro, Glen Valley Photography, Oakville
  • Nia O’Brien, Nia O’Brien Creations, Oakville
  • Madeline Webb, The Alternative Baker, Burlington

Get to know this year’s Summer Company participants and see a list of our 2015 volunteer mentors.

By enhancing our support through programs and services targeted at youth entrepreneurs, we can continue to provide the next generation with the tools and guidance they need to help their business ideas come to life. Growing the Regional economy continues to be a top priority for Council and this, in part, will help build a strong economy in the years to come. I wish all 2015 Summer Company students success with their summer businesses!

Don’t forget to follow Halton’s Summer Company program on Facebook, and apply next year if you’re a student with a business idea.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”