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Small Business

The City of Oshawa recognizes the fact that small businesses are significant drivers of the local economy. In 2013, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business ranked Oshawa the 11th best place to run a business in Canada, the second city in Ontario to make the list (cities with a population over 150,000 category).  This reflection of strong government support for entrepreneurs has been a long-standing practice in Oshawa as the Economic Development Services Team continues to work with community and regional partners to foster and grow small businesses in our community.

There are a number of national and provincial funding and resource programs available to assist the start-up and growth of small businesses in Oshawa and Durham Region. A number of these programs include:

BizPaL Business Permits and Licences
An interactive, free business tool that identifies the permits and licences your business requires from all levels of government.
Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD)
Offers one-on-one consultations, workshops, market research, business resources & innovation alliances for existing business and start ups.


Business Registration- Starting a Business
Business Name Searches, Register or Renew your business name. Get a Master Business Licence and, if eligible, apply for additional accounts with different government bodies.


Canada Business Ontario - Services for Entrepreneurs - Starting a Business  Information about federal and provincial services, programs and regulations, including taxation as well as a Business Program Guide.


Canada Business - Services for Entrepreneurs - Starting a Business external link
Provides information from the federal and provincial governments for business start ups.


Canadian Intellectual Property Office external link Information on patents, trademarks, copyrights and industry designs.


City of Oshawa, Economic Development Services
Services include – land and building site selection, statistical market data, promotional programs, liaison with provincial and federal governments, consultation and networking with local business, industry and educators.


Export Development Canada (EDC)
Provides Canada exporters with financing insurance, bonding services as well as foreign market expertise.


Industry Canada external link 
Online source of Industry and Business Information.


Industry Canada - SME Benchmarking Tool external link 
An interactive online financial performance tool to help new and established firms determine how they measure up to their competition.


Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) 
CYBF provides entrepreneurs aged 18-39 with start-up financing assistance, mentorship connections, business growth assistance and networking opportunities.


Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)
Helps to create and develop Canadian business through financing, venture capital and consulting services with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. The BDC also offers a number of online resources geared toward innovative small business practices.


Contact: Cindy Symons-Milroy, Director
Economic Development Services
  Rhonda Keenan
Business Development Manager
  David Tuley
Downtown Development Officer 

Mary Cousineau
Business Intelligence Coordinator
905-436-3311 x3829

Location: Economic Development Services
2nd Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario L1H 3Z7
Phone: 905-436-5617
Toll Free: 1-800-667-4292
Fax: 905-436-5623
TTY: 905-436-5627