Halton Region Small Business Centre Provides Support and Networking for Entrepreneurs

At Halton Region, we are committed to helping local entrepreneurs succeed. We work with all levels of government and community partners to support small business enterprises in Halton. Our Small Business Centre offers free consultations, networking opportunities and educational sessions to support entrepreneurs, youth and newcomers looking to start, run and grow businesses in Halton, which helps our economy thrive now and in the future.

Here are some exciting entrepreneurial events coming up in March:

  • Wednesday, March 8: International Women’s Day Networking Breakfast

    Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is proud to participate in this international event that recognizes the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and women entrepreneurs globally.

    This year’s theme, “Entrepreneurship Across the Generations,” addresses the various expectations and needs of women entrepreneurs at different stages of their careers. The event offers women a chance to connect with peers, learn from each other, and provide support and inspiration through shared examples of success. The event is held in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth.

  • Tuesday, March 28: Foodiepreneur Event

    The theme for this year’s event is “The Business of Food” where attendees will learn the best recipe for starting and running a successful food business.

    Attendees will hear from local spotlight speakers about their personal experiences with their foodie businesses. They will also learn about food safety rules and regulations, required licenses and permits; and find out more about funding opportunities, connections to local farmers, and the hot topic of ‘commercial kitchens.’

With its high standards of living, strong local economy and quality public services, Halton is one of the best places in Canada to grow a business. I encourage you and your small business to register for upcoming events and learn why more and more businesses are choosing to locate and grow in Halton Region.

To register for upcoming events or learn more about the programs and services available through the Small Business Centre, please visit halton.ca/smallbusiness.

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”.

Halton Region helps small businesses succeed

Halton Region is committed to helping local small businesses succeed year round. We support entrepreneurs, youth and newcomers looking to start, run and grow their businesses in the region. One of the ways that we support the small business community is through the Halton Region Small Business Centre.

We know that starting and running a small business requires planning and a great deal of effort.  The Centre provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools and resources to start and continue to grow their businesses. Over the past 10 years, staff have responded to over 100,000 inquiries and met with over 10,000 clients in one-on-one consultations. These initiatives are proving successful as more and more businesses are choosing to locate here.

This fall, our Small Business Centre will host a number seminars, educations sessions and events targeted at small business owners and youth entrepreneurs within Halton Region. Some of the events coming up this fall include:

  • Global Entrepreneurship Week events (November 14 to 21)
  • Foodiepreneur Workshop (November 22)

These events aim to help small businesses who are either starting out or looking to grow, with the chance to network and share ideas.

Congratulations to all our entrepreneurs for your achievements over the past year, and for your continued success in shaping Halton’s future.  Thanks to your efforts, Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

For more information about the Halton Region Small Business Centre, please visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311. You can also follow the Halton Region Small Business Centre on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev, on Facebook and on WordPress.

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”.

Successful networking event for entrepreneurs in creative industries

This month is Small Business Month and on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, over 60 artists, small business owners in the creative industry and local community partners attended this year’s Bridges to Better Business event: the Business of Art and the Art of Business. The event, hosted by Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, focused on helping entrepreneurs learn how to establish themselves and grow within creative industries.

BridgesToBetterBusiness2GroupWEBThe event was not only a great networking opportunity for those in the creative sector, attendees also heard from three keynote speakers: professional musician Wayne DeAdder; jewelry designer Monica Graves; singer, event producer and entertainment consultant, Krista Blondin. Each one talked about following their passions, balancing financial and family needs and what it has taken to be successful.

In addition, two local spotlight speakers who run small businesses in Halton shared their stories and how they have benefited from the resources and programs available at the Halton Region Small Business Centre: Lisa Penny of Arts at Work and Aleksandra Lason from Chrilleks Productions Inc.

BridgesToBetterBusiness1WEBFinally, Janice Lambrakos from the Ontario Arts Council shared opportunities for provincial grants and funding and Alexis Black of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office spoke about the importance of copyrighting, filing trademarks and more.

Today’s event is another example of how Halton Region is committed to strengthening the economy by supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. To find out more about the programs and services available through the Small Business Centre, please visit our newly updated web pages at halton.ca/smallbusiness.

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.”

Helping the next generation of entrepreneurs succeed

The small business community is the backbone of Halton Region’s strong economy, with 90 per cent of Halton’s private sector businesses having less than ten employees. While starting a small business may come easily to some, others have the idea but aren’t sure where to go from there. To help support these aspiring entrepreneurs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre, located at 1151 Bronte Road in Oakville, offers programs, seminars, events and professional advice for new and existing small businesses.

An exciting new program that has already helped some young entrepreneurs launch their futures is the Starter Company program. This program, open to youth out of school between the ages of 18 and 29, provides training and business skills development to help young entrepreneurs develop a business plan and prepare them to run their own business.  Local business professionals and consultants also offer mentoring and guidance to help them along the way. Participants may also be eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 to help kick-start a new business or expand or buy an existing business.

The first new Halton “Starter Company” to receive a $5,000 grant, Alias Apps, headquartered in downtown Georgetown, is owned and operated by Michael Bertiean and David Nadeau, two recent Brock University graduates who wanted to turn their passion for technology into a career. Not only are they developing professionally coded apps at affordable prices, they are also contributing to our strong economy and have hired two staff.

Our second Halton “Starter Company” to receive $5,000 is young motivational speaker Molly Burke from Oakville.  Molly shares her experience of losing her sight, overcoming adversity and embracing diversity across Canada and the U.S. Molly educates, motivates and inspires others to find peace, happiness and achieve their goals, and we are very proud to support her spreading these positive messages to others.

You can see from our first two businesses the innovation and inspiration of today’s young entrepreneurs. The small business world has definitely grown and today’s youth are taking control of their futures like never before.  I’m proud that Halton can support young adults as they pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

With two sessions coming up in January, you can sign up now and help your idea grow into a successful business venture in 2015.  Best wishes to all our young entrepreneurs!

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.”

Helping Technology Business Entrepreneurs Grow

The Halton Region Small Business Centre works to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give them the tools to achieve success. Staff from Halton’s Small Business Centre meet with over 1,300 entrepreneurs every year, helping them start and grow their business here in Halton, through one-on-one consultation, workshops, seminars and a variety of other programs.

Halton’s Regional Innovation Centre, HalTech, complements the services provided by the Small Business Centre.  Founded in August 2011, and part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) network of 14 regional innovation centres, HalTech works in partnership with Halton Region, Local Municipalities and educational institutions.

HalTech aims to connect innovators, technology based businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers with a network of professionals who can help them take concepts from idea to reality.

HalTech’s services include:Haltech graphic

  • advisory services
  • market research
  • access to funding
  • education
  • knowledge & skills development
  • network access.

HalTech acts as a catalyst for innovation and commercialization in the region by delivering services to help Halton enterprises start, grow and succeed. Learn more about by visiting haltech.ca or follow them on Twitter at twitter.com/HalTechRIC. 

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.”

Helping local youth launch their own Summer Company

Every year, Halton Region offers support to students between the ages of 15 and 29 that want to start and run their own business through the Summer Company program. Summer Company is an Ontario Government initiative for youth entrepreneurship and employment that is coordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre. Successful program applicants receive hands-on business training and mentoring, and can receive up to $3000 in funding to help start and run their own summer business. 

Entrepreneurship plays a critical role in innovation, job creation and economic growth. Summer Company sets young entrepreneurs up to succeed through business coaching and ongoing mentoring. Halton is proud to offer local students support through this program as it provides young entrepreneurs with a tremendous opportunity to bring their business ideas to life.

The deadline for submissions is next Friday, May 23, 2014. Summer Company is a competitive program with limited spaces and students are encouraged to complete their application as early as possible. For a complete list of program requirements or to apply online, visit the Summer Company website at www.ontario.ca/summercompany

If you have any questions about the application process or require assistance in completing the application, including preparing a business plan, please visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311. You can also follow the Halton Region Small Business Centre on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev, on Facebook and on WordPress

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.”

 

 

Celebrating Halton Region’s local business community

On August 7, I had the pleasure of joining with Oakville Regional Councillor Alan Johnston and Milton Regional Councillor Colin Best in attending the Annual Joint Chambers of Commerce Business After 5 networking event at the Halton Regional Centre in Oakville. Organized by Halton Region’s four Chambers of Commerce together with Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, the event brings together chamber members and guests for networking with members of other Halton Chambers of Commerce.114

This well attended networking event is combined with a Business Showcase that serves as a mini-tradeshow.  Local companies, including some former Small Business Centre clients and this year’s Summer Company participants, have the opportunity to showcase their products and services and share stories with other members of the small business community.

There is always an incredible buzz in the room and a genuine feeling of goodwill.  It is one of my favourite networking events.  Where else could you chat with the heads of all four Chambers of Commerce, have a free caricature drawn while you wait, sample roasted chickpeas, and consult with a business coach for 5 cents?

I am incredibly proud of Halton Region’s local business community.  It is thriving and diverse, thanks to the efforts of the Chambers, our Local and Regional Councils and the individuals who work so hard each day to bring their new ideas to market.145

More and more small business are opening here in Halton, joining larger businesses such as Siemens, Toronto Premium Outlets, Lowes Canada and Gyptech Technologies. They are locating here because of our quality of life, our solid infrastructure and because of the very talented people who live and work in this community.

American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Meetings such as the annual Chamber event help ensure we continue to come together, stay together and enjoy success together.175

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.”