Small businesses given edge with advanced research through local program

April 28, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Small business owners are getting a leg up over their competition through the Town’s Local Business Accelerator Program.

They are being given research tools that are usually only available to large businesses, explained Christine Hann, Main Street Ambassador for the Town of Orangeville, at a regular Council meeting on Monday (April 25).

“The goal of the Local Business Accelerator Program is to help support our downtown businesses, especially as we recover from COVID,” she noted.

“My role as the main street ambassador is to connect with the businesses in our downtown, and I help explain the market research and how it applies to their business, to help show them different opportunities for growth for their business, as well as using the data to then encourage new business to the downtown area.”

Hann added, “It’s really exciting for the businesses because ordinarily this type of research costs so much money, and it’s only used for big businesses or large businesses, so to be able to provide this type of data to small business owners is really exciting.”

In addition to providing this type of entrepreneur engagement and support, the program also provides business owners with customized data research and analysis.

It takes a deep data dive into Orangeville’s Main Street community to help them understand the demographics, expenditures and behaviour in the area.

“The analysis of the data is used to help target business, help target business growth opportunities,” said Hann.

“As the data becomes available and is analyzed, we will share it with the business community through a webinar.”

The final component of the program is funding support, through 10 non-repayable funding contributions in the amount of $10,000.  Half of the money is being used to attract new businesses to Orangeville’s downtown and the other half is for existing businesses. This is achieved through market research.

Hann noted the importance of bolstering the economy in downtown Orangeville.

“Our downtown is so important for our community. It offers local connection, bringing together commerce people and public activities into our shared space, creating experiences and connections between residents,” she explained.

“It’s also a source of economic security, as money spent in our main streets independent businesses circulates throughout our local economy. It generates local activity and creates employment too, so it’s vital to create a healthy retail mix to attract and maintain traffic for our businesses.”

The Local Business Accelerator program is focused on data driven economic development in the community and the federal economic development agency for southern Ontario has made a $23.25 million investment in the program across 65 communities in the province, with Orangeville being one of them.

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