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York Region Business Update Feature Image

York Region Business Update // May 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 May 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. 








Additional COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments Opening in York Region to Expanded Eligibility Groups

The Regional Municipality of York is continuing to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents as identified in Phase 2 of the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. 

As of Monday, May 10, 2021 at 8:30 a.m., York Region residents age 40+, individuals age 18+ who cannot work from home (Group 2), individuals living with at-risk health conditions and moderate priority health care workers are now eligible to book an appointment for their COVID-19 vaccination. Eligibility details will be continually updated on york.ca. 

Federal Budget Banner

Federal Budget 2021: Supports for Businesses Update

On April 19, 2021, the Government of Canada released the 2021 Federal Budget. It includes new investments to support businesses, notably proposing to extend the wage subsidy, the rent subsidy, and Lockdown Support until September 25, 2021. These measures have helped hundreds of thousands of businesses across Canada and this proposed extension is welcome news for many business owners.

The budget also proposes additional investments to support businesses, including:

  • $4 billion for the new Canada Digital Adoption Program to help up to 160,000 small and medium-sized businesses buy the new technologies they need to grow and train up to 28,000 young Canadians.
  • $2.6 billion to the Business Development Bank of Canada to offer grants, loans, incentives, and further business support options.
  • $101.4 million to create a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development Program.

Ontario Continues to Expand Access to Rapid Testing for Workplaces

To ramp up its fight against COVID-19 in workplaces, and in addition to the recently-announced partnership between the province and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario government has launched a new rapid testing portal to make it easier for all essential businesses to access free rapid testing to help keep employees and their families safe. 

Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program

Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program Launches

With the unprecedented economic impacts of COVID-19, having access to professional services is critical for the success of any business. However, not all business owners can easily afford these costs. The Northern York Region Professional Services Access Program provides eligible businesses with access to free professional advice, including legal, financial, marketing and more. 

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:

  • Ontario Small Business Support Grant
  • Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) 
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) 
  • Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP)
  • Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF)
  • Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP)


Subway Map

York Region Welcomes Historic Federal Investment in Yonge North Subway Extension to Richmond Hill / Langstaff Gateway Urban Growth Centre

This project is a critical part of both York Region’s transportation system and the transit network of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). With today’s commitment of 40% capital funding from the federal government, combined with previous funding commitments from both the Ontario government and York Region, we will continue moving forward on this vital infrastructure project and get shovels into the ground.

When complete, the Yonge North Subway Extension will deliver up to four new subway stations for easy and seamless connections between all GTHA regions and will have far-reaching and lasting benefits for the residents and businesses of York Region.

Supply Chain Study

York Region Partners with Municipalities and Supply Chain Canada to Assess the Impact of COVID-19 and the Resilience of the Manufacturing Supply Chain

The Regional Municipality of York has joined with the City of Markham, City of Richmond Hill and the City of Vaughan to partner with Supply Chain Canada to study the resilience of the manufacturing sector supply chain in York Region due to the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governments Must Act Now to Strengthen Canada’s Food Supply Chain: Ontario Chamber of Chamber Report

During the COVID-19 crisis, Canada’s food supply chain experienced numerous pressures, ranging from panic buying to temporary shortages to the rapid shift to e-commerce for grocery stores, farmers, and restaurants. The latest report by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), Growing a More Resilient Food Supply Chain in Ontario, outlines why public policymakers need to take note and take action on issues such as rising food insecurity and food fraud as well as supporting the demand for local food and the shift to online sales to help grow a stronger agri-food sector. 

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

Canada's Semiconductor Council

AMD Canada and ventureLAB Founding Members of Canada’s Semiconductor Council

York Region continues to be recognized as an innovation hub and place to launch and expand hardware technologies. A select group of globally recognized Canadian founders, business leaders, chip manufacturers, and investors announced the creation of Canada’s Semiconductor Council. With a mandate to build and lead Canada’s national semiconductor strategy and action plan, the coalition will work towards advancing Canadian competitiveness, strengthening trade partnerships, bolstering supply chain resilience, and propelling Canada to the forefront of the US$7 trillion global semiconductor industry. 

Greater Toronto Area Office Insights Report Q1-2021 | JLL 

As vacancy sits at a market high for the first time in the past two decades the GTA North East office market maintains a solid occupier foundation with a strong tech sector-focused market, particularly in York Region, which continues to grow and attract/retain global talent. Demand is expected to continue in Canada’s 2nd largest tech hub. 

Kingbridge Centre

Seneca and Kingbridge Centre Team Up to Support Innovation in York Region

Seneca and Kingbridge Centre are creating an innovation hub that will deliver a real-world setting and programs to help entrepreneurs build and scale businesses in the agriculture, food production and processing, energy and environmental sectors. Through shared resources in business development and applied research, Seneca and Kingbridge Centre will help companies grow and solve challenges related to technology, infrastructure and sustainability. The collaboration is the latest addition to the thriving innovation ecosystem in York Region and will harness the unique assets located in King Township. 



YSBEC Moves to York Link

York Small Business Enterprise Centre Website Moves to York Link  

The York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC), part of York Region Economic Development, has a new home on York Link! The YSBEC serves small businesses in Northern York Region, while our small businesses in the southern three communities of Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan each have their own small business centre.

Check it out for the latest resources on small business support, programs, and consultation services. 

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

Floral Season Studio Success Story

Small Business Success Story: Seasons Floral Studio

The York Small Business Enterprise Centre supports hundreds of entrepreneurs and small business owners each year. We followed up with Darlene Rupke, Owner of Seasons Floral Studio, to see how her business was doing after working with one of our Small Business Consultants. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, Darlene has adjusted her business model and launched a new online floral subscription box. WATCH VIDEO

Meet the 2021 York Region Food Accelerator Cohort 

The York Region Food Accelerator Program is excited to announce the 12 participating companies in its third cohort. The program is the first of its kind in the GTA and will help promising food and beverage consumer-packaged goods (CPG) ventures build their strategy, grow their network and scale their business. 

Hard Tech Event Banner

Join ventureLAB at HardTech Conference on June 22 and 23, 2021 

HardTech is Canada’s premiere hardware technology-focused conference, featuring prominent thought leaders in the tech ecosystem that are creating transformative experiences for those around the world. Hosted by ventureLAB in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, our mission is to emphasize the importance of hardware technology and the impact it has on our globe, while making it an enjoyable and immersive experience. 



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

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

A Selection of Upcoming Business Events:

05/13 | Market Research Virtual Session | YSBEC
05/17 | Grants for Agri-Food Businesses | Mentor Works
05/20 | How to Emerge from the Pandemic with a Digital Growth Plan | RCC


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.