The Vaughan Rising Blog
In a post-COVID world, businesses need to be nimble and creative to keep operating. For most, this means making changes to day-to-day operations. For some, this means rethinking the whole business model.
The Vaughan Rising Blog is a resource that aims to help Vaughan Businesses adapt to a post-COVID economy. The series will highlight bold and innovative ways that the Vaughan business community is demonstrating resilience and practical resources contributed by subject matter experts.
New blogs will be posted most Tuesdays through to January 2021.
Entrepreneurial Spirit Grows in Vaughan: Summer Company 2020
Each year, the City of Vaughan offers the Summer Company program in association with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) to prepare young entrepreneurs with a pipeline of tools, skills, connections and resources required to succeed. Through the Summer Company program, Economic and Cultural Development has supported more than 220 students since the beginning of the program in 2002.
This year, four successful applicants were chosen to participate in this annual program, which provides students aged 15 to 29 years old with access to business advisory services and workshops to help them develop important skills, and mentorship from Vaughan’s business community. Participants will also receive up to $3,000 in provincial grant funding to invest in their businesses.
Due to COVID-19, Summer Company training will be available online through a web portal, which contains instructional videos, worksheets and resources developed by the City’s Economic and Cultural Development department in partnership with the City of Richmond Hill and Y2 Entrepreneurship Labs. Throughout the summer, students will also participate in Digital Boost workshops, meetings with mentors through the Vaughan Business Café and one-on-one business consultations with City staff.
2020 Summer Company Students
The selected student ventures for this year’s Summer Company program represent a number of industries including professional services, information and communications technology, and recreation.
Eric Pimentel | HIIT Excellence
HIIT Excellence is an Online Personal Training company focused on providing & developing increased body confidence for Women in their early – mid twenties through exercise, from the comfort of their own home.
Alan Nemirovski | Slingshot Media Solutions
Slingshot Media Solutions offers comprehensive, personalized social media consultation and management, as well as custom digital content creation, for small, local business and nonprofit organizations.
Anthony Tovbis | Best Press Printing
Best Press Printing manufactures custom designed t-shirts and other apparel for sale to local businesses to help them establish brand recognition and to support their promotional efforts.
Ananya Vishwanath | VQueues
VQueues is a virtual queueing platform that aims to eliminate the inconvenience of lineups by enabling businesses to create a virtual queue for customers to join remotely.
For more information on this year’s Summer Company students, browse the program directory here.
Vaughan Small Business Resiliency Program
Are you a local small business owner with a brick-and-mortar location? Gain access to training and mentorship to help move your business forward by growing your online presence.
Digital Boost supports local small business owners in finding new opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Scale your marketing efforts, strengthen your online presence and deliver compelling content that helps you keep in touch with your current customers and connects you with new business opportunities.
Participants will receive tailored training and mentorship in areas such as:
- Digital marketing skills and strategies
- Launching or improving an e-commerce store
- Developing new product lines or services
- Developing new revenue models, such as curbside pick-up or drop-shipping
- Using data to drive new business opportunities
- Developing financial resiliency
What you can expect to receive:
- Training tailored to help you adapt your business
- Access to free business advisory services
- Access to mentorship from a community of local small business owners
- Tools and resources to help improve your business’ digital presence
- Opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $5,000 in provincial and regional funding to implement your new business strategies
Vaughan’s Economic and Cultural Development Department has partnered with General Assembly, an internationally recognized provider of award-winning education specializing in today’s most in-demand skills, to provide expert training and instruction to help program participants reach their business goals, as well as mentorship opportunities to bring their new digital marketing strategies to life.
Digital Boost Vaughan Small Business Resiliency Program is powered by the Starter Company Plus program, which is funded by the Province of Ontario, along with an additional contribution from the Regional Municipality of York’s Innovation Investment Reserve Fund. We thank the Province of Ontario, York Region, program sponsor The Hub, General Assembly, and the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce for their support.
The Hub is an exclusive, shared office space in Vaughan where entrepreneurs and independent or mobile professionals work in an inspiring and productive co-working atmosphere. All Digital Boost program participants will receive the following offers from The Hub:
- 50% off storage for three months*
- 75% off showroom space for existing customers*
- free mailbox rental for one year when you become a customer at The Hub*
- Two weeks of free co-working for grant recipients
*terms and conditions may apply
Registration for the first cohort of Digital Boost is now open! Once your registration has been received, staff will get in touch to provide you with important program details, including dates for training and workshops. For more information on the Digital Boost Business Resiliency Program, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration closes on Friday, September 25th, 2020.
This program is powered by Starter Company Plus and the City of Vaughan.
**Please note: Not all program participants will receive a provincial grant, but all are eligible to participate in training.
Grant Eligibility Criteria
Eligible entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 in micro-grant funding to support the execution of their updated marketing and adaptation strategies.
Eligible businesses must:
- be located in and operate in Vaughan
- As of March 2020, have operated out of a commercial storefront or office space at a location other than the applicant’s principal residence
- have been in full operation as of March 2020
- have access to at least 3 months working capital as of February 1, 2020 (either cash savings or access to credit)
- have not previously received a Starter Company or Starter Company Plus grant
- be an independent business and operate at arm’s length from family business ventures
- have less than 10 full-time employees (or equivalents as of March 1, 2020)
Businesses not eligible to receive funding include:
- Businesses that are home-based or operate strictly online
- Entrepreneurs who have previously received a Starter Company or Starter Company Plus grant
- Incorporated businesses that are controlled directly or indirectly by a person who would not be eligible for a Starter Company Plus Award
- Commissioned sales
- Not-for-profit or charitable enterprises
- Multi-level marketing ventures
To read the complete grant eligibility criteria, and to learn more about the application process and program requirements, please refer to the program outline.