March 27, 2008
Media Release

York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre advises entrepreneurs in the early stages of business start-up and growth

York Region celebrates local winner of provincial Business Plan Challenge
NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today approved a staff report of the 2007 achievements and an outline of 2008 activities of the York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre.  The Centre provides assistance to new businesses and developing enterprises in the early stages of growth that are located in the northern six municipalities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket and Whitchurch-Stouffville.
 
“The York Region Small Business Enterprise Centre is an important resource for start-up and existing small businesses,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “The Centre facilitates entrepreneurs who bring a lot of creativity, drive and vitality to their work, which impacts positively on our economy and provides long-term benefits to the residents of York Region.”
 
As a result of the Centre’s efforts, 104 businesses were registered, 132 new businesses were started, 14 businesses expanded operations and 114 jobs were created.  Examples of new business start-ups include Matrix Repatterning Centre in Aurora, Alliance Interiors in Georgina and Mr. Wardrobe in Newmarket.
 
“There is great demand for small business support services within our growing communities,” said Town of Markham Regional Councillor Tony Wong, Chair of the Region’s Planning and Economic Development Committee.  “Technology is affordable, niche markets continue to expand and an increasing number of people simply want to pursue their passion through a small business.”
 
The Centre responded to 8,385 general enquiries and provided 240 consultations.  It held 10 seminars and workshops, a Bridges to Better Business Conference and partnered in an Enterprising Women’s Conference.  It also processed 31 Summer Company applications resulting in seven approvals, and 60 Business Plan Challenge submissions resulting in three that went to the Provincial finals.
 
A client of the Centre was the first-place winner of the provincial Business Plan Challenge.  David Wilkings, a resident of East Gwillimbury who was a Grade 12 student last year at Pickering College in Newmarket, developed a business plan for a motorcycle race track and an e-retail accessories business.  He won first place at all three levels: York Region, Central Region and the Province, winning a total of $3,500.
 
Another first in 2007, the Centre produced York Small Business Television (YSB TV) to raise awareness of the benefits of starting a small business.  Sponsored by Deloitte LLP, the Ontario Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Rogers SOHO, York University and York Region Media Group, the YSB TV 2007 series showcased growth industries and emerging technologies, highlighting the resources entrepreneurs need to succeed, innovative ideas from the hottest markets around the world, and business management tips and advice.
 
Thirteen episodes of YSB TV profiled innovative entrepreneurs sharing their success stories.  These 30-minute instalments can be seen on Rogers TV in York Region.
 
The Centre will continue its successful programs in 2008.  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 2, 2008.
 
• Summer Company - students age 15 to 29 can submit proposals to obtain a start-up subsidy for summer break business ventures.  April 30th is the final day for the receipt of proposals.
 
• Seminars that will be hosted by the Centre in 2008 include:
o Cold Calling
o Avoiding Time Traps
o Internet Selling
o Strategic Planning for 2009
 
• Small Business Workshops - a series of workshops 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.  To enhance participation in communities that the Centre serves, the northern six municipalities and/or their Chambers of Commerce will promote and host the 2008 workshops.  The workshop topics include:
o Bookkeeping and Taxes
o Marketing and Sales
o Starting a Small Business
o Building a Business Plan
 
• 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 - Scheduled for November as part of the Small Business Month celebration.
 
• Community Partnership Outreach – While continuing services to new entrepreneurs, the Centre will meet increasing demand for support to growth companies with less than 10 employees through partnerships with community-based organizations, including the Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade and the South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation.
 
• York Small Business Television – Produce once again a series of 30-minute episodes that profile innovative entrepreneurs sharing their success stories in 2008.
 
Created through a partnership between York Region and the Province, the Centre is based in Newmarket and serves entrepreneurs and small businesses in Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket and Whitchurch-Stouffville.  It complements the services provided by Small Business Enterprise Centres in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan, which are operated independently by local municipalities.
 
For more information about these and other activities of the Small Business Enterprise Centre, please visit www.yorksmallbusiness.ca or contact Sharon Végh, Program Manager, Economic Strategy, at (905) 830-4444, Ext. 1517 or email sharon.vegh@york.ca
 
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For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
Media Contact: Tim Paleczny, Corporate Communications Specialist, York Region
Phone: (905) 830-4444 Ext. 1238, (416) 297-9696
or Toll free 1-877-464-9675
Cell Phone: (905) 251-6413 
Email: tim.paleczny@york.ca

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