Construction Support for Small Businesses

  • Review the details of the project identified in the notice, or you can visit to learn more about active construction projects in Vaughan. 

  • Various wayfinding signage will be installed to assist traffic flow and pedestrian travel and where feasible, to direct to alternative/overflow parking for the area.   

  • Construction timelines and further information can be found on the projects webpage. A list of all active projects can be found at 

  • If existing parking spots have been impacted, a temporary parking area may be identified, which can be shared with your customers. You can inquire about designated parking spots at For those customers who wish not to drive, the YRT Trip Planner is available to ease transit planning.   

  • While the City does not have influence over the arrangements between a landlord and tenant, as that is a private-sector agreement, we do encourage you to discuss your concerns with your landlord to explore options that would be jointly beneficial during this period of construction and streetscaping.  

    Some topics for discussion could include temporary rent reduction, deferred rent repayment plans, and possible write-off or forgiveness of tenant debt. Also make sure to review the details of your lease agreement to consider all options available. 

  • Before construction taking place, public consultation, if warranted, may take place for you to learn more about the project, ask questions directly to the project team and provide feedback. A Notice is sent out to landowners in advance of these public consultations. To learn more about active construction projects, visit  

  • There are digital toolkits available for download that businesses can use to help share with their clients, subscribers and followers to inform them they are still open for business during construction. The toolkit includes social media images, website and newsletter banners for your use. There are even overlays that you can use, with a photo editor, to customize the content with your business photos. View the available Open for Business toolkits here. 

  • Free 1:1 business advisory is available through the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, where our Small Business Advisors can offer advice and planning tactics for your business.  

    We offer advice to entrepreneurs and businesses of all stages and sizes through our 1:1 business advisory service. If you are looking for solutions to complicated business challenges or alternate sales strategies, we’re here to help. To be connected to an Advisor click here. 

  • Each business is unique, which is why we recommend our 1:1 business advisory to help business owners determine what priorities should be focused on and what opportunities there are to support your business.  

    E-commerce solutions and digital adoption strategies, including: web presence, social media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Google My Business, and other avenues to improve digital presence are available through the Digital Service Squad. 

    Here at the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, we also offer a four-part workshop series that will help you work on your business plan and create a viable budget and financial projections. This free, virtual program is designed for startups and established small businesses to get their ideas on paper through a step-by-step process of developing a business plan. On top of the training sessions, all participants will be given an opportunity to book 30-minute one-on-one meetings with the entrepreneur advisor to get feedback on their business and financial plans. 

    Learn more about this series and upcoming webinars and events here: Events | Vaughan Economic Development ( 

    Access additional, on-demand, free online learning through the Small Business Centres Ontario Network. Topics include cash-flow and budgeting, sales strategies and more. 

  • It is important to have as much visibility for your business as you can manage. The City of Vaughan’s Economic Development team has a list of various directories that may be relevant for your business. Please check eligibility and criteria on each of the associated pages prior to getting listed. Some are no-cost while others require a membership to join, feel free to connect with us if you’d like to discuss how business directory listings can fit into your marketing strategy.

  • VBEC offers a variety of training through webinars, seminars, and group consultations to help create tactics and strategics to set your business up for success. Explore our offering at  

    SBC Ontario provides free, on-demand online learning sessions for entrepreneurs at all stages of your business journey. Topics include marketing, branding, and understanding financials.   

  • Businesses can consider the following tactics for supplemental revenue streams:  

  • Conduct a thorough review of your current spending – you may find opportunities to reduce spending in certain areas of your business, even temporarily. Look for opportunities related to: insurance, inventory purchasing, labour requirements, automation opportunities, office supplies, marketing channels, vehicle or transportation costs. 

    Look at opportunities to generate alternative sources of revenue. We’ve provided some tips to think about above. 

    If you’d like some help or guidance, our staff can sit down with you to review your current budget and spending.  

  • Small businesses looking to start, grow or expand can determine their eligibility for Vaughan’s Starter Company Plus program. Qualified program participants will receive tailored training and mentorship and will also have the opportunity to apply for a provincial grant of up to $5,000. 

  • There are Provincial and Federal grants available to support digital transformation, digital adoption and employee training: 

  • In addition to the digital transformation programs listed above, there may be other funding supports available. The Government of Canada has a consolidated list of available grants, contributions and other financial assistance in a useful search tool: the Business Benefits Finder 

  • While the City does not have influence over the arrangements between a landlord and tenant, as that is a private-sector agreement, we do encourage you to discuss your concerns with your landlord to explore options that would be jointly beneficial during this period of construction and streetscaping.  

    Some topics for discussion could include temporary rent reduction, deferred rent repayment plans, and possible write-off or forgiveness of tenant debt. Also make sure to review the details of your lease agreement to consider all options available. 

The Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre is here to help you. 

Start or grow your business with the City of Vaughan. The Vaughan Business Entrepreneurship Centre (VBEC) provides: 

  • FREE business advisory consultations (virtual or in-person). 
  • business planning, budgeting, sales, marketing, strategy, and research. 
  • understanding regulations, zoning, licensing, permits, business registration, and legal structure. 
  • sources for funding, financing and grants, business workshops, seminars, events, and networking opportunities. 

Book A Consultation

News & Announcements


Available Mentorship Programs for Vaughan Residents and Workers

Below is a list of career/business related mentorship programs available for individuals living or working in the City of Vaughan. These programs have been selected based on the following criteria. If you would like your organization’s mentorship program to be considered for addition, please send a request email to

  • Mentorship program is available for individuals living or working in the City of Vaughan
  • Program organizer must be an academic institution or a non-profit organization
  • Mentorship program must be career or entrepreneurship related
  • It cannot be a one-time program

General Programs

COSTI’s Youth Mentoring Program

  • Eligibility 15-24 years old
  • This program is designed to connect youth (mentees) with community volunteers (mentors) who offer support and encourage youth to develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.
  • The Mentor-Mentee match will connect for at least 2 hours a week for 10 weeks via email, telephone, and/or face-to-face.


COSTI’s netWORKS Program

  • Eligibility 18-29 years old
  • netWORKS provides an opportunity for youth to meet new career role models through mentor-led and group networking events and expand  professional networks as well as to understand the breadth of careers available as they navigate their next steps, academically and professionally.
  • Youth receive real-world advice about how to find a job, obtain information about the corporate work environment and receive constructive feedback about career ideas and job search


Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Mentoring Partnership

  • TRIEC Mentoring Partnership matches recent immigrants with established professionals who work in their field in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). TRIEC runs the program in partnership with community agencies, companies and organizations across the GTA.
  • Mentors gain greater cultural awareness and leadership skills, while helping immigrants to better understand the local job market.
  • The program improves the mentors’ confidence to coach and mentor others. The time commitment for mentoring is 18 hours over three months, which works out at around 1.5 hours per week.


York University’s T.A.S.T.E. (Take a Student to Engage) Mentoring Program

  • The objective of this bite-sized mentoring is to provide York Students and new graduates with an opportunity to virtually connect with professionals in their field of interest.
  • This program pairs York students and new graduates with a mentor (Alumni or Professional) for one-time informational interview.
  • The program is open all year round and doesn’t require any long-term commitments.
  • Mentor/Mentee matches are based off student interest and not guaranteed.


Speed Mentoring Program by ACCES Employment

  • This program enables participants to network with professionals in their field, receive advice about their job search, meet employer contacts and obtain job opportunity referrals.
  • Hosts over 75 Speed Mentoring events each year in various sectors.


YES Mentorship Program

  • Connects YES clients to Industry Leaders (expert mentors) in order to build capacity, employability, networks and foster entrepreneurship in young people through establishing supportive, caring and trusting relationships with mentors
  • Mentees are able to directly contact and connect to willing mentors through the YES Hub to create individualized mentorship agreements tailored to their career goals


Women In Leadership Foundation Mentorship Program

  • Virtual based mentorship program that provides one-to-one mentorship matching based on mentee and mentor fields of interests
  • January to June 2021 (5 Month Program)
  • An award winning program with more than 2,000 graduates and learning groups

Sector/Occupation Specific Programs

HRPA Mentorship Program

  • Program encourages career growth and development by providing students as well as HR Professionals– with the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from other Human Resources Professionals
  • All participants must be a Chapter member in good standing AND able to commit two to four (2-4) hours per month.


AMCTO Mentorship Program

  • A free professional development program open to all current Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) members in good standing – For more information about how to become a member, please visit the association’s website.
  • Helps connect established local government professionals with emerging leaders from across municipalities in Ontario
  • Applications are open in July-August and mentoring activities begin in September annually
  • The program is ideal for association members who want to get more involved and lend their expertise as a mentor or for those who are new to local government looking to build connections and develop their skills and knowledge as a mentee


Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Mentorship Program

  • Members are able to book a mentoring session with talented and experienced mentors who are excited to provide guidance on a variety of topics related to the engineering experience
  • The mentors and mentees are limited to one or two 30-minute sessions
  • Mentoring sessions include help with licensing, your engineering career, networking, interview and leadership skills.


Canadian Construction Association Mentorship Program

  • Program helps entrepreneurs and innovators to launch, modify or expand their products or services for industry adoption. Should an individual successfully become a CONtact mentee, they will be connected with an appropriate mentor or mentors, enabling them to expand their network and connect with leading industry professionals with the goal of helping refine their product or service offering for industry adoption.
  • Three selected mentees will have the opportunity to present their solutions to the industry at the CCA annual conference, with one face-to-face mentorship meeting at the conference and the chance to network with senior industry executives.


Professional Geoscientists Ontario Mentoring Program

  • Provides a forum for experienced professional geoscientists to share their knowledge, insight and experience with PGO student members, Geoscientists-in-Training (GITs) and newly minted P.Geo.’s
  • It is a mentor-and-mentee driven program. PGO’s role is to help facilitate the connection of mentors and mentees.
  • The length of the mentoring relationship is determined by both participants.


York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator

  • A five-month accelerator helping scale high growth food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles (In partnership with The Regional Municipality of York Region and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership)
  • Program fee of $1,000 for program administration
  • The venture must have a product in the market through a minimum of 10 points of sales
  • Ventures that don’t yet qualify under the Food Accelerator, may also explore the Virtual Membership program.


Association of Fundraising Professionals Mentorship Program

  • The advice will be limited to work-related and/or specific fundraising and non-profit sector advice to be used to enhance the fundraising program of the charitable organization with which the mentee is currently associated
  • The partnership will last for 7 months (in year 1) between the mentor and the mentee with the option to continue in the program on an annual basis
  • The program is available to members of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter


Urban Land Institute (ULI) Toronto Mentorship Program

  • The ULI Toronto mentorship program provides a valuable opportunity for young leaders to enhance their careers by building relationships with seasoned industry veterans. The program runs from January – December.
  • Mentee applicants must have at least two years of relevant full-time work experience prior to the time of application.  Due to limited availability, not all applicants will be accepted. Preference will be given to first-time participants, but returning mentees are welcome to apply.
  • We do not consider full/part-time students in undergraduate/graduate programs unless they have met the relevant working experience criteria.
  • Registration fee for mentees: $150 CAD (Tax not included).


CFA Society Toronto Annual Mentorship Program

  • Successfully matched over 600 Mentor and Protégé pairings since 2007. The program offers an opportunity for participants to develop stronger leadership skills and provide unique networking opportunities.
  • Only available to CFA Society Toronto members


Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto Chapter Mentorship Program

  • Designed to provide opportunities, knowledge and connections to those working or interested in working in the field of public relations under the guidance of PR practitioners
  • A mentor will take on five mentees over the course of three months and follow a program with the goal of providing mentees with connections and skills to navigate the PR industry
  • There are three terms throughout the year Feb – April, June – Aug and Oct – Dec.


The Girls SySTEM Mentorship Program

  • Professional STEM-focused mentoring for late elementary and high school girls
  • One-on-one mentorship alongside workshops, networking, and program-exclusive events to encourage and excite young girls in STEM
  • Mentors must have at least 1-year of professional experience in their designated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field
  • Mentees must be in grade 7-12 and able to participate for a few hours a month


York Region Arts Council Arts Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Artists seeking mentorship will be paired with a mentor who has experience in the area in which they seek mentorship.
  • Artist must be 18 years or older and be a resident and/or working in York Region.



  • Ontario’s first accelerator focused on supporting women-led product and service-based businesses
  • ELLA Express is a 1-week intensive bootcamp-style program that helps product and service-based businesses with at least $10,000 in sales get the essential tools, skills and knowledge they need to make smart decisions from the start.
  • ELLA Ascend is a 5-month program for women-led ventures that have paying customers and sales of over $50,000. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to connect with a network of experts and entrepreneurs, and learn the skills needed to build a solid foundation for growth.
  • ELLA Altitude is a 4-month program that connects women-led ventures that have sales of over $200,000 with one-on-one advice and support as well as the resources entrepreneurs need to scale their business rapidly.


Youth Challenge International’s Youth Climate Leadership Program

  • 6-month Youth Climate Leadership Program provides young people exclusive access to training, mentorship and experience leading a team to create and catalyze community-based climate action initiatives that make a positive impact.
  • For 19-25 years old youth living in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA)
  • Gain access to exclusive resources to enhance your career and gain skills and experience in youth mobilization, project design, community development, social innovation and more.



CPAC Enhanced Mentorship Program

  • Aims to assist young professionals in gaining knowledge of the Canadian workplace, learning job search and related soft skills, and finding professional employments through the guidance and advice of established professionals (mentors)
  • Eligible for newcomer youth (age 21 to 35) and youth from immigrant families looking for jobs in the field of Engineering, IT, Accounting and Finance


American Marketing Association (AMA) Toronto Mentor Exchange Program

  • Program scientifically matches Canada’s premier C-suite Mentor community with up and coming senior marketers and business professionals to empower their leadership potential
  • Mentees must be:
    • any professionals over the age of 30 & actively involved in a career in advertising, communications, marketing, market research, marketing technology or media.
    • Have 8+ years of business/managerial/entrepreneurial experience
    • Manager to VP Level business professional
    • Committed to the program: 10 to 12 hours per year (September – June)

Social Enterprise 101

Social Enterprise 101

powered by the Centre for Social Innovation

Are you looking to grow your entrepreneurial or intrapreneurial competencies to create positive impact and prepare for a fast-changing business environment?  As the world looks to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for the entrepreneurially-minded to step up to address pressing social and environmental challenges, and to develop the 21st century skills needed to succeed.

Join us for Social Enterprise 101: an 8-week, part-time online program that covers the foundations of social entrepreneurship, from making sure you’ve identified the right problem, to developing a solution, to turning your idea into a sustainable business model. If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves, invest in your personal and professional growth, and turn your idea into impact, this is the right course for you.

We are offering a limited number of local innovators the opportunity to participate in this program through Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the City of Vaughan. This program is offered in partnership with York Region, the Richmond Hill Small Business Enterprise Centre and the Markham Small Business Centre. ​All applicants based in Vaughan are eligible to apply through our office.

Applications for Social Enterprise 101 are now closed. For more information, please contact


The details:

All classes will be held on online using Zoom and SLACK workspace:

Mondays, 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Monday, February 22nd, 2021 to Monday, April 19th, 2021

What you’ll learn

Social Enterprise 101 is an 8-week program delivered in two phases:

Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4): Explore your purpose as a social entrepreneur. Discover your problem space.  Map opportunities for impact.

Together, we’ll begin with some of the big questions you may be asking yourself, such as:

  • I see so many urgent problems to solve. Which should I focus on specifically, and why?
  • There are so many things to do to get started. How do I prioritize?
  • What skills, knowledge, connections, and experience can I leverage to make an impact?
  • How do I move from idea to action?

Phase 2 (Weeks 4-8): Discover stakeholders. Build your business and financial models. Identify funding options and enterprise impact.

Questions answered during this phase include:

  • I have developed a clear idea of the impact that I want my enterprise to generate. How do I  design my business to reach this impact?
  • How can I generate sustainable revenue (and profit) from my social enterprise?
  • What resources am I going to need to start my enterprise?
  • What funding models and options should I explore?

By the end of the 8-weeks, you’ll gain experience, confidence, and practice with core competencies  in social entrepreneurship such as critical thinking, systems thinking, active listening, storytelling,  decision-making, and business modelling.

Who you’ll meet

You will connect with a cohort of changemakers from across York Region who are similarly driven and committed to making an impact. SE 101 is open to everyone interested in making the world better through entrepreneurial thinking and approaches.

Social Enterprise 101 was developed in partnership with experienced social entrepreneurs, coaches, facilitators, and educators, and based on the learnings from over 10 years of training social enterprises.

Participants who start a for-profit social enterprise upon completing the program will also be invited to apply for a $5,000 Starter Company Plus grant through our office.

The Vaughan Rising Blog

Vaughan Rising Blog: How to Engage With Your Audience Digitally – Practical Q and A with Ontario Culture Days

In today’s world, where the vast majority of our connections are online, arts and culture entrepreneurs are searching for the best ways to engage with their audiences digitally.

According to the Government of Canada, “Arts, culture and heritage represent more than $53 billion in the Canadian economy and close to 666,500 jobs in sectors such as film and video, broadcasting, music, publishing, archives, performing arts, heritage institutions, festivals and celebrations.”

What does this mean for arts and culture entrepreneurs who are increasing digital interactions with customers?

As part of a nation-wide network of arts, culture and heritage organizations, Ontario Culture Days is a non-profit organization whose goal is to foster public engagement with a vibrant Ontario arts, culture and heritage sector. Each year, Ontario Culture Days leads a province-wide festival, and supports a wide network of organizers through communications, marketing, outreach and artistic programs. This year, as a result of the pandemic, festival programs largely took place digitally.

To discover how arts and culture entrepreneurs can best connect with customers who crave hands-on interaction or learn in a much more tactile manner, and are tired of endless screen time, the City of Vaughan consulted two experts on digital audience engagement from Ontario Culture Days.

The City has partnered with Ontario Culture Days for the last 11 years and the organization has been instrumental in the growth of Vaughan’s arts and culture sector, providing local creative industry entrepreneurs with support, toolkits and platforms for exposure.


For the 2020 edition of Culture Days, Community members from the Sault Ste Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre (IFC) created traditional Ribbon Shirts and Skirts. The makers modeled their creations at the Art Gallery of Algoma and photos were released alongside an article about the project. Photo courtesy of Kevanna Studios.

The experts

Meaghan Froh Metcalf, Outreach and Programs Manager

Meaghan Froh Metcalf is a museum professional in the Toronto area with 10 years of

experience in arts programming, outreach and administration. She has held positions at a variety of cultural institutions within Alberta and Ontario, including the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Town of Oakville.

Meaghan has been a part of the Ontario Culture Days team since 2017. In that time, she has led outreach and sector-development efforts to a network of over 500 organizers.  She has also produced a series of curatorial programming initiatives, including the 2019 exhibition DO BLUE BUTTERFLIES EAT PARTS OF THE SKY?, the ongoing Culture Days @ Toronto Public Library program and the new Creatives in Residence series.

Amy Wong, Communications and Administration Coordinator

Amy Wong is an arts administration and communications professional based in Toronto and the GTA. She has previously worked with the Markham Theatre and Craft Ontario to produce and promote both artistic and youth programming.

Amy has been working with the Ontario Culture Days team since the summer of 2019. While there, she has developed and implemented festival and year-round communications plans, published editorial content for the “Things to Do” page, and provided support for Ontario Culture Days outreach and program development initiatives.

The consultation

1.   How are artists, cultural organizations and entrepreneurs in the creative industries responding to the new “normal” and pivoting to innovative online platforms to advance their work and creative business?

Quick take

  • Many are trying a hybrid model where people pick up an activity box or art kit then tune in to an online program.
  • Digital presents an opportunity to collaborate with out-of-town artists or organizations you have always wanted to work with.

Meaghan Froh Metcalf: During the recent Ontario Culture Days festival, we saw a number of organizations do a kind of hybrid model where people could pick up an activity box or art kit, and then tune in to an online program via video or livestream. We’re more than half a year into this pandemic, and I think people are wanting something beyond screen time.

Having everyone in the workshop working with the same materials helps people to feel connected with their neighbours and supports fair access to supplies and resources. Plus, getting hands on helps connect with more tactile learners, and encourages people to try something new.


Aurora’s Culture in a Box program created take-home kits for residents. Photo courtesy of Town of Aurora.


One thing that is really exciting about going digital are the opportunities for collaboration. Because we aren’t worried about the cost and time associated with moving people places, you can engage with an artist or organization you have always wanted to work with, even if they are on the other side of the country!

For example, I know the National Arts Centre has been doing some great collabs with theatre companies all across Canada through their Grand Acts of Theatre program. Plus, combining resources and partnering with another group is a great way to share resources, especially if budgets are tight.

2.   What advice can you give to arts & culture entrepreneurs (or even other types of businesses) that’s relevant right now?

Quick take

  • If you have an idea, even if it is off the wall, give it a try, and learn from what worked and what didn’t.
  • It is a great time to look for courses or workshops online as professional development.

Meaghan Froh Metcalf: I think we still have leeway for experimentation, but the window is closing. The public has been really accommodating as we all try and figure out the best course of action during this time. If you have an idea, even if it is off the wall, give it a try, and learn from what worked and what didn’t.

There are still a lot of online programs being produced. I’m predicting that next year we’ll see fewer programs, but with larger production budgets – especially for online experiences. Figure out what works now, and then use it to refocus for next year.

Amy Wong: It is a great time to look for courses or workshops online as professional development. I’m still seeing a lot of free webinars out there, and they are a great opportunity to learn a new way of programming, or how to try a new digital platform. If the webinar allows for discussion, it is also a good way to hear from others about their experiences, insights and the challenges they’re facing.

3.   What are some best practices on running workshops or performances online? Any examples?

Quick take

  • Plan to make programs accessible, and work this into your timeline from the start.
  • The best programs are ones that are planned with a digital platform in mind, rather than taking something that had previously been live, and putting it online.
  • Online programs take just as much time as, if not more time than, in-person ones.

Amy Wong: Plan to make programs accessible, and work this into your timeline from the start. Great additions might include audio or visual aids, take-home kits, recordings etc. In some instances, you can tap in to technology to help you do the heavy lifting.

We used a program called Veed to caption all of our Ontario Culture Days videos this year. Particularly if you have a festival or specific busy season, a monthly subscription is affordable, and a good way to only pay for what you need.

I know YouTube has a pretty good auto-captioning service too. But don’t forget that computers do make mistakes, especially with tricky or hard-to-pronounce words. Make sure to save yourself time to review the captions and edit as needed.

The Food to Palette Watercolor Workshop by Kanika Gupta and Amit Kehar was produced for the 2020 Ontario Culture Days Creative Residency program. It was delivered via Veed.


Meaghan Froh Metcalf: Think about the platform and how you can use it. The best programs are ones that are planned with a digital platform in mind, rather than taking something that had previously been live, and putting it online.

Each year the Art Gallery of Algoma and Sault Ste. Marie Indigenous Friendship Centre put on a fashion show of Anishinaabe Ribbon Shirts and Skirts. Instead of putting a recording of the fashion show online for 2020, we worked with them to produce a photo essay. The program was able to provide an engaging and educational piece that could reach new audiences, and took into account how the material would be presented.

Amy Wong: Online programs take just as much time as, if not more time than, in-person ones. If you’re livestreaming, make sure to do a few tests beforehand, and have all the presenters gather online well before the start of the event to iron out any connectivity issues. And it never hurts to make sure there is a backup agenda or script in case the moderator loses connection.

If you’re sharing recorded content, plan your work-back schedule to include time for editing. Sound in particular is tricky, especially if content has been recorded on a phone. If you can invest in an inexpensive mic, it goes a long way.

4.   What other advice would you give to creatives to maintain sustainability through this challenging time and beyond?

Quick take

  • Before saying yes to a new initiative, think about your brand, mission, message, budget and schedule, and only select what fits.
  • Take a break!

Meaghan Froh Metcalf: I‘m hearing from a lot of people who are saying yes to too many things! Because we don’t have to be mindful of physical space or timing, we take on every proposal that comes our way.

Think about your brand, your mission and your message, and only select what fits. I think we’re all realizing COVID is a marathon, not a sprint, and the best way to keep our engagement and produce quality content is by conserving some energy.

Online takes time and money – sometimes even more than in-person. Try something once, evaluate how much it costs, and then plan a budget and schedule for your future programming. Don’t plan 20 online programs before you’ve tried planning one!

Amy Wong: Take a break. With so many of us working from home it can be hard to disconnect from work at the end of the day. Don’t forget to take time to try a new creative project, book or hobby.

5.   Anything else you’d like to add?

Meaghan Froh Metcalf: Sign up for the Canadian Network for Arts & Learning newsletter. They have an ongoing series of roundtables with arts professionals that allow you to hear how others in the sector are handling the pandemic. Plus, they share other relevant tools and resources to the network.

Amy Wong: The Ontario Nonprofit Network has a great resource page for non-profits. Their professional development webinars are all free this year, too!

Quality digital engagement will keep your business rising

Be sure to use some of Froh Metcalf and Wong’s tips for creating quality digital engagement with your customers, clients or audience as you plan innovative strategies to get you through to the other side.

For more information or assistance in planning your digital strategy, please contact the City of Vaughan’s Economic and Cultural Development team.

The information presented in this article is provided solely for the purpose of bringing ideas to the attention of the business community, as a service to the businesses of the City of Vaughan.

The City of Vaughan does not, whether directly or indirectly, endorse, sponsor or sanction the opinions expressed in this article, nor any services or products that may be offered by the contributor/s in their normal course of business.  The City of Vaughan does not intend by this article to recommend the contributor/s nor to promote them as subject matter experts over any other business persons employed or engaged in similar lines of business.

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.