Small business centre serves tremendous demand for support services
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council gave the nod of approval to a staff report presenting an update of the activities and a 2007 work plan for the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre, which provides assistance in the creation of new enterprises and the development of early growth stage businesses.
“The York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre has achieved a positive impact on facilitating business start-ups and expansions in the Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “The uptake of the Centre’s services and activities by residents and the resulting economic activities show that the Centre, our regional economy and entrepreneurs in the Region are on the right track.”
A survey conducted by the Centre indicates that entrepreneurs and businesses were satisfied with the support they received from the Centre, and a vast majority of entrepreneurs found the experience to be positive and helpful in starting their businesses.
“The number of clients served by the Centre is testimony to the entrepreneurial spirit in the Region,” said Town of East Gwillimbury Mayor James Young, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee. “There is tremendous demand for small business support services in the northern part of the Region.”
The Centre responded to 6,373 general enquiries and provided 257 consultations. It held 12 seminars and workshops, a Bridges to Better Business Conference and partnered in an Enterprising Women’s Conference. It also processed 47 Summer Company applications resulting in 10 approvals, and 43 Business Plan Challenge submissions resulting in one that went to the Provincial finals.
As a result of the Centre’s efforts, 96 businesses were registered, 67 new businesses were started, 10 business expanded operations and 102 jobs were created. Some examples of new businesses that started their operations in the Region are:
• Active Green and Ross Auto Centre in Newmarket with five employees
• York Wireless Solutions in Aurora with four employees
• India Gate Restaurant in Newmarket with six employees
The Centre will continue its programs. Plans are underway for the following activities:
• Business Plan Challenge – high school students are welcome to participate through their schools. Cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline is June 1, 2007.
• Summer Company - students age 15 to 29 can submit proposals to obtain start-up subsidy for summer break business ventures. April is the cut-off date for the receipt of proposals.
• Seminars hosted by the Centre:
o Strategic Marketing
o Human Resources
o Small Business Technology
o Strategic Planning
o Summer Company Bookkeeping
o Summer Company Reporting Systems
• Small Business Workshops - a series of six will be held throughout the year, offering hands-on training to small groups of about 15 to 20 attendees on various topics that are critical to the success of small business ventures. The workshop topics will include:
o Introduction to Starting a Business
o Building a Business Plan
o Introduction to Bookkeeping and Taxes
o Sales and Marketing Techniques
• Enterprising Women’s Conference - The Centre was again involved this March as a sponsor and co-organizer of a conference organized by the Women’s Centre of York Region.
• Bridges to Better Business Conference - is scheduled for November as part of the Small Business Month celebration.
• Small Business Providers Roundtable – will bring together the agencies and organizations that are providing support services to small businesses in the Region to identify common issues, address differences and develop a co-ordinated approach to improve on service delivery.
• York Small Business Television Show - Staff have been exploring the opportunity of producing an educational TV series that will provide information and tips necessary to successfully run a small business. The objective is to increase the awareness and the benefits of starting a small business.
The Centre will continue with the services it is currently providing to new entrepreneurs. At the same time, in view of the increasing demand for support to growth companies with less than 10 employees, the Centre will expand its services to companies with less than 10 employees through partnerships with community-based organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce and Board of Trade.
One of a network of 44 small business enterprise centres across Ontario created in partnership with the Region and the Provincial government, the Centre is based in Newmarket and serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in the northern six municipalities. It complements the services provided by the other three Small Business Enterprise Centres in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan which are operated independently by the respective municipalities.
For more information about these and other activities of the Small Business Enterprise Centre, please contact James Nicholson, York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre, (905) 830-4444, Ext. 1517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications, York Region
Phone: (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696 or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
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