Looking Forward: Our Clients, Our Future

From  Monday, May 30 to Wednesday, June 1, the Manager along with two of the Small Business Consultants from the Halton Region Small Business Centre had the pleasure of attending the yearly Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) Conference in Toronto. The theme was “Looking Forward: Our Clients, Our Future”. There were 57 SBECs represented at the event which was hosted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. A wide variety of subjects such as financial ratios, developing successful partnerships, exporting, youth programs, government resources and many other topics were discussed.

The focus was about moving forward in these difficult economic times. We had many speakers, some of who were current clients of the enterprise centres. Their success stories helped to solidify the role that the SBECs play in helping small business to grow. It was wonderful and very encouraging to hear their success stories.

The conference is a time for staff of the various enterprise centres to learn, share and collaborate so we can continue to best serve the needs of our clients and communities. We have so many wonderful services:

  • free consultations with qualified business consultants
  • Internet and computer access for business research and planning
  • review of business plans
  • up-to-date, leading-edge information geared to the needs of the entrepreneur
  • access to current resource materials, including directories, trade indexes and books that entrepreneurs can peruse on-site
  • workshops and seminars
  • guidance on licenses, permits, registration, regulations and other forms and documents required to start and build a business
  • import and export information
  • information on patents, copyright and trademarks
  • mentoring and networking opportunities

At the conference it was noted that there are 382,000 small to medium businesses in the province. During the 2010/2011 fiscal year, the 57 SBECs in Ontario had:

  • 409,000 people walk through their doors
  • 28,000 one-on-one free consultations
  • 9,600 repeat clients return to use more resources
  • 2,100 business seminars
  • 45 major small business events

During the conference we also had the pleasure of hearing the Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello. She shared the following statistics regarding the SBECs’ contributions to business start-up, retention and expansion during the Ministry’s last fiscal period.

  • With the assistance from staff at the 57 Small Business Enterprise Centres:
    • 11,500 new businesses were started in Ontario
    • 1,550 business expansions occurred in Ontario
    • 13,600 new jobs were created in Ontario

Many people are aware that SBECs help with business start up but what they do no realize is that we are also here for existing business. We have formed partnerships and have resources at our fingertips that can help with your existing business needs.

We are here to help you with all your business questions.  Make us one of your first stops!

One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give them the tools to achieve success. For more information about any of Halton Region Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, or contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), smallbusinesss@halton.ca or visit us in person at1151 Bronte Road,Oakville.

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