Small businesses play an essential role in Mississauga’s economy, which is why the City of Mississauga celebrates October as Small Business Month. Mississauga has over 95,000 small businesses, which provide 53% of the employment in Mississauga[i]. It is our goal as the City’s Economic development office to assist, guide, and provide these small businesses a path to grow locally, nationally, and globally.
The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) is a key part of the Economic Development Office that assists entrepreneurs across our City, to start, grow and turn their ideas into reality. MBEC offers seminars, workshops, programs, and training that provides a pathway leading to growth for our small business community.
Studies show that Canadians believe entrepreneurs are brave, courageous, hardworking, and innovative. There are many challenges in starting and owning a small business, so it is normal to feel overwhelmed with so many aspects to focus on. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, we understand that times are different; small business owners are facing new challenges, as well as new opportunities. Now, more than ever, it is critical that small business owners receive access to appropriate support resources, information, and guidance necessary to start and operate a business.
With the current crisis and the continued trend of adoption of digital technology, it is essential for business owners to have an online presence. Leveraging a website, social media, email marketing, and other digital technologies, can assist with promoting a small business and providing a way to sell online.
Canadian online activity has grown enormously during COVID, and it appears that increased online spending is here to stay.
Over the past five years, retail e-commerce has outgrown non-e-commerce retail sales significantly. COVID lockdowns only accelerated this. In April 2020, after a month of COVID—19 lockdowns, Canadian e-commerce retail purchases had grown by 124% from April of last year (at the same time non-ecommerce sales dropped by 36%). By May, e-commerce sales had reached a high of $3.9B. Despite the relaxation of restrictions on activity, including the re-opening of retail stores, e-commerce has persisted. Most recent data from July indicates that Canadian e-commerce purchases were 63% above July levels from last year. [ii]
The following are programs offered through the City of Mississauga to help small business owners create and optimize their online presence.
ShopHERE is a program dedicated to guide smaller independent businesses and artists across Mississauga, to sell online quickly, easily, and with no initial costs. It provides access to an online store customized with the business’ brand, as well as hands on assistance to set up the online business. There is also training to help promote, and maintain an online presence, as well as an effective ecommerce model.
Mississauga Made is an online marketplace that connects and highlights local businesses across the City of Mississauga. From local dentists, to restaurants it allows individuals to explore and connect with businesses in their neighbourhood. Join the Mississauga Made Movement and add your local business to the marketplace directory. Mississaugamade.ca
Business Advisory Services
This is one of the most essential programs supporting businesses across Mississauga, offering free professional expertise in areas such as; legal, accounting, business operations, and general business strategies. From clearing any legal issues, to giving tips on cash flow management, business advisory services can help create a post COVID plan to create more success. View the web page
Learn more about these programs at: Our Programs and Resources Page
In addition to these programs, we have an exciting small business month planned for this year. Our digital marketing conference has a free weekly webinar series featuring expert speakers sharing their insights on popular digital marketing topics.
Small Business Month 2020
October 1: Digital Marketing 101- 10am-11:30am
This webinar will discuss the key aspects of digital marketing. Learn how to enforce an effective online marketing strategy and will provide tips on how to start and maintain a strong online presence through social media platforms, websites, and email communications. When effectively utilized, these strategies can be essential in promoting small business.
October 6: Getting started with E-commerce- 10am-12pm
This webinar will discuss the pathways to success for an online business, led by Sean Stephens, CEO of treefrog.ca. Now is the perfect time to start or transform an online business, as the world goes virtual. Sean will be discussing beginner tips on e-commerce, as he discusses different e-commerce platforms, strategies that can optimize sales online and tips to get an e-commerce business up and running.
October 13: Scroll Stopping Social Media That Converts- 10am-12pm
This webinar focuses on strategies to create and develop a social media presence, along with tips on easy ways to create engaging content. Cher Jones, a social media trainer will teach social media tactics that can help unleash creativity. She will also share some essential online tools to help manage posts, build engagement, and transform online presence into business.
October 20: Creating Compelling Content for Digital Marketing- 10am-12pm
Having the right content available to customers is a key factor in promoting businesses. This webinar educates individuals on how to create effective and appealing content as part of their digital marketing strategy. This involves developing content that not only looks good, but also encourages the audience to act upon an engaging call-to-action. Cyrus Mavalwala, founding partner at Advantis Communications Inc., discusses the importance of strategy, understanding the audience, and creating plus promoting your content.
October 27: Digital Megaphone! Learn the Secrets of SEO and SEM – 10am-12pm
SEO and SEM are your digital megaphones! They’re critical for getting your business to appear on search engines like Google. No matter the size of your business, SEO and SEM can help you grow your online presence. In this digital webinar session, Sean Stephens from Treefrog.com, will provide expert insights on SEO and SEM, including tips on how to create a local strategy and helpful platforms.
To register for these webinars, please visit our Events & Webinars Page
Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC)
MBEC is the central source for small business across Mississauga to access resources that can help in starting and growing your business. Visit: mississauga.ca/mbec
You can also Follow MBEC on:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MississaugaEDO/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MississaugaEDO/
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/MississaugaEDO/
[i] 2019 Employment Survey
[ii] Statistics Canada, Business Counts, June 2020
The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre (MBEC) is your central source for small business information, resources and guidance. If you have a small business related question, please review our frequently asked questions, steps to starting a small business, or ask a question. Our team of small business experts are available to assist.
To learn more and register for our upcoming webinars and events, please visit mississauga.ca/smallbusinesstraining