Meet our Starter Company Plus grant recipients!

In April, the Halton Region Small Business Centre kicked off its Starter Company Plus program. After months of training and mentoring, participants delivered their business plans for review by one of our Business Consultants and a committee of local professionals and successful entrepreneurs.  They then eagerly waited to find out if they were one of the 10 finalists selected to pitch for the program’s $4,500 grant.

On June 20, 2017 our 10 finalists entered the judges’ quarters and made their pitch. The energy in the room was high; displaying passion and excitement, participant after participant shared their vision for their budding business. After three hours of pitches, the judges were left with the tough task of deciding which entrepreneurs would receive funding.

Once all the scores were calculated, 8 winners were selected:

  1. Deborah Jann – Roll Out Innovation
  2. Diane Mihalek – DCM Events
  3. Diane Mitchell – The Good Red Earth Soap Company
  4. Judy Duncanson – Kitali Human Capital
  5. Muhammad Farrukh – FRZ Consulting
  6. Pamela Woodworth – Performance Under Pressure
  7. Sarah Janson – Little by Little IC
  8. Susan Archer – Archer Academic

Continue reading

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Do you procrastinate?

July 11 checklist on smartphoneAre you a stressed business owner?   Do you put things off until tomorrow because you do not want to deal with them today?  You might be a procrastinator!

According to, “A procrastinator is a person who delays or puts things off — like work, chores, or other actions — that should be done in a timely manner.”

Did you know that the psychological thinking of putting things off until tomorrow can affect your quality of life?  It might clear up some time today but tomorrow you probably double booked yourself. Continue reading

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Data Insights – Halton exporters forecast strong growth

Nearly one in three Halton businesses exported products or services last year. Of these, 64% exported products, 21% exported services, and 15% exported both. Given Halton Region’s strategic location and proximity to major transportation corridors and the United States market – 40% of the United States market is within a day’s drive of Halton – it is an ideal location for businesses with export activities or intentions to access supply chains and customers.

The top 3 export engaged industries:

  • Manufacturing (34%)
  • Wholesale distribution (17%)
  • Professional and business services (15%)

The 5 largest export markets:

  • The United States (92%)
  • The United Kingdom (25%)
  • Mexico (21%)
  • China (17%)

Halton exporters are strong performers. Almost half of exporters were expecting to see increased profits this year and over a third anticipated hiring additional staff. Halton exporters are also more innovative with 49% making productivity investments over the past year and 82% planning productivity investments in 2017.


Halton is helping local companies take advantage of international markets, scale-up and go global! In partnership with The Ontario Ministry of International Trade, we are presenting Ontario’s AIM “Accelerate to International Markets” Program on June 27 and 28 in Burlington. This program will provide the opportunity to learn about market research, entry strategies, mitigating risk, and logistics. In addition, exporting experts from the The Ontario Ministry of International Trade will be available to speak to one-on-one with participants. Please click here to register.

We’re here to help. Contact us for assistance in expanding your business in Halton Region, or for additional information on the Halton economy. Explore our Resource Library to view a variety of reports, publications and videos.  For more detailed statistics and historical trends, visit our Data Centre.

Stay up-to-date! Sign up to receive the latest economic development information in your Inbox.

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Running a Home-Based Business

Young female entrepreneurOperating a home-based business has many advantages.  You can avoid the stress of a daily commute and gain the flexibility of choosing your own clients and creating your own schedule.  Here are some things to consider when planning a home based business:

Rules and regulations

Before you consider operating a home-based business, you need find out if you can actually open a business in your home.   It is very important that you check with your local municipality to see what the rules and regulations are regarding a home-based business:

Permits and licences

To find out about business permits and licence information visit, your one-stop shop for business permits and licences. BizPal is jointly managed by a partnership involving governments at the federal, provincial, territorial and municipal levels. Provinces, territories and hundreds of municipalities have collaborated to provide you with the permits and licences that may be required to start and grow your business. Continue reading

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Data Insights – Halton’s Q1 Economic Performance

Q1 2017

Halton Region Economic Development 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 the quarterly report in your inbox!

Highlights from Halton’s economy during the first quarter of 2017 include: 

Record-breaking construction activity continues into 2017

Following record-breaking construction activity in 2016, building permit construction values in Halton exceeded $1 billion during the first quarter – a level not typically reached in the region until the year end. This represents a 142% increase in building permit construction value over the same period last year. Although a few substantial industrial and office building projects, along with a new operations building at the Oakville GO Station ($42 million) were initiated, permits were primarily issued for major residential developments which has boosted Halton’s overall value. Residential construction totaled $855 million during the first quarter of 2017, representing a 185% year-over-year increase.

Here are a few examples of the residential projects currently underway:


Halton’s unemployment rate averaged 4.4% during the first  quarter of 2017 – a 0.3 percentage point decline over the previous quarter and a 0.1 pp decline compared to the same period last year. Halton’s unemployment rate remains significantly below the overall Greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA) average of 6.3% and the provincial average of 6.2%.  Meanwhile, Halton’s labour market participation rate has increased 3.4 pp year-over-year to reach 69.6% of the working-age population. This is notably higher than the GTHA or provincial averages which stood at 64.9% and 64.3%, respectively. Visit the Data Centre for additional labour market statistics and historical data. Continue reading

Posted in Data Insights, Economic Development, Halton building permits, Halton economic performance, Halton industrial real estate, Halton Quarterly Reports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Halton Region Economic Development and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)

IMG_20170510_100427Halton Region Economic Development and the local municipal economic development offices of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville, had the opportunity to present and exhibit at the Realtor® Quest Trade Show and Conference on May 10th – 11th, presented by the Toronto Real Estate Board.  The Halton team was joined by thousands of real estate professionals and 250 exhibitors.

If you are in the real estate industry, Halton Region offers many exciting residential and non-residential opportunities, services and resources.  As one of Canada’s fastest-growing regions, Halton is one of the best places to live and work in Canada. With prime land development opportunities, a highly skilled workforce, proximity to major markets, and exceptional lifestyle choices, Halton offers a competitive location.

What makes Halton Region attractive to your clients?

  • Population is expected to exceed 1,000,000 by 2041!
  • Median age is 39.3 years
  • 74% of Halton residents have post-secondary education
  • Halton has the lowest crime severity and violent crime severity indexes of any Canadian municipality with more than 100,000 residents. Access to markets: 10 million people live within a 1-hour drive
  • Halton hit an all-time high in 2016 with $2.1 billion in total construction value
  • Halton has more than 1,500 acres of serviced “investment-ready” employment lands
  • Competitive land and development costs
  • Halton’s residential market reached a record $1.3 billion in building permit value
  • Average house price in Halton is $803,869 – lower than the City of Toronto and other neighbouring regions
  • New post-secondary campus locating in Milton to feature housing, employment opportunities, recreational services and other amenities for up to 15,000 students, residents and businesses
  • Overall Canada’s Best Place to Live according to Profit and MoneySense: Burlington #2, Oakville #3, Halton Hills #23, Milton #36

How Can We Help You?

If you are a real estate agent, broker or developer, Halton Economic Development offers many services and resources to assist you and your clients make the best decisions about locating in Halton Region:

  • Data Centre – Get information and data on demographics, business characteristics, residential real estate, employment/labour statistics, and much more! Visit us online to explore the data centre files. Can’t find the data you’re looking for?  Submit a request for a Custom Report.
  • Halton Sector Heat Maps – These interactive, Google-based maps serve as a database of businesses in the Advanced Manufacturing, Financial Services and Information & Communications Technology sectors within Halton Region.
  • Resource Library – Explore our Library to get a clear picture on development and economic activities, and results from Halton business surveys. Sources include economic reports, a wide variety of publications and videos. Check out our virtual tour of Halton Region! Sign-up to receive Economic Development Updates, including our quarterly newsletter and annual report.
  • Site Selection – Explore business parks and available commercial and industrial properties in Halton Region. Whether your business is looking to expand or relocate, there are many real estate options for sale, lease or build. Visit our local municipal economic development offices for additional information and to explore their interactive online site selection tools. Need a tour?  Halton Economic Development can arrange site visits for clients and investors.

Halton Region Economic Development is proud to work closely with our local real estate community to help people and businesses find their ideal location.  We encourage you to visit us in-person or follow us online to receive economic updates and get more information about current and upcoming plans for commercial and residential real estate development in the City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Milton and Town of Oakville.

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What’s in a Name?

Halton Business Blog

A name is important to a business. It is the foundation on which you willYour business name here build a “brand”. Your name will be spread by your loyal customers and allies. The identity of your business will allow you to emotionally connect to your idea as a real entity in the market. Names are valuable – that’s why many of our clients are surprised when we tell them that registering a business name on the website does not in itself give the entrepreneur exclusive use of the name. It would seem logical that participating in a process call “Register a Business Name” would give you some kind of exclusivity or claim over the name, however, the process will technically print out more than one licence in the same name.

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