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Mayor’s Small Business Forum highlights Government Services & Programs

It was standing room only at the Mayor’s Small Business Forum last month where more than 300 people gathered at City Hall to learn about Government programs and services available to Mississauga’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

With small businesses making up the majority of the 88,000 businesses who call Mississauga home, supporting small business and entrepreneurship is big business in the City of Mississauga.

To encourage entrepreneurial excellence and celebrate Small Business Month, the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC)partnered with Mayor Bonnie Crombie to host this inaugural small business forum where attendees had the opportunity to engage, connect, and be informed about the various resources, programs, and incentives available to start and grow their businesses.

Hosted by Mayor Bonnie Crombie, the evening gave the audience an opportunity to listen and ask questions from our presenters who provided information on what resources are available, and how to access them.

A time of networking offered attendees the chance to connect with our exhibitors including our presenters and other small business community supporters. Exhibitors included the Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT), Metrolinx to speak about the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (LRT)Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), RIC Centre, and the Mississauga Public Library.

“It was an exciting evening of learning and connecting with people on the topic of small business and entrepreneurship. We look forward to next year’s event and continuing to support our local community in the weeks and years to come. We wish everyone great success.” – Heidi Brown, Manager of Small Business & Entrepreneurship (MBEC).

Presentation topics included:

Local Small Business Support Service Programs

Mississauga Small Business Centre – Susan Loveless, Small Business Consultant

Mississauga Small Business Centre (MBEC) is the one-stop support centre for entrepreneurs and small business owners in Mississauga as they start and grow their businesses. MBEC is a drop-in and learning centre that offers free or low cost information, online training, programs, seminars, events and business consultations. Grant programs are currently available: Summer Company(Youth), Starter Company Plus (18+)

Government Programs and Services

Ontario Investment Office – Peter Jones, Senior Business Advisor

The Ontario Investment Office (OIO) helps secure increased investment in key sectors and support businesses to strengthen the overall competitiveness of Ontario firms. Their business advisors are located across the province and work with companies to deliver customized advice.

Building Your Business Beyond Canadian Borders

Ministry of International Trade – Patrick Devine, Senior Regional Export Advisor

The Ministry of International Trade (MIT) works with Ontario small to medium sized firms (SME) to start or expand their exporting business. MIT offers export education seminars, international trade missions, one-on-one advice and financial assistance.

Hiring and Training Resources and Incentives

Peel Career Assessment Services – Dev Maharaj, Project Manager – Employment Services

The Peel Career Assessment Services (PCAS) provides employer services hiring incentives, programs and support for small business owners. PCAS offers employer consulting, incentive programs, such as the Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG), recruiting and training assistance, and more.

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