Donna Heslin – Manager of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Change is inevitable and due to the impacts of COVID-19 we have seen more change than many of us could have anticipated, and in a very short time. Businesses large and small have struggled to adapt just to keep their doors open. Although the pandemic allowed certain businesses to thrive, many others have been brought to their knees.
One of the silver linings throughout this time, is the remarkable collaborations that have developed within the Mississauga business community. Many of these partnerships already existed, but the numerous restrictions and closures forced us to be creative and to work together even more closely to provide the much needed supports to our community.
The City’s economic development, tourism and culture divisions joined forces to develop MississaugaMade, a platform that highlights our local artists and businesses and encourages our residents to #ShopLocal. The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) quickly transitioned to run training and webinars online and collaborated with the RIC Centre, U of T Mississauga’s ICUBE and Sheridan’s Edge to host networking events and an online marketplace to support our start-up community. MBOT has been an outstanding partner in advocating for our business community, especially for those businesses hardest hit by the ongoing closures. In addition, we continue to build and strengthen ties with our local co-working spaces, newcomer centres and innovative industry partners. These partnerships are essential to help our businesses and entrepreneurs launch, grow and rebuild.
With vaccines in our future, how do we move forward? Building on these strong partnerships, MBEC is looking to re-envision its support of our entrepreneurial community. Mississauga is a large, rapidly growing city, and we have all the essential building blocks right here to take our innovative businesses to the next level. We will continue to enhance our programming and supports to ensure that entrepreneurs have the tools to launch successfully and that businesses looking to grow have everything they need and know where to find it.
This fall we will be launching a new website that provides a clear map of the entrepreneurial supports available in Mississauga and will provide a concierge-style service to help find the right tools at the right time for your business. Mississauga is beginning to move into recovery-mode and we will do this by engaging these essential partnerships to ensure we are able to build back stronger together.
For more information on the City’s economic recovery initiatives click here.