The following Business Resources are available in our area:
RTO7 is one of 13 RTOs – independent, not-for-profit corporations to which the Ontario government provides roughly $38 million in annual funding to lead tourism planning, marketing and development in their respective regions. RTO7 also provides a site for the exclusive use of Region 7 tourism organizations and businesses, who may register to access information and images provided at no cost by RTO7.
Partnership funding for tourism development (funding options change year to year) include offerings such as:
If you are an entrepreneur looking to start or grow a business in a rural area, The Centre for Business and Economic Development can be a helpful resource.
The Centre, operating with funding from the Federal Government, may also be able to offer financial support through their loan program.
The Georgian College Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre offers comprehensive training and development if you are new to starting a business and want a strong foundation. The Centre also offers support in research, skills upgrading, access to graduates through job fairs, etc. for both new and established businesses.
Grey County Economic Development provides you with a Community Profile which overviews each municipality in Grey. You can obtain data that you can use to estimate the cost of running your business such as, water rates, tax rates, etc. There is also valuable information on the workforce and statistics that you can use to look at your target markets.
Grey County also has specialized Economic Development professionals to support agri-food businesses and tourism businesses.
Incubator North is a for-profit incubator located centrally in downtown Thornbury. Established for the purpose of developing a technology hub in The Blue Mountains, this location offers advice, co-working space, and networking opportunities.
OMAFRA can provide assistance with Business Retention and Expansion Programs and works with business organizations such as Chambers and BIAs on downtown revitalization. OMAFRA also provides funding programs.
South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre is the first resource for small businesses. It helps owners set up reasonable start-up plans, provides basic education on topics that are central to your business – marketing, “Starting a Business”, social media, business planning, etc. Simply visit the website and sign up for your free consultation with a Business Consultant.
The Blue Mountains has a thriving local Chamber of Commerce that can help introduce you to our community, network to build partnerships, and provide some great discount benefits. The Chamber can assit with medical and dental insurance for businesses and discounted merchant rates for Visa or Mastercard.
The Library has a good collection of business books on many topics related to starting, running and marketing a business. If the Library doesn’t have a resource you need, they will attempt to order it from another library.
Wi-fi and computer access are free to the public, and the library technology collection (laptops, iPads, digital projectors, DSLR cameras, and more) are available for loan at no cost to members of the library.
The Library has space for you to work and meet, including Gallery and board room rentals. Scanning, colour printing, 3D printing and fax services are also available on-site. Print from any location to the Library through the Mobile Print Service.
Tracks is a community based, not-for-profit agency providing supportive career services for job seekers and employers. They connect individuals seeking employment with employers who are recruiting/hiring. They also assist employers and individuals in accessing various government support programs and services.
Tracks delivers employment services, at no charge, to individuals of all ages, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, adults, students, and youth. Tracks is a one-stop centre for Employment Ontario Services, Canada Ontario Job Grants, Apprenticeships, Health and Safety Resources and Workshops, Educations and Training.
Visit South Georgian Bay is run by the Georgian Triangle Tourism Association, a great example of a successful public/private partnership between the municipalities and businesses of South Georgian Bay. If you are starting a tourism based business, it provides a cost-effective marketing portal that allows you to reach visitors searching for things to see and do in our area.
The Georgian Triangle Tourism Association provides visitor and tourism information centres with marketing and promotional support, as well as research, and reporting on visitor statistics, trends, and market opportunities.
While many people know how the YMCA supports job seekers, few know that they can also help employers. Grants for hiring, matching employees with your organization, training and other supports are available. If you plan on hiring, take a moment to visit the YMCA to talk about your business needs.
Manager of Communications & Economic Development