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.”

Summer Company 2014: Helping Halton’s young entrepreneurs thrive

Entrepreneurship plays an integral role in innovation, job creation and economic growth. With small businesses contributing an increasing amount to Halton’s strong economy, Regional Council is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs as they establish themselves and expand. One way that we support entrepreneurship in the Region is through our youth entrepreneurship programs including Summer Company.

Every year, Halton Region works with the Ontario Government to provide support to student entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 29 to help them start and run their own business through the Summer Company program. Successful applicants receive hands-on business training and mentoring and can receive up to $3,000 in funding to help them get their business off the ground. Programs like Summer Company provide the next generation of entrepreneurs with the necessary training, mentorship and support that can help put them in a position to succeed.

The goal of the Summer Company program is to support students interested in entrepreneurship as a possible career goal by helping them launch a summer business.  This year’s participants are extremely talented and were selected from a group of applicants throughout the Halton area.  The 2014 summer companies include:

  • Trevor Clost, Hockequip, Burlington
  • Luke Corbeth, Corby Car Cleaners, Oakville
  • Paul DeMarco, DeMarco Business Services, Oakville
  • Cory Hudson, Ambient Audio Canada, Oakville
  • Yara Kashlan, A Ray Creative Publishing, Burlington
  • David Kong, Eco-Space, Oakville
  • Tom Lethbridge, Cutting Edge Language, Burlington
  • Jason Lum, JXL Apparel, Oakville
  • Cameron Mulligan, First Waves Swim School, Oakville
  • Thomas Neely, The Boys of Summer Landscape & Lawn Care, Georgetown
  • Dragos Rotaru, Orchard Audio & Design, Oakville
  • Anna Starkova, Blue Hat Caricatures, Oakville

While Summer Company is coordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre, we rely on community volunteer business advisors to help provide extra support and to mentor the students. I would like to thank all of our volunteers for taking the time to help this year’s group of students. Our 2014 mentors include:

  • Tom Cochrane, Retired Businessman with Oakville Business Advisory Group, Oakville
  • Liz Kush, Senior Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada, Burlington
  • Ivana Pejakovic, Empowerment coach for Women/Director of R&D, Bruno LoGreco Inc., Oakville
  • Steve Sprenger, Senior Manager, BDO Canada, Burlington
  • Phil Von Massow, Owner of CPL Group, Oakville

The Region’s strong economy relies on people with a resilient entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to developing and supporting our local small businesses and those who are considering becoming an entrepreneur. Whether you’re thinking about opening a business, formulating your business plan, expanding an established small business or looking for youth entrepreneurship programs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help.

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.”

Halton Region Small Business Centre: helping Halton’s economy thrive

With small businesses contributing an increasing amount to Halton’s strong economy, Regional Council is committed to supporting small businesses as they establish themselves and expand. Attracting and retaining jobs is a top priority for Halton Region and I am pleased to report that through our work with staff, Regional Council and our Local Municipalities we continue to deliver impressive results.

A strong business investment in the region helped Halton’s unemployment rate drop to 4.7% in 2013, significantly lower than the rest of the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario. While it is important that we continue to attract businesses such as the Toronto Premium Outlets Mall, Gypsum Technologies, Amazon.com, UPS Canada and Lowes Canada, it is also crucial that we support our small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Region’s strong economy relies on people with the resilient entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to developing and supporting our local small businesses and those who are considering becoming an entrepreneur. One of the ways that we support the small business community is through the Halton Region Small Business Centre.

The Small Business Centre works collaboratively with Halton’s innovation partners including HalTech and the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre to promote and grow Halton’s entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. The Halton Region Small Business Centre also assists entrepreneurs and small business owners through a number of key program areas. These supports include:

Businesses of all sizes, including new entrepreneurs, choose to open in Halton because of our competitive taxes, first class infrastructure and high quality of life. Whether you’re thinking about opening a business, formulating your business plan, expanding an established small business or looking for youth entrepreneurship programs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help.

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.”

 

 

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.”

 

 

Halton Export Forum features local export success stories

On Thursday, November 14, I joined local businesses at the Halton Export Forum in Oakville. Halton Region partnered with the Canada-Ontario Export Forum to bring this timely event to Halton. The forum provided an opportunity for both new and experienced exporters to hear tips, learn how to increase exports, discover export funding programs and network with government and export service providers.

Panelists Cameron Serles of Xiris Automation Inc. and Debbie Baker of OpenAire Inc. shared their stories and export success tips.  Burlington based Xiris, whose products are sold worldwide through a network of distributors and agents, designs and manufactures specialized equipment using advanced camera technology to recognize and detect quality defects in manufactured goods. Oakville based OpenAire designs, manufactures and installs custom retractable roof enclosures and operable skylights. The company’s enclosures are found in venues around the world including Egypt, Germany, Ukraine and the U.S. DSC_0909

These are just two examples of many Halton export success stories. We are well positioned to tackle markets outside our borders. Halton’s diversified economic base powers the innovation we need to grow and expand our market reach.  Halton truly is an economic hotspot. Our latest employment survey indicated that we now have over 1,000 exporting companies in our region. This includes large exporters such as Ford of Canada, Magna and Roxul Inc., and smaller companies such as L3 WESCAM, whose advanced laser imaging systems are in use around the world. And not only is there potential for our manufacturing firms, but also for our growing and successful service base, which includes Hatch, AMEC and Siemens.

Attracting and retaining jobs is a priority in Halton Region’s Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.  Our efforts to assist businesses to establish or expand operations and find new markets through initiatives such as this Forum are paying off.  I invite you to learn more about exporting and how the Halton Region Small Business Centre can help you grow your business.

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton Region celebrates Small Business

October is Small Business Month, a time of year when we recognize the important contributions entrepreneurs make to the economy and our community.  And the third week of the month, October 20 to 26, is Small Business Week.  This week includes many free local events and activities such as workshops, seminars and conferences hosted by our Chambers of Commerce and others in the community offering support and resources to encourage the growth of small businesses in Halton.

Attracting and retaining jobs in Halton is one of the priorities in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities 2011-2014 Action Plan.  That’s why Halton Region’s Small Business Centre works year round to support the small business community, including prospective and existing businesses, young  entrepreneurs and new Canadians

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 business ventures. Over the past 10 years, staff have responded to over 86,000 inquiries and met with over 9,300 clients in one-on-one consultations and hosted numerous events and seminars.  They also connect with the community through an active social media campaign that includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a Blog.

These initiatives are proving successful as more and more businesses are choosing to locate here. Halton is truly is an economic hotspot and a desirable place for people to live and start a business.

Congratulations to Halton’s entrepreneurs for your achievements over the past year, and for your continued success in the future.  Thanks to your efforts, Halton is 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 Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”