COVID-19 Service Update
The City of Markham is committed to the health and safety of the Markham community, its small businesses and our employees. We are working closely with our Public Health colleagues at the regional, provincial and national levels concerning the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
Update regarding our small business advisory services:
The MSBC office within the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre will remain closed to the general public and guests until further notice.
To ensure continued access to our small business advisory services, MSBC will remain accessible by phone, email and web meetings for scheduled appointments
The situation continues to evolve quickly and while we anticipate these measures will remain in place until further notice, we continue to monitor and will provide updates as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your continued commitment to the health and safety of each other and the Markham community.
For up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit
The City of Markham has many services to offer small businesses in our community. These include:
Our consultants can help you with:
This counseling is offered at no cost, and is confidential. Depending on what stage you are at with your business/idea, we may recommend one of our group consultations or a one-on-one consultation.
To find out more, please contact the Markham Small Business Centre:
(Note: access to this in-person service is temporarily closed until further notice)
Our Resource Centre offers literature on:
Sources of Financing
Related government programs and services are also available
Legal and Financial Considerations
Strategic Business Planning
Small Business Taxation
Effective Marketing Tools
Managing Your Cash Flow
· Workshops and seminars are also excellent for networking with other small business owners
Reference Library/Internet Access
(Note: access to this in-person service is temporarily closed until further notice)
You may use our Reference Library. We have trade directories and guide books. We also have business magazines and other publications. Internet Access is also available.
shopHERE provides independent small businesses and artists in Markham with a quick, easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of having an online presence to sell goods and services.
To address this need, Digital Main Street is collaborating with Google, Shopify, Mastercard and Microsoft to build and optimize stores for small independent businesses and artists in just a matter of days.
10 Ways to Market Your Business
10 great ways to market your business, including: networking, maintaining a database, newsletters, brochures, flyers, presentations, etc.
Business insurance is a key part of business planning, you need to know how much you need; coverage for life events, property, workers, and liability; where to buy; choosing an advisor; and considering group insurance.
A business plan is not just for obtaining financing, there are other benefits to planning. Be prepared to discuss the industry, your services/products, management, marketing, equipment, operations, financial projections and risks.
Entrepreneurship Myths Mask the Truth
To help you decide whether or not entrepreneurship is your next career move, it’s important to challenge some common myths.
Sanning Cheng of BDO Dunwoody LLP, Chartered Accountants and Advisors
Human Resources Management
Learn when to hire employees; how to find and pick the best candidate; how much to pay employees; and other tips for employers.
Making Debt Work for Business
What is good debt vs. bad debt. How to effectively borrow money and leverage debt. Using debt as an effective financial tool.
Planning Business Exit
It is never too early to think about retirement and succession plans. Think about passing the business on to the next generation, or selling the business as exit strategies.
Plan for retirement as a business owner or self-employed individual. Learn about RRSPs, reducing tax rate, individual pension plans, insured retirement plan, and savings.
City of Markham Resources and Information
- Markham Public Library's Business Page
Markham Public Library offers a number of helpful resources for businesses, particularly for those that are in the early stages of ideation, or looking for resources to enable them to grow faster, and build resilience. This page highlights numerous upcoming events, helpful blogs for business owners, along with resources that Markham Public Library subscribes to.
- Statistics and Demographics
The City of Markham is fast growing and thriving. We have a growing business base, highly educated talent pool and a culturally diverse population. Learn more about our City through these statistics:
- Markham Online Business Directory
This is Markham's official online directory service. With over 11,000 listings, this is the region's largest directory of organizations, businesses, schools, tourist attractions, churches, agencies, and government offices.
- BizPaL - Business Permits & Licences
BizPaL is a free online service. It helps you get the permits and licences you need to open or expand your business.
Markham Home Occupations By-Law
Learn how to run a home business in Markham.
Provincial and Federal Government Resources
- Ontario Business Program Guide
Your resource for Ontario government programs for small and medium-sized businesses.
- Government Grants, Loans and Financing
Find government grants, loans, and other ways to finance your business. Be sure to select the purpose of financing (to start up, hire employees, develop a new product, etc.), and select "Ontario" as your location.
- Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP)
The CSBFP makes it easier for small businesses to get loans from financial institutions by sharing the risk with lenders.
- Government of Ontario Small Business Resources
Get support, information and advice to run your small business.
- Guide to Starting a Business
This guide was made by FedDev Ontario. It has information on federal and provincial government programs, services, and regulations.
- Federal Government Business & Industry Website
A one-stop-shop for information on federal and provincial government programs, services, and regulations.
Service Ontario: Register a Business Name
Search for, register, renew, change or cancel a business name
- CRA Business Number Registration (GST/HST, Payroll, Corporation income tax, Import-export)
Key business registrations with the federal government. Certain business activities require registration with the CRA.
Industry sector data, financial benchmarks, labour trends and business statistics.
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office
- Learn about intellectual property in Canada from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO).
Access the consolidated laws of Ontario.
- Government Of Canada Online
Access all federal government departments and agencies.
Business Planning Help
Tax Guidance (See also Provincial and Federal Government Resources section)
- COSTI’s Youth Mentoring Program
This program is designed to connect youth (mentees) aged 15-24 with community volunteers (mentors) who offer support and encourage youth to develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.
- COSTI’s netWORKS Program
netWORKS provides an opportunity for youth to meet new career role models through mentor-led and group networking events and expand professional networks as well as to understand the breadth of careers available as they navigate their next steps, academically and professionally.
- Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Mentoring Partnership
TRIEC Mentoring Partnership matches recent immigrants with established professionals who work in their field in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). TRIEC runs the program in partnership with community agencies, companies and organizations across the GTA.
- York University’s T.A.S.T.E. (Take a Student to Engage) Mentoring Program
The objective of this bite-sized mentoring is to provide York Students and new graduates with an opportunity to virtually connect with professionals in their field of interest. This program pairs York students and new graduates with a mentor (Alumni or Professional) for one-time informational interview.
- Speed Mentoring Program by ACCES Employment
This program enables participants to network with professionals in their field, receive advice about their job search, meet employer contacts and obtain job opportunity referrals.
- YES Mentorship Program
Connects YES clients to Industry Leaders (expert mentors) in order to build capacity, employability, networks and foster entrepreneurship in young people through establishing supportive, caring and trusting relationships with mentors
- Women In Leadership Foundation Mentorship Program
Virtual based mentorship program that provides one-to-one mentorship matching based on mentee and mentor fields of interests
Sector/Occupation Specific Mentorship Programs
- HRPA Mentorship Program
Program encourages career growth and development by providing students as well as HR Professionals– with the opportunity to receive one-on-one coaching from other Human Resources Professionals.
- AMCTO Mentorship Program
A free professional development program open to all current Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) members in good standing
- Ontario Society of Professional Engineers Mentorship Program
Members are able to book a mentoring session with talented and experienced mentors who are excited to provide guidance on a variety of topics related to the engineering experience
- Canadian Construction Association Mentorship Program
Program helps entrepreneurs and innovators to launch, modify or expand their products or services for industry adoption. Should an individual successfully become a CONtact mentee, they will be connected with an appropriate mentor or mentors, enabling them to expand their network and connect with leading industry professionals with the goal of helping refine their product or service offering for industry adoption.
- Professional Geoscientists Ontario Mentoring Program
Provides a forum for experienced professional geoscientists to share their knowledge, insight and experience with PGO student members, Geoscientists-in-Training (GITs) and newly minted P.Geo.’s
- York Region Food and Beverage Accelerator
A five-month accelerator helping scale high growth food and beverage ventures through customized workshops, expert mentorship and peer-to-peer circles (In partnership with The Regional Municipality of York Region and the Canadian Agricultural Partnership)
- Association of Fundraising Professionals Mentorship Program
The advice will be limited to work-related and/or specific fundraising and non-profit sector advice to be used to enhance the fundraising program of the charitable organization with which the mentee is currently associated
- Urban Land Institute (ULI) Toronto Mentorship Program
The ULI Toronto mentorship program provides a valuable opportunity for young leaders to enhance their careers by building relationships with seasoned industry veterans. The program runs from January – December.
- CFA Society Toronto Annual Mentorship Program
Successfully matched over 600 Mentor and Protégé pairings since 2007. The program offers an opportunity for participants to develop stronger leadership skills and provide unique networking opportunities.
- Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto Chapter Mentorship Program
Designed to provide opportunities, knowledge and connections to those working or interested in working in the field of public relations under the guidance of PR practitioners
- The Girls SySTEM Mentorship Program
Professional STEM-focused mentoring for late elementary and high school girls
- York Region Arts Council Arts Mentorship Program (AMP)
Artists seeking mentorship will be paired with a mentor who has experience in the area in which they seek mentorship.
Ontario’s first accelerator focused on supporting women-led product and service-based businesses
- Youth Challenge International’s Youth Climate Leadership Program
6-month Youth Climate Leadership Program provides young people exclusive access to training, mentorship and experience leading a team to create and catalyze community-based climate action initiatives that make a positive impact.
- CPAC Enhanced Mentorship Program
Aims to assist young professionals in gaining knowledge of the Canadian workplace, learning job search and related soft skills, and finding professional employments through the guidance and advice of established professionals (mentors)
- American Marketing Association (AMA) Toronto Mentor Exchange Program
Program scientifically matches Canada’s premier C-suite Mentor community with up and coming senior marketers and business professionals to empower their leadership potential
Our sponsors make it possible for us to help small businesses in Markham. Learn more about these important organizations below.