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.”

 

 

Q1 Accomplishments 2014

Fiscal Responsibility

Moody’s Investors Services Reaffirms AAA Credit Rating for Halton Region
In February, Moody’s Investors Services assigned an AAA credit rating to Halton Region in recognition of the Region’s strong financial position and prudent budgetary practices. In its annual review, Moody’s attached a “stable outlook” to this rating, indicating its confidence in Halton’s ability to maintain this standing in the future.

Attracting & Retaining Jobs

Women Entrepreneurs in Halton Invited to ‘Learn, Connect and Grow’
On March 5, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Halton Region Small Business Centre partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment to host a business event for over 60 Women Entrepreneurs and small business owners at the OE Banquet Hall & Conference Centre in Oakville.  

Economic Development Strategy on Track
On March 26, Regional Council approved the Progress Achieved under Halton Region’s Economic Development Strategic Implementation Plan 2012-2021as well as the 2013 Economic Review. The review highlights both the significant real estate and business investment in Halton in 2013 and the tremendous growth in non-residential development over the past several years.

Physician Recruitment Initiative 2013 Reports Year-End Results
On March 26 Regional Council approved the 2013 year-end report for the Physician Recruitment Initiative which saw the recruitment of 22 new family physicians to Halton.

Promoting Tourism

Halton Food Tourism Summit
On March 6, Halton Region held the Halton Food Tourism Summit at the Halton Region Museum. This session, part of the Region’s Agritourism Action Plan, provided educational and networking opportunities for local farmers and restaurateurs interested in taking advantage of the rapidly growing local food movement. Topics included Food Tourism 101, Food Tourism Best Practices and Strategies for local food sourcing.

Emergency Preparedness

Station Expansion
On March 11, construction started on the new northwest Oakville paramedic station located at Bronte Rd. and Pine Glen Rd. The new station will help paramedics respond to calls in the area more quickly, improving patient outcomes and saving lives. The new station is scheduled to open in early 2015. 

Customer Service 

SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award
This past January, Service Quality Measurement Group (SQM) recognized Access Halton as a Service Quality Award of Excellence Winner for 2013. Halton Region received the SQM North American Call Centre Industry 2013 Award for highest customer service in government. This award is based on first call resolution (FCR), the measure of how many calls are required to resolve an issue, answer a question or get a requested service. Halton Region measures call centre customer satisfaction annually. 

Accessibility Update
During the first quarter, Halton Region continued to remove barriers to people with disabilities and meet provincial accessibility standards. Halton worked with the Local Municipalities to arrange joint training for Regional and Local Municipal staff on new accessible built environment standards and accessibility changes in the Ontario Building Code. The Accessibility at Halton Region booklet was completed to supplement the accessibility training module launched in 2013. 

Advocacy

Advocating for a Strong Halton
On March 26, Regional Council approved recommendations provided through the report “Advocating for a Strong Halton Update”, to support Council in their ongoing advocacy work. Halton Region continues to Advocate for a Strong Haltonon issues that are important to Halton residents. The support of both levels of government in the form of long-term predictable funding is essential to maintaining the quality of life in Halton. 

Infrastructure

2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award
This spring, Halton Region received the 2014 Civil Engineering Infrastructure Project of the Year Award, presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (Halton-Hamilton Engineering Week). The award was presented for outstanding work on the Halton Zone 3 Interconnecting Watermain project (Burlington and Oakville). 

2014 Project of the Year Award
On March 1, Halton Region received the 2014 Project of the Year Award in the Civil Large Project Category for the North Oakville East Wastewater Pumping Station. The award was presented by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers at the Hamilton/Halton Engineering Awards Ceremony.

Planning Sustainable Communities

Partial Approval of Regional Official Plan Amendment (ROPA) 38
On February 4, the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) issued a decision partially approving ROPA 38 to bring it into conformity with the provincial Growth Plan. 

Environmental Protection and Conservation of Water

Drinking Water Quality Management Review Completed

This spring, the 2013 Drinking Water Quality Management Review was completed for Halton’s water systems. This review reconfirmed that the Region’s water systems are well managed to ensure safe drinking water services for all residents.

100% Compliance Rating for Halton’s Drinking Water Systems
Eleven annual Ministry of the Environment inspections were completed for Halton’s drinking water systems for the 2013 cycle. The findings revealed zero instances of regulatory non-compliance and 100% compliance rating for each of the 11 inspections.

Waste Management

Winter Ice Storm Emergency Yard Waste Collection Program
From January 1 to February 7, Halton Region implemented an emergency yard waste collection program in response to the December 2013 major winter ice storm. The Region worked closely with the Local Municipalities to ensure that storm debris was collected in an effective and efficient manner. 

The Region deployed a variety of resources to manage the storm generated yard waste, including retaining contractors to provide forestry-type equipment to chip and shred brush at the curb, adding waste collection vehicles to manually collect brush from the curbs and boulevards, assisting the Local Municipalities to set up temporary transfer sites where residents and contractors could drop off brush materials at no charge, and waiving the tipping fee for yard waste at the Halton Waste Management Site so that Halton residents and contractors could drop off brush debris or chipped materials at no charge. 

Defining and Preserving Natural Heritage 

Halton Museum Foundation Celebrated Black History with Two One-Woman Shows
On March 5 and 6, over 1,300 Halton students attended the Halton Region Museum’s presentation of the Spirit of Harriet Tubman and Things my Fore-Sisters Saw. The shows were held in celebration of Black History month and International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

Children and Youth Development 

New Online Oral Health Education Guides (OHEG) Available to Teachers
In February, a new online oral health teaching tool for educators was launched. Developed in collaboration with consultants from both Halton school boards, the Oral Health Education Guides connect oral health education directly to the Ontario Curriculum. 

New Support to Children with Mental Health Concerns
As of this spring, Mental Health Liaison Nurses are providing early identification and support to children with mental health concerns from kindergarten age to grade eight. Families can access this service through their child’s school or by calling 311.

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 launches new partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation

On Wednesday, January 25, Halton Region officially launched a new partnership between the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) and the Region’s Small Business Centre.

The partnership addresses a key strategic direction in Halton’s 2012-2021 Economic Development Strategy, namely to “empower young entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in Halton.”  Small business is at the heart of our economy, and programs such as CYBF and the other services provided by the Halton Region’s Small Business Centre help support the growth and success of innovative business in the region.

Through the partnership, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre will provide CYBF Entrepreneurs with pre-launch coaching including support with business planning, market research, operational planning and guidance during the CYBF application process.

Since CYBF’s inception in 1996, the Toronto-based organization has helped over 4,750 entrepreneurs across Canada aged 18-34 launch and sustain successful businesses by providing pre-launch coaching, start-up financing, resources and mentorship.

Nicole Croft, Owner of National E-Counselling is Halton Region’s first approved CYBF applicant. At the launch, Nicole thanked both the Region and CYBF for giving her fledging business a much appreciated boost. Past CYBF and Summer Company recipient Lindsay Gray, President, Define Hair Design Inc. echoed those comments.

Young entrepreneurs such as Nicole and Lindsay represent Halton’s future. They create jobs, serve as role models and contribute to the economic well being of this region.

CYBF entrepreneurs have created more than 18,600 new Canadian jobs, generated over $129-million in tax revenue, and contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and export revenue.  Those are impressive numbers. As a community partner to CYBF, Halton Region’s Small Business Centre will build on this success and further enhance its services to prospective entrepreneurs, small business owners and youth entrepreneurs in Halton. 

For further information on CYBF and other programs for small business, visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311, 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, or TTY 905-827-9833. You can also follow Small Business on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev.

From left to right (Front Row): Nicole Croft, Owner, National E-Counselling – Halton Region’s first approved CYBF applicant, Ellen Kuschnik, Constituency Assistant, representing Kevin Flynn, M.P.P., Oakville, Lindsay Gray, President, Define Hair Design Inc. – Burlington entrepreneur, past CYBF recipient, Sarah Hashem, Senior Manager, Ontario, Canadian Youth Business Foundation
From left to right (Back Row): Gary Carr, Halton Regional Chair, Terence Young, M.P., Oakville, John Davidson, Director, Economic Development, Halton Region

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”