York Region Business Update Feature Image

York Region Business Update // February 2021

York Region Economic Development's monthly e-newsletter shares highlights and news from the business community, small business supports, events, economic data, and more.
York Region Business Update

York Region Economic Development’s monthly e-newsletter shares highlights and news from the business community, small business supports, events, economic data, and more. 

IN THIS ISSUE

IMPORTANT COVID-19 BUSINESS NEWS
Ontario to Gradually Return to the COVID-19 Response Framework
COVID-19 Response Framework: New Guidance for In-Person Retail Shopping
COVID-19 Funding Spotlight: Ontario Small Business Support Grant
Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program Applications Now Open
Voluntary Isolation Centre Now Open
Ontario Delivering Support to Agricultural and Horticultural Societies
COVID-19 Business Resources and Funding Programs Overview

BUSINESS COMMUNITY & INVESTMENT NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
HCI in York Region: Powering the Future of Canadian Hardware
Laipac Receives Clearance from Europe for COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
2020 Look Back: Our Top 15 York Region Business Community News Stories
Investments Will Bring High-Speed Internet to Georgina Island and Udora

SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
York Region Innovation Portal is Moving to York Link
Tech Undivided Applications Are Now Open
YSpace Digital Launches Virtual Technology Accelerator for Entrepreneurs
York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator Program Open for Applications
What’s Digital Main Street? Watch the YSBEC Explainer Video
TAKU Retail Offering Free Access to E-Commerce Platform

YORK REGION ECONOMIC DATA & BUSINESS EVENTS
York Region Led the Greater Toronto Area in New Home Sales in 2020
Unemployment Rates | January 2021
View a Selection of Upcoming Business Events

IMPORTANT COVID-19 BUSINESS NEWS

Ontario COVID-19 Color Framework Banner

Ontario to Gradually Return to the COVID-19 Response Framework

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario Government is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures. Currently, the stay-at-home order for York Region has been extended to February 22, 2021, but based on applicable data closer to that date the Region may soon return to the Ontario COVID-19 Response Framework. READ MORE


New Guidance for In-Person Shopping at Retail Stores for All Levels of Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework

A revised COVID-19 Response Framework with some new and modified measures in place will be implemented as the economy gradually reopens. These measures include updates to allow in-store shopping at non-essential retail stores with additional public health and safety measures in place. READ MORE


COVID-19 Funding Spotlight: Ontario Small Business Support Grant

In partnership with Mentor Works, our series of spotlight articles will provide an overview of the different federal and provincial COVID-19 funding programs available to support York Region-based businesses. The first spotlight is focused on the Ontario Small Business Support Grant. Starting at $10,000 for all eligible businesses, the grant will provide businesses with funding up to a maximum of $20,000 to help with revenue losses expected as a result of the provincewide shutdown. READ MORE


HASCAP Banner

Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program Applications Now Open

The Government of Canada announced a new program that helps hardest-hit businesses access additional financing, through interest-free loans. If you are a Canadian business that needs additional cash flow to cover operational costs, you may be eligible for the HASCAP Guarantee through your financial institution. READ MORE


York Region Voluntary Isolation Centre and Financial Supports

York Region has opened an isolation centre for residents who cannot safely self-isolate away from others in their household. There is no cost for eligible residents to stay at the Isolation Centre and the stay is entirely voluntary. Employers are encouraged to share this information with employees to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. READ MORE


Ontario Delivering Support to Agricultural and Horticultural Societies

The Ontario government is providing $5 million to support the province’s Agricultural and Horticultural Societies impacted by the pandemic. The funding is flowing through the Agricultural and Horticultural Support and Recovery Funding Initiative. READ MORE

Want more agri-food news? Subscribe to York Region’s Agri-Food E-Newsletter.


COVID-19 Business Resources & Funding Programs Overview 

To help you make sense of all the available funding programs and resources, we continue to update our COVID-19 Business Resource page. This page contains information on supports announced by the federal, provincial, and municipal governments, as well as, events, and other pertinent information to impacted businesses.

Primary Funding Support Programs:

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BUSINESS COMMUNITY & INVESTMENT NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Hardware in HCI lab

The Hardware Catalyst Initiative in York Region: Powering the Future of Canadian Hardware

The HCI, which launched in February 2020, is designed for start-ups that are building solutions for artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, wearable computing, 5G, and other transformative technologies. READ MORE


Richmond Hill Headquartered Laipac Receives Clearance from Europe for their COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test of 5 to 8 Minutes

Laipac Technology announced that their LooK SPOT COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test received CE IVD clearance for Europe. It uses AI technology to deliver real-time test results within 5 to 8 minutes. READ MORE


Top 15 of 2020 Banner

2020 Look Back: Top 15 York Region Business Community News Stories 

Despite a challenging year, many businesses across York Region continued to grow and achieve success in 2020. Being mindful of the difficulties still impacting our business community, we took the time to highlight the success of those companies who adapted, shifted, and proved their resilience last year. READ MORE


Government of Canada and Regional Municipality of York Investments Will Bring High-Speed Internet to Georgina Island and Udora

Udora and the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, in the Regional Municipality of York, will soon benefit from improved access to high-speed Internet thanks to a broadband project funded by the Government of Canada and York Region. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2021, with connectivity expected shortly thereafter. READ MORE

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SMALL BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

YR Innovation Portal Banner

York Region Innovation Portal Will be Moving to York Link  

The YR Innovation Portal is the official online hub of York Region’s innovation and startup ecosystem. It’s where you can find jobs, learn about events and read exciting news from across York Region. Over the coming months, the YR Innovation Portal will be moving over to York Link – the official home of York Region Economic Development. READ MORE


Applications for ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided Program Are Now Open 

Tech Undivided bridges gender and diversity gaps by better supporting women founders and leaders, who are underrepresented within the tech sector. It offers a comprehensive 6-month program to challenge women-led tech companies to scale their businesses. READ MORE


YSpace Digital Launches Virtual Technology Accelerator for Entrepreneurs 

YSpace Digital, York University’s new virtual talent and startup development hub, will be offering virtual support and programming for students, faculty and startups of all stages, regardless of geographic location. YSpace also has a physical location in Markham, York Region. READ MORE


Food Accelerator Program Banner

York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator Program Open for Applications 

The York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator Program kicked off last month with the 2021 cohort open for applications. The program provides food and beverage companies with the tools needed to grow and scale their busiess. The program is led by York University’s YSpace, a Markham-based innovation hub, and delivered in partnership with The Regional Municipality of York and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. READ MORE


York Small Business Enterprise Centre’s New Digital Main Street Video

The York Small Business Enterprise Centre has created a short video outlining the Digital Main Street program. This includes an interview with the owner of Gordon Wood Optical, who participated in the program and discusses how it benefitted her business. WATCH THE VIDEO

Want more small business news? Subscribe to York Region’s Small Business E-Newsletter.


TAKU Retail Offering Free Access to E-Commerce Platform

In response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on merchants everywhere, we’re working together with Digital Main Street to offer FREE Access to TAKU until April 30, 2021 for stores in York Region, Simcoe County and other qualifying regions in need of assistance. The platform provides online and mobile Point of Sales (POS) service, 1-on-1 setup and support and even includes $100 in Google Ad Credits to help promote your business. READ MORE

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YORK REGION ECONOMIC DATA & BUSINESS EVENTS

York Region Led the Greater Toronto Area in New Home Sales in 2020

GTA New Home Sales Bar Graph

Unemployment Rates (%) | January 2021*

Unemployment Comparison

The York Region unemployment rate in January 2021 continued to rise due to the provincial stay-at-home order, but remains lower than the Toronto CMA and Ontario unemployment rates.

*Statistics Canada, Labour Force Characteristics, 3-month moving average, unadjusted for seasonality, February 2021
**CMA – Census Metropolitan Area 


A Selection of Upcoming Business Events:

02/23 | 2021 Vaughan Business Expo | City of Vaughan
02/25 | Founder Fundamentals – Growth Marketing | ySpace
02/25 | How Marketing & Supply Chain Can Team Up To Achieve More In Uncertain Times | FCPC

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Subscribe to our other monthly e-newsletters on these topics:

YORK REGION BUSINESS UPDATE / AGRI-FOOD / SMALL BUSINESS


York Link | York Region Economic Development

The York Link team are here to help and are committed to supporting local businesses. We are still providing business advisory and consultation services, information on business resources, support for startups, and more in a virtual capacity at this time.