Student Entrepreneurs – Start Your Business with the Summer Company Program!

Summer CompanyAre you a student aged 15-29 and returning to school this fall? Register for Summer Company 2017 offered through the Halton Region Small Business Centre. The deadline for applications is May 6 and there are still a few spots available.

Summer Company is an excellent program that provides students with real world experience starting and running their own summer business.  Along with an opportunity to obtain up to $3,000 grant money, students benefit from the guidance of our experienced business consultants along with volunteer mentors from the community.  In the past, students have told us that the regular mentor meetings were their favourite part of the program because it gave them the opportunity to connect with fellow participants and receive valuable advice from the mentors.

Many of our past participants have been able to continue to run their businesses after graduation and even throughout the school year to supplement their income.

Meet Corey Hudson who participated in the Summer Company Program in 2014.  Through Summer Company, Corey started Ambient Auto Canada and went on to win $20,000 in the 2015 Pythons’ Pit pitch competition.

Watch this video to find out how the Summer Company program helped this enterprising student start his business:

Corey Hudson


Summer Company is funded by the Province of Ontario. If you would like to learn more about this program, check eligibility requirements or apply online, visit

For more information about Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311 or 1-866-442-5866, visiting us online at, emailing at or visiting us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.


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Data Insights -2016 Halton Region Employment Survey Results

Employment survey resultsJust released! The 2016 Employment Survey Results Report provides a comprehensive overview of businesses and jobs in Halton in 2016, along with highlighting industry sector composition, business trends, job growth, community profiles, exports and innovation.


2016 employment survey business characteristicsBUSINESS CHARACTERISTICS

  • Halton was home to 13,287 businesses in 2016 – up 0.2% from the previous year.
  • 1,080 businesses started up or relocated to a new location in 2016, while 1,052 businesses either relocated from their current location or ceased operations.
  • The majority (70%) of Halton’s businesses have 10 or fewer employees.
  • Nearly 2 in 5 businesses in Halton are in the retail, general services, or accommodation and food services sectors.
  • 4% of Halton businesses reported exporting their products or services in 2016 and 6% of businesses were involved in research & development activities.

Continue reading

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Foodiepreneur – The Business of Food

IMG_20170328_092007 (4)On March 28, the Halton Region Small Business Centre ran its first networking and learning event for Halton entrepreneurs in the food business.

Local spotlight speakers Tess Gonzales, founder of Bread ‘N Batter and Raadiya Mohamed of Big Grill Shawarma & Kabob shared their personal experiences with close to 80 entrepreneurs in attendance about starting and operating their successful food businesses in Halton.

Attendees also learned valuable information about food safety, rules, regulations, licensing and permits for businesses in the food industry.  They also had the opportunity to ask questions from a panel of experts about funding opportunities, programs and how to connect to local farmers.

If you have a great idea for a food business or are looking to grow your food business, please contact us.  We can help you get the information you need and connect you with experts to help your business start and grow Halton.

If you want to talk more about starting a food business, call us and book a free business consultation. We are here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.

For more information on Halton Region’s Small Business Centre resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, toll-free at 1-866-442-5866,  by email at  or visit us at or in person at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.


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Data Insights – 2016 Halton Region Economic Review

2016 Economic Review_Page_01Just released! The 2016 Halton Region Economic Review provides a comprehensive overview of Halton’s economy and real estate development during the past year, along with highlighting Halton-related business news, employment servicing progress and Halton’s competitiveness within the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.



  • Halton’s total building permit construction value in 2016 was a record-setting $2.14 billion, an increase of 19% over 2015
  • Non-residential construction value made up nearly 40% of total values at $832 million, an increase of 21% over 2015
  • Commercial and institutional construction values increased 33% and 42% respectively to $369 million and $399 million
  • Relative to its 2016 population, Halton experienced the second most active development market in the GTA in 2016 at $3,907 in total construction value per resident, a 9% increase over 2015

We have been looking for a long time to find the right site in Southern Ontario that had rail and road access to the GTA. We are very excited about this project and its location and we are looking forward to attracting new business to Acton.” – Vice President of Futura Properties Ltd


  • Halton’s average unemployment rate for 2016 was 5.5%, lower than the Provincial rate of 6.6% and the Canadian rate of 7.0 per cent.
  • Halton’s labour force participation rate was 67.1%, higher than the GTA average of 66.6% and well above the Provincial and National averages

Continue reading

Posted in Announcement, Data Insights, Economic Development, Halton building permits, Halton commercial real estate, Halton economic performance, Halton industrial real estate, Halton labour market, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Data Insights – Record-Breaking Year for Building Permits in Halton Region

Halton Region reached a new milestone in 2016 as building permit construction values topped $2.1 billion, representing a 19% increase over last year. The residential market accounted for over 60% of the overall construction value and also represented a new record for residential construction values with over $1.3 billion in residential projects initiated during the year – 18% higher than last year’s residential construction record.

In comparison to the 10-year annual averages, construction values exceeded trends in nearly all building categories. Coming in at $1.3 billion for 2016, residential development was 35% above the 10-year average. Commercial construction of office and retail real estate reached $368.5 million in 2016 – 17% higher than average. Institutional construction value totaled $399.5 million in 2016 – 97% above average as well.  Meanwhile, industrial construction values across the region lagged behind their 10-year average – down 39% to $64.5 million in 2016.  Overall, development activity in Halton eclipsed its 10-year average by 35% in 2016.

Halton’s record construction values were boosted in 2016 by a significant rise in development activity in Milton and Halton Hills. Overall construction in Milton rose 74% to $600 million and Halton Hills climbed 64% to $235 million. Combined, Milton and Halton Hills accounted for a 39% share of Halton Region’s development activity, while Oakville represented 42% and Burlington made up 19% of construction value in 2016.

The influx of residents and businesses and the desirability of Halton Region has prompted this year’s record-breaking development activity across the region. This is just one element of Halton’s strong economic position. Check out our DataInsights blog next week featuring highlights from Halton’s 2016 Economic Review, which will showcase the past year’s economic, real estate, development and business activity.

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 and historical trends, visit


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Data Insights – 2016 Census confirms Halton’s strong growth

Population GrowthHalton Region was the third fastest growing Census Division (CD) over 500,000 in Canada during the last Census period.  Between 2011 and 2016, recently released Statistics Canada figures show that the population of Halton Region grew by 9.3% — reaching 548,435 residents. That puts Halton Region in line with Canada’s fastest growing CDs, Calgary and Edmonton, which have grown by 14.3% and 13.5%. Neighbouring CDs in Southern Ontario such as the City of Toronto (4.5%), Peel Region (6.5%) or the City of Hamilton (3.3%) show a smaller percentage of growth. Continue reading

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Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch

Youth_GroupNow in its fifth year, the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition is open and accepting submissions. The deadline to register is Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition asks Ontario high school students in grades 9 – 12  to come up with a business idea, produce a two-minute video pitching their idea and then submit it online (along with a signed letter of consent and a typed transcript of their video).  20 finalists are selected and awarded a trip to Toronto to pitch their ideas live at OCE’s Discovery conference and showcase, May 14-16, 2017, in front of a panel of judges from the entrepreneur community.

Competition dates and deadlines:

  • Video submission deadline: Wednesday, March 29, 2017
  • Voting period: videos will be judged through a combination of online public voting and a panel chosen by the competition organizers. Public votes will make up 40% and the judging panel review will make up 60% of the total score. Public voting will open on Monday, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 and close on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
  • Finalists notified: finalists will be notified by telephone and/or email by Monday, April 24, 2017.
  • OCE Discovery Conference: all finalists will be invited to pitch their business ideas at the annual OCE Discovery Conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from May 14-16, 2017.

Finalists will pitch their ideas live during the conference.  After the live pitches, winners will be selected and granted entry into the Summer Company program (Ontario’s young entrepreneur program) where they will be able to develop and run their businesses. They will also receive a cash reward of  $3,000.  The winners will also receive a prize package. Continue reading

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