Canadian business success stories, like that of Blackberry Canada, inspire hundreds of entrepreneurs to take the leap and start a business. Ontario, the provincial home of Blackberry, seems to stand on the cusp of innovation. The province boasts the second largest IT cluster in North America, Canada’s largest centre of life sciences activity, and Canada’s top tourism market, hosting 55% of all international visitors, according the Invest in Ontario website. With this level of dedication to business and innovation, it’s no surprise that Ontario boasts low business overhead costs.
Brad Duguid, the Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, wrote on the ministry website, “our government will help business become more globally competitive to create more job opportunities and more economic growth here in Ontario. And we’re making unprecedented infrastructure investments to provide a solid foundation for jobs and prosperity.” This support of business growth has helped Ontarians create 450,000 new jobs in the last five years.
The Eastern Ontario Development Fund has spent 70 million since its inception in 2008 to help businesses in Eastern Ontario expand and grow their workforces. Hannon Systems in Belleville, Ontario has benefited from the development fund with over $800,000 in grants to help them diversify and retain their current workforce.
This past July, the Ontario and the Federal Governments announced they would provide $100 million in financial aid to help Toyota expand their manufacturing operations in Cambridge, Ontario. “Toyota is investing a total of $421 million in its Cambridge operations, considered among the most efficient auto plants in the world,” a CBC report stated. “The investment in advanced technology will set the stage for future models at the plants”
Ontario also happens to be heavily invested in the green and ecofriendly sectors, leading the way to a more environmentally focused Canada. 3M, the multinational conglomerate, is benefiting from a partnership with the Ontario government, one that has helped the company expand their operations in the province.
“3M’s Brockville location focuses on personal protective equipment (PPE) and is developing new technology that will improve the performance of cartridges used in full- and half-face respiratory protection,” a 3M press release from August this year stated. “With support from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, 3M will invest in research and development, laboratory testing and manufacturing equipment to bring a new type of respirator cartridge to market.”
Ontario’s investment in eco-friendly technologies is also why Secure Home Services finds the province so appealing, and one reason why they opened their head offices here. Secure Home Services helps customers save money on energy costs by providing efficient, eco-friendly air conditioners and furnaces for homes across Ontario. “We wouldn’t have been able to have the success we enjoy if we had opened in any other province,” Michael Stedman of Secure Home Services said. “The support of the provincial government has helped our company grow exponentially.”
Secure Home Services recently expanded to Alberta after the reception the company received in Ontario. “The success of a business often hinges on timing, and now people are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and be more environmentally conscious, which is what we do,” Stedman adds.
Through partnerships like that with Toyota and Secure Home Services, Ontario is leading the way in investing in the future. With one of the most educated workforces of an OECD country and the world’s soundest banking system, international investment in Ontario has grown annually, with a gross domestic product of $549 billion, rivalling that of Sweden and Switzerland.