1 pixel 1 empty pixel
York Region Business Update Feature Image

York Region Business Update // July 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. Check out the July edition now!
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. 







Roadmap to Reopen

York Region Moving to Step Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen

Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is moving the province into Step Three of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday, July 16, 2021.

Canada Recovery Hiring Program

Canada Recovery Hiring Program Open for Applications

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program is now accepting applications. The program offsets a portion of the extra costs employers take on as they reopen, either by increasing wages or hours worked or hiring more staff. It provides eligible employers with a subsidy of up to 50 per cent of incremental remuneration paid to eligible active employees between June 6, 2021, and November 20, 2021. 

Tourism Fund

Details Announced for New Tourism Relief Fund

The Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. This fund will help to position Canada to be a destination of choice when domestic and international travel is once again safe, by:

  • empowering tourism operators to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors
  • helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors by offering the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world

COVID Webinars

York Region Public Health COVID-19 Workplace Webinar Series

Join Dr. Leon Genesove, York Region Public Health Physician, for a series of four, short webinars discussing COVID-19 tips to make workplaces safer. These webinars are for local business owners and operators. After each session, there will be a 15-minute question and answer period. The series of webinars will take place from 12:00-12:30 p.m. on the dates below and discuss the following topics:

  • July 20, 2021 – How to Prevent COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace
  • August 3, 2021 – COVID-19 testing and reporting requirements in the workplace  

Agri-food Workers

Own a Farm or Agri-Food Business? Applications Are Open for the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

The Ontario Government is investing in an Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to support farmers and agri-food operators. Funding is available through the following categories:

  1. The Workplace COVID-19 Prevention category will support the adoption of prevention and mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among agri-food workers/employees.
  2. The Responsive COVID-19 Outbreak Management category will reimburse eligible applicants who have been impacted by outbreaks of COVID-19 and faced with extraordinary costs related to employee wage supports and worker/employee isolation.

Want more agriculture and 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.



Olympic Rings and Doctor on iPad

3 Big York Region Health Tech Announcements in the latest #YRtech Blog

From developing advanced technology to keep citizens safe from COVID-19 to integrating new tech into hospitals, we know that bringing tech and healthcare innovation together is a proven recipe for success! There have been some big announcements coming from York Region health tech companies and its world-class hospitals recently. Check them out now! 

Cologix Opens New TOR4 Hyperscale Data Center in Markham

Cologix announced plans to expand by another 50,000 sq. ft. and 10 MW of power with the TOR4 hyperscale data center. The new facility offers flexible design options and the ability to expand the facility in response to the growing cloud edge in Canada. 

LMN team shot

Markham-Based LMN To Double in Company Size by End of 2021

LMN, a B2B software-as-a-service tech company plans to hire several new employees to its growing team by the end of the year. The addition of these new hires will nearly double the size of LMN’s current team. 

Mackenzie Health Partners with CenTrak in Hospital of the Future

Mackenzie Health’s system automates data collection with bed-level accuracy, using multiple technologies and thousands of sensors embedded in asset tags, employee badges and other devices. 

Bloomington Go Station

New Richmond Hill Bloomington GO Station Opened June 28 

The new Bloomington Go Station, an extension of the Richmond Hill line, started seeing trains and buses on June 28, the Ontario government says. The four-level station is located at Highway 404 and Bloomington Road, in northeast Richmond Hill. 

ventureLAB and Siemens Partner to Broaden Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB and Siemens Digital Industries Software announced a new partnership to expand its reach for the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor-focused products. 

YSpace Report

York University’s YSpace Releases 2020-2021 Annual Report

It was a year unlike any other for Innovation York, the innovation office for York University with a mandate to facilitate and maximize the commercial, economic, and social impacts of research and innovation. Their 2020-2021 Annual Report has just been released and it outlines impressive successes, including supporting new ventures, launching new programs and more. 



New Innovation Space set to Open in Vaughan

New Innovation Space Set to Open For Businesses In Vaughan 

The City of Vaughan has partnered with Vaughan Public Libraries (VPL) and ventureLAB to establish a new innovation space in Vaughan, strengthening the City as a place where entrepreneurs and small businesses can flourish and grow. To commemorate the establishment of this new resource, the partners will host a virtual ribbon cutting for ventureLAB’s new satellite location at the Pierre Berton Resource Library. The event will take place on Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m.

Mona's Hair Salon Success Story

Small Business Success Story: Mona’s Hair Salon

The York Small Business Enterprise Centre supports hundreds of entrepreneurs and small business owners each year. Based in Aurora, Mona’s Hair Salon specializes in hair services such as cutting, styling, colouring and even threading. Watch and learn how the York Small Business Enterprise Centre, part of York Region Economic Development, helped her grow her business and access new support programs. WATCH VIDEO

Want more small business news? Subscribe to York Small Business Enterprise Centre E-Newsletter.

Shop Local YR

York Region Encouraging Residents to Shop Local This Summer 

Business in York Region are an integral part of our communities and are the cornerstone of our local economies. We’re committed to supporting your business and are encouraging residents to shop local through a new campaign.

As a local business owner we invite you to participate in the challenge by posting images related to your products or services and sharing on social media using the #smallbusinesschallenge and #ShopLocalYR hashtag.

Residents and anyone else can also take the YR Shop Local Challenge by purchasing a good or service from a local small business and sharing your support on social media using the #ShopLocalYR. 

Seneca Helix

Seneca HELIX Summer Institute Open for Applications 

Seneca College is holding its fifth annual HELIX Summer Institute, a highly-interactive and intense six-day virtual experience where you will collaborate with peers to solve an operational challenge the Southlake Regional Health Centre is currently confronting.

This initiative welcomes participation from students, entrepreneurs, designers, creative thinkers and member of the community. Lead facilitators will encourage participants to think creatively, try new solutions and pivot based on feedback from real stakeholders.

How to Apply

Applications are now open for the virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute taking place weekdays from Monday, August 23 to Monday, August 30. To apply, submit a statement of intent outlining why you want to participate in the virtual 2021 HELIX Summer Institute. The statement should not exceed 400 words. Please email your statement to chris.dudley@senecacollege.ca.

Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program

Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program 

Does your small business need expert advice, but you’re concerned about the cost? The Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program provides eligible businesses with access to free professional advice, including legal, financial, marketing and more. This will help you make informed business and financial decisions and navigate the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Unemployment Rates (%) | January 2019 – June 2021*

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

Industrial Real Estate Market Vacancy & Availability Rates (%) | 2016 – 2021

*Source: CoStar, July 2021
Statistics Note: Industrial properties include flex building space

Office Real Estate Market Vacancy & Availability Rates (%) | 2016 – 2021

*Source: CoStar, July 2021
Statistics Note: Office building space at a minimum of 20,000 sq. ft.

Greater Toronto Area New Home & Condo Sales | May 2021

Source: Altus Group 

Transportation Master Plan Update Banner

FEATURED EVENT / 2022 York Region Transportation Master Plan Update Virtual Information Centre – July 15 – 7:30pm 

York Region is expected to grow to 2,020,000 people and 990,000 jobs by 2051. To support this growth, the Transportation Master Plan is being updated and York Region would like your input to update the TMP and shape the vision, guiding principles and long-term goals that will support community growth to 2051. Whether you walk, bike, drive or take transit, we invite you to participate in the process and attend our virtual Public Information Centre. 

A Selection of Upcoming Business Events:

07/15 | IP Bootcamp: Intro to IP and Your Business | ventureLAB
07/22 | Finding and Funding Recent Grads and Co-Op Students | Mentor Works
07/27 | Social Media For Your Business | Digital Main Street


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


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.