As we move into our next team member spotlight, it’s important to understand how our team operates within smaller groups to support businesses and other business-focused infrastructure initiatives. Within York Region Economic Development, there are three sub-teams each with their own specialization and focus.
Future-focused infrastructure initiatives such as broadband development and attracting post-secondary institutions within the Region is handled by our Strategic Economic Initiatives group. Investment attraction, business support for larger companies, and placemaking marketing is the focus of our Investment & Marketing team.
The final group plays a critical role in supporting the largest segment of businesses in the Region – the small business community. The York Small Business Enterprise Centre (YSBEC) is one of four in the Region and serves the northern six (N6) communities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket, and Whitchurch-Stouffville. Our southern three communities of Markham, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan are each served by their own local small business enterprise centres.
With that in mind, we wanted to showcase one of our Small Business Consultants who continuously puts everything they have into supporting the small business community. Vivian Ho-Tam is a Small Business Consultant with the YSBEC and helps small businesses navigate the challenges of running a business, from conception and startup to expansion and revising existing business models.
Here’s what Vivian has to say about her experience on the York Region Economic Development team.
Can you describe your role as a Small Business Consultant with the YSBEC?
I help entrepreneurs with starting or expanding new and existing businesses through consultation, seminars, and program delivery such as Summer Company and Starter Company Plus. Our team works closely with local chambers, economic development offices, and other stakeholders to promote small business support to the N6 business community.
Leveraging the experiences and skills I have developed over the years and being a third-generation entrepreneur myself, I take pride in connecting and working with my clients to help their businesses take the next step in finding success.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I really enjoy meeting and speaking with small business owners and being able to help their new or existing businesses thrive and succeed. Seeing the success of the small businesses who have leveraged our office’s resources and services is a great feeling.
There’s more to life than a job, what’s your favorite activity outside of work?
I love to travel and explore as many places as I can and learn about the history behind these different places. The COVID-19 pandemic may have slowed down our ability to travel internationally, but it did give us a great opportunity to explore different areas of Canada.
Can you tell our readers something notable about yourself?
I volunteer on a canteen truck, known as Box 12 that serves the firefighters of Toronto Fire Services. As part of this we get called out to support firefighters battling blazes by offering them snacks and refreshments. You can check out Box 12’s work on Instagram and Twitter!