January 12, 2004

York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre responds to more than 700 inquiries in first six months


NEWMARKET – In its first six months of operation, York Region’s Small Business Enterprise Centre responded to more than 700 general inquiries, provided 75 private business consultations, organized five seminars and workshops and raised more than $14,000 in cash and in-kind contributions through partnerships and sponsorships. This was outlined in a report received by the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee last week.


Established in June 2003 at the York Region Administrative Centre in Newmarket, the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre (YRSBEC) was the newest member of a network of 44 Small Business Enterprise Centres across Ontario.  The Centres are created in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to provide assistance and support to business start-ups and small to medium-sized enterprises with under ten employees, during the first five years of operation.


“The YRSBEC is a progressive service offered to promote new business start-ups and entrepreneurial activities,” said Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch.  “It is vital to the attainment of the Vibrant Economy goal as established in Vision 2026, the Region’s strategic plan for the next 25 years.”


The YRSBEC is staffed by a Small Business Consultant who provides advice to potential entrepreneurs on business registration, writing business plans, market planning and financing options.   Existing businesses are given advice on strategic planning, market penetration, expansion planning and human resource issues.  Other outreach activities include making presentations, organizing seminars and workshops, and securing partnerships and sponsorships. 


Small businesses create more than half of all new jobs in Ontario and more than 90 per cent of the companies in York Region have 50 or less employees.  The Centre is the first to open in northern York Region. Centres already exist in the southern municipalities of York Region in Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham


“The creation of an attractive and vibrant environment for small businesses to operate is key to building the economy and jobs,” said Markham Regional Councillor Frank Scarpitti, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “The YRSBEC will ensure that small businesses are fully supported with advice, information and education providing every opportunity for success.”


Over 96 per cent of YRSBEC clients last year were from the northern part of the Region.  Services provided included:

With the involvement of YRSBEC, the following client successes were achieved in 2003:

An agreement with the Province to fund the YRSBEC expires on March 31, 2004.  The Planning and Economic Development Committee report recommends Council approval at its January 22, 2004 meeting for staff to submit a new business plan and proposal to the Province in early 2004 for funding assistance to continue the operation for 2004/2005.   


For more information about the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre, call (905) 830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1517.



Contact:           Wendy Lewis, Corporate Communications Services, York Region

- (905) 830-4444 or (416) 297-9696, ext. 1238

                        - Email: wendy.lewis@region.york.on.ca

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