Data Insights – Halton Business statistics available on Data Centre

data-centreCheck out the Halton Data Centre for new information on Halton’s business community.  The series of new Halton Business data tables includes information about:

  • the number, size, location, growth and industry of businesses in Halton,
  • halton business performance and projections,

top employers, exporters, and multinational companies in Halton A few highlights include:

  1. Halton has a robust and diversified business community

In 2015 Halton was home to over 13,000 businesses and organizations.. Wholesale/retail, education/healthcare, and manufacturing are Halton’s main industry sectors, accounting for nearly half of all businesses.  Overall, 88% of Halton’s business community was service-based while 12% were in the goods-producing industries.

  1. Halton businesses are performing well

Halton businesses performed well in 2016, with a third of surveyed businesses hiring additional staff and 42% seeing profit increases. Additionally, 34% of surveyed business owners plan to invest in growth over the next 12 months by making facility expansions, relocating or adding inventories and 70% are making productivity investments through skills training, technology, machinery and equipment, or R&D.  Business bankruptcy has also declined steadily over the past five years, reaching only 40 cases throughout Halton in 2015.

  1. Strong business growth throughout Halton, particularly in Milton and Halton Hills

Halton Region averaged 10% net business growth from 2011 to 2015 with approximately 5300 new business locations established during that period. Growth was strongest in the north Halton communities of Milton and Halton Hills, who each experienced net business growth of 17%.

We’re here to help!

For additional information on Halton’s business community and to access detailed statistics, visit, or submit a request for a Custom Report and we can assist you in making informed decisions for your business. Depending on availability, we can provide customized historical, industry, community, real estate and business data.


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2017 – A new year, a new beginning

small_business_20160914_581_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 has what you need.

We host a weekly information session entitled Getting Started to help new business owners start off on the right foot and receive the relevant information without burdening them with “information overload.”  In this session, staff members walk through a checklist of things that should be considered when starting a new business.  The sessions are casual, informative small groups of five or less.

After the session, participants are welcome to tour the centre and learn about other available resources.

New or existing small business owners can also participate in our various seminars held throughout the year.  Topics include:

  • Starting a Small Business
  • Writing a Business Plan
  • Understanding Financial Basics
  • Marketing – Research and Cost Effective Ideas
  • First Steps in Exporting
  • First Steps in Importing

These seminars are held in partnership with the local public libraries within Halton’s four local municipalities.

For youth who are considering entrepreneurship this year, we deliver two specific youth business programs – Summer Company and Futurpreneur Canada:

  • The Summer Company program is open to high school and post-secondary students aged 15 to 29 who would like to experience entrepreneurship first-hand rather than work in a traditional summer job. Students are provided with training and skills development as well as mentorship from local professionals. In addition to the training and meetings, participants can access up to $1,500 in grant funding for start-up costs and an opportunity to receive an additional $1,500 award for successful completion of the program requirements.
  • Futurpreneur Canada is a national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. The monthly information sessions provide an overview of the program and eligibility criteria.

Running a business can be one of the most fulfilling and challenging jobs you can have.  If you are considering starting or expanding a small business this year, get the information needed for a successful business and New Year by contacting us today!

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Halton Business Conditions Survey

jan-2-data-insights-business-conditions-2016_report-final_page_01Recently, we asked local business owners to let us know how business was going in Halton. We asked about their current operations, their investment and expansion plans, their strategic forecasts, and what their opinions are on the desirability of doing business in the region.

Halton Region’s Business Conditions survey samples over 500 local business owners and executives every year in order to obtain information on the economic conditions faced by local businesses. This information is used to provide insight on initiatives and policies that impact local business and to help Halton target programs to fit the needs of the business community.  The recently released 2016 survey report shows that Halton business owners are performing well, are anticipating strong growth, and that they view Halton as a competitive location within the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas (GTHA).

  1. Halton businesses performing well

Halton business owners enjoyed a successful 2015/2016, with a third of businesses hiring additional staff and 42% seeing profit increases. Halton businesses are also focusing on innovation, with over a quarter of businesses engaging in research and development, or introducing improved products, production processes or machinery and equipment.  Halton business owners also appear to be setting their sights globally – 30% of businesses surveyed reported exporting their products, or services, last year. Continue reading

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Season’s Greetings!


Season’s Greetings!

It’s hard to believe that another busy year is wrapping up and we have already planned many events and programs for 2017.

Here’s a recap of what 2016 was like for the Halton Region Economic Development Division:

  • The centre continued to deliver our existing programs for Young Entrepreneurs – Summer Company, Starter Company and Futurpreneur Canada.
  • We hosted our annual International Women’s Day event.
  • Once again, the Halton Small Business Centre partnered with the Rotary Groups in Halton for their Pythons’ Pit Business Plan Competition.
  • We held another successful joint networking event with the four local Chambers of Commerce, from Burlington, Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills.
  • This year Halton Tourism ran two Harvest Halton events in the fall. These one of a kind culinary events showcased some of the finest local restaurants and produce from all over region.
  • Halton Tourism hosted its fourth annual food trail in 2016. This year the Trail was expanded to include more local food offerings and was titled Pumpkins to Pastries Trail. Check out some of these photos of people having fun on the Trail!
  • The Halton Real Estate Forum was held at the Burlington Convention Centre. This annual event showcases Halton as a premier place to do business for those in the industrial and commercial real estate and development industry. Please see the link below to download the presentations:
  • We celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week by hosting various events throughout the week as well as a celebration event featuring our young entrepreneurs.
  • In December we celebrated the wrap-up of the Starter Company Program with a Starter Company Appreciation Event.

Here’s a look at 2016 from our perspective:

This will be our last blog of the year, as the Small Business Centre will be closed for the holidays from Monday December 26th to Friday December 30th.   We will be open again for business on Monday, January 2nd.

At this time, we would like to thank all of our small business clients, partners and stakeholders who have made this year a special one for us.

We are excited about the programs planned for 2017.   We invite you to come into our centre, visit our website and follow us on our Social Media channels for all the details!

From all of us at the Halton Region Economic Development Division,

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!






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Exploring Halton’s Q3 Economic Performance

Halton Region Economic Development staff issues a quarterly report that provides a snapshot of Halton’s economic performance with respect to development, labour force, and real estate markets.  (Sign-up here to receive it in your inbox!)

The following three measures highlight Halton’s economy during the 3rd quarter of 2016:

  1. Close to $600M in development

Nearly 1,900 building permits were issued during the 3rd quarter for projects totaling $569 million in construction value.  This represents a 69% increase in building permit construction value over the same period last year.  These projects included large office buildings and new commercial warehouses along Halton’s 401 and QEW transportation corridors as well as several new residential condominiums.  Here are a few examples of the projects getting underway:

  • 139,000 square-foot office building at 360 Oakville Place Drive, Oakville, Ontario Canada ($27.6 million)
  • 640,000 square-foot commercial warehouse at 11400 Steeles Avenue East, Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada ($36 million)
  • 2 residential condominium towers and 8-story hotel at 2042 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, Canada ($110 million)
  1. Strong labour market

Halton’s unemployment rate averaged 7% during the 3rd quarter.  While this does represent an increase over the previous quarter and the same quarter last year, it is typical for the shifts and movements of a fast-growth, evolving economy such as Halton.  Overall, 2/3 of Halton’s working population was participating in the labour force – slightly higher than the national or provincial averages.  Check out additional labour market stats and historical data in the Data Centre.

  1. Industrial and office real estate available at competitive prices

The surge of development activity that Halton has experienced over the past several years has boosted both industrial and office real estate inventories throughout the region.  During the quarter, 7.3% of industrial space was available for lease, and the commercial office market had a vacancy rate of 23.2%.  These slightly elevated rates, combined with highly competitive market rents ($6.07/sq. ft. industrial, $17.79/sq. ft. office), are expected to continue and will fuel high absorption levels in Halton well into 2017.  Stay on top of Halton’s industrial and commercial real estate information by signing up to receive email updates to your inbox.

We’re here to help.  Contact us for assistance in expanding your business in Halton Region, or for additional information on the Halton economy.  For more detailed statistics, visit

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Exporting resources for small business

boxcarsMany businesses, both new and established, look to increase revenues by exporting product to foreign markets.  Exporting for most businesses is an expansion of an existing enterprise, and developing a sound export marketing plan is vital for success.

A solid understanding of the rules and regulations in Canada and in your target market is crucial; businesses engaging in international trade need to be mindful of the rules that apply from start to finish. Although laws apply in Canada, depending on the goods or services—including inspection certificates, export control permits, mandatory reporting of exports and export record-keeping standards—it is also important to note that there will be local laws in your target market that will also apply to you. Standards in markets outside of Canada can include: language requirements on packaging, ensuring licensing is up-to-date for professional services and obtaining obligatory visas for moving individuals in and out of your target country. Continue reading

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A Successful 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)

global-entrepreneurship-weekThis month, the Halton Region Small Business Centre celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week – an event that is celebrated through local, national and global activities.

To commemorate this week, the Halton Region Small Business Centre hosted a series of free events to support the local community in inspiring people to discover and strengthen their entrepreneurship skills.

Speed Networking Session

On Tuesday, November 15, we hosted a Business 2 Business speed networking session. It gave participants an opportunity to connect with others that they might not normally connect with, at an open networking session.

Lunch and Learn: LinkedIn Branding

On Wednesday, November 16, we hosted a Lunch and Learn on Branding through LinkedIn, at the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre. The speaker presented tactics on how to brand your business using LinkedIn.

Futurpreneur at Sheridan College

During the week, Futurpreneur provided an information session and set up a table at Sheridan College to share information about youth programs and starting a business.

Closing on a High Note

On Friday, November 18, we concluded the GEW celebration with speakers from various programs, success stories from local entrepreneurs and enjoyed a guest performance by a magician named Rosemary Reid.

For more information on all the services offered by the Halton Region Small Business Centre, please visit


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