Your quarterly connection to business news in Orangeville
Business Retention + Expansion Program offers insights to local professional service firms 
In December 2019, the Town of Orangeville’s Economic Development & Culture office completed a year-long Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) program with the local professional, scientific and technical (PST) sector. A key recommendation from the 2018 Economic Development Strategy, the BR+E program aimed to help the Town better understand the issues, concerns, and opportunities that exist for local businesses. The PST sector includes a variety of professional services - accounting, engineering, architecture, design, consulting, and legal - and was selected for its significance to the Town’s overall business landscape.   

The program started with the completion of comprehensive business surveys with 36 of Orangeville’s PST businesses. Survey results were aggregated and analyzed to gain an understanding of the current business climate, identify common issues, and to determine opportunities for support. 
Results showed that Orangeville’s PST sector is well-established in the community, with 86% of businesses locally owned and operated. An overwhelming majority - 98% - rated their impression of the community as a place to do business as good to excellent. Many businesses are experiencing growth. Sixty-two percent expect their sales to increase in the next year and 47% have expansion plans that will lead to an increased need for qualified employees, suitable space, and specialized training. According to these businesses, Orangeville’s small-town appeal and central location is well-complemented by its available amenities. Ninety-eight percent said that the quality of life in Orangeville is good to excellent, demonstrating that the Town offers a positive setting, both professionally and personally, for many businesses. 

The most significant challenge identified by PST businesses was the availability of skilled workers, followed by the ability to attract new employees. Fifty-seven percent of businesses said they have difficulty hiring. A competitive environment, coupled with the need for specialized skills, experience and education for many available positions in this sector makes it difficult to find local talent. Business awareness of the resources and supports offered by local community organizations was also identified as lacking and increased promotion of available business programs will be undertaken. 

Some of the challenges identified in the BR+E can be addressed by existing initiatives. The Orangeville & Area Job Fair is regularly hosted by the Economic Development & Culture office and the most recent event, held in October 2019, included participation by some local PST firms.
Numerous training and business support opportunities are also in place, including business and succession planning assistance offered by the Orangeville & Area SBEC and free online training available through Lynda.com . Other actions to support the PST sector will be launched in the upcoming year. 

To see the full report with detailed findings and actions, visit  orangevillebusiness.ca.
Orangeville & Area Job Fair showcases local employment opportunities  
On October 22, the Town of Orangeville invited job seekers and commuters to explore local employment opportunities at the Orangeville and Area Job Fair. Hosted by the Town’s Economic Development & Culture office, the event supported local hiring efforts while showcasing the variety of positions available in Dufferin County. 

More than 30 local employers attended the job fair as part of their recruitment efforts for both full-time and part-time positions. Many key industries were represented, including manufacturing, health care, hospitality, social services, retail, and food service. Approximately 450 job seekers attended the fair, making it a productive and effective way for employers to meet potential candidates.   

As part of ongoing efforts to support workforce development in the community, this was the third job fair hosted by the Town of Orangeville since 2016. “There are excellent employment opportunities available right here in our community,” said Ruth Phillips, Manager of Economic Development & Culture for the Town of Orangeville. ”Finding qualified, local candidates is a priority for many area businesses and job fairs create a convenient way for job seekers and employers to connect.” 

The Town of Orangeville plans to host another job fair in the Spring of 2021. However, support for local employers is available all year long through community partners such as Georgian College’s Career and Employment Community Services and the Dufferin Board of Trade.
Green Monkey Creative - Collaborating with their clients and their community 
Green Monkey Creative ’s logo may feature the playful grin of its friendly mascot, but the local agency works hard to develop effective marketing solutions for its clients. Specializing in social media strategy, website development, graphic design, and branding, the business is a partnership between Julie Thurgood and Jess White. Prior to opening Green Monkey Creative in 2018, these two entrepreneurs were each running their own businesses - Julie as a marketing strategist and Jess as a graphic designer - and they often collaborated on projects. After recognizing an opportunity to offer their clients a one-stop marketing shop, they combined their services into one business and Green Monkey Creative was launched.
Based on the specific needs of their clients, Julie and Jess offer their diverse skills and experiences to each project. Julie focuses on business development and project management while Jess provides design and creative services. When projects have additional requirements, they rely on the complementary services offered by a carefully selected team of specialists. “When required, we collaborate with a talented group of local entrepreneurs,” says Jess. “This allows us to manage all elements of the project, making it simple and effective for the client.” The strategy seems to be working well for Green Monkey Creative’s growing list of clients who are happy to share their experiences with other business owners. “Word-of-mouth is our key marketing tool,” says Julie. “It drives the growth of our business.”  
Finding a location for the business was an important step for Green Monkey Creative. Enabled by their participation in the Town’s  Starter Company Program , Green Monkey Creative opened its office at 28 Mill Street in downtown Orangeville. “The grant that we received from the Starter Company Program covered all of the opening costs for our new space,” says Julie. “Having a physical location enhances our credibility with clients and provides a collaborative work area for our team.”  The business location, along with the team’s contributions to local initiatives and events, has boosted their visibility. “We both live in Dufferin Country and giving back to our community is important for us.” says Jess. “We contribute our marketing services to a variety of events. It’s a win-win for us and our community partners.”   

Green Monkey Creative has experienced steady success during its first two years of business and sees opportunity to continue growing locally. “Potential clients will often ask me why they should work with us instead of a big Toronto agency,” says Julie. “My answer is always the same – we are here and we are available.” 

To learn more about Green Monkey Creative, visit  greenmonkeycreative.com .  Follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see samples of their work and keep up with the antics of their popular green monkey. 
February is Carpool Month in Ontario  
Commute Ontario is celebrating Carpool Month in February as part of its ongoing efforts to encourage individuals to choose more active and sustainable modes of travel. The campaign offers commuters the chance to win prizes for logging in and registering their trips through the  Car Pool Ontario online portal . The ride-matching tool allows users to search for potential commuting partners at their workplace or in their communities.  

The Car Pool Ontario tool is just one element of the Town of Orangeville’s partnership with Commute Ontario. Launched locally in February 2019, the partnership demonstrates the Town’s focus on sustainability and provides individuals and businesses in the community with more opportunities to reduce their environmental footprints and save money. Local workplaces can particularly benefit.  By encouraging their employees to be more active, healthy, and engaged, employers may experience increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. Improving travel options to a workplace may also help to recruit and retain top candidates.   

To learn more about the Commute Ontario program and how your business can get involved, visit orangevillebusiness.ca.  
Thursday, January 30 | 1 - 3 p.m. | No Cost
Different levels of government buy products and services from a variety of industries. Learn how your business can become a supplier and find bidding opportunities. Presented by the Government of Canada and the Town of Orangeville.
Wednesday, February 12 | 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | No Cost
Get answers to your business tax questions directly from the CRA. Learn about best practices for managing finances and how to accurately file your tax return. 
Thursday, February 20 | 9 a.m. - Noon | Cost: $15  
It’s now easier than ever to open an online business. Learn about the strategies, tools and resources to help you start selling online.  Presented by James Daigle, Treefrog Inc.
Wednesday, February 26 | 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. | Cost: $15
This interactive session will provide valuable tax tips and essential rules for operating a small business.   Presented by Gerry Hogenhout, Hogenhout and Associates.
Monday, March 9 | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. | Cost: $15
Ideal for all emerging entrepreneurs, this session will cover the requirements and considerations involved with starting a small business in Ontario.Presented by Ellen Sinclair, Orangeville & Area SBEC.
Tuesday, March 24 | 9 a.m. - Noon | Cost: $15
Identifying your target market is key in developing an impactful marketing plan. Learn how to determine what really matters to your ideal customer.  Presented by David Cohen, The David Cohen Group.
Sweat the Small Stuff: Lunch and Learn
Tuesday, April 21 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Cost: $25 includes lunch
The small details in your business can make a big difference and paying attention to the particulars can create memorable experiences for your customers. Geared to business owners in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, this lunch and learn will show you how to differentiate your business. Presented by Chris Hughes, BC Hughes.
Thursday, April 30 | 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. | Cost: $15
Discover the full range of insurance coverage available to help mitigate risk for your small business.
Presented by Nicky Hoogendoorn-Degroot, Crewson Insurance and Ken Krakar, Protect Your Finances.

Get ready to laugh, learn and be inspired as Chris Hughes, Director at BC Hughes Tourism Development Management and Marketing presents  Sweat the Small Stuff: It’s all in the details. The lunch and learn is a must for business owners in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors and will take place on Tuesday, April 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration is $25 and includes lunch. Visit  orangevillebusiness.ca/events  for details. 

Agriculture is supported by ranchers, growers, manufacturers, distributors, scientists, academics, developers, designers, retailers, and consumers. Recognizing this, Innovation Guelph (Regional Innovation Centre) has launched a new program to support businesses in the Agri-food, Agri-tech and Agri-Innovation sectors for rural communities. The  Agri-Innovation Accelerator provides over $5000 in support for businesses that are scaling and generating a minimum annual revenue of $200,000. If this describes your business, contact the  Orangeville & Area SBEC to learn more about this opportunity.

The Summer Company program has helped dozens of area youth get a start in small business. Offered by the Orangeville & Area SBEC in partnership with the Province of Ontario, Summer Company is open to eligible students wishing to start-up and run their own businesses.  The program provides entrepreneurial training, mentorship and grants of up to $3000.  Students must be between the ages of 15 and 29 and returning to school in the fall to apply. Contact the Orangeville & Area SBEC at 519-941-0440 Ext. 2270 to find out if Summer Company is right for you.  
Free online training available through Lynda.com

Lynda.com, a leading online learning platform, is available at no charge to every Orangeville Public Library card holder. Over 15,000 courses are accessible at any time and are taught by industry experts. The selection of course topics is impressive and includes technical coding and design, general marketing principles, management techniques, and photography tutorials among many others. The free resource can be used by both individuals and businesses as a convenient way to acquire or upgrade skills.

Learn more about this valuable tool by visiting online services at orangeville.ca/orangeville-public-library. 
The Town extends a warm welcome to these new businesses:
Congratulations to  BookLore for celebrating 30 years in business in December!

A great location for a professional office on a busy street on the heart of Orangeville. Ideal for a medical or legal business, the space offers a large waiting room, examination/meeting rooms, and a second floor with similar options. Ample parking is available at this stand alone location. Zoned C5 (Restricted Commercial / Residential).
Available immediately, total monthly expenses include lease ($2,250), taxes ($756.75) and insurance ($272.85) plus utilities and ground maintenance.
Please contact Jerry Gould, Broker, Re/Max Real Estate Centre. Inc. at 519-942-8700.