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Business & Investment Opportunity

  • International business people are encouraged to invest in the Canadian economy through the Business Immigration Program. There are many opportunities in Simcoe County for investment.  The three categories of immigration through the Business Immigration Program are Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed persons. Each category has specific selection requirements, which should be reviewed closely.
  • Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to learn more about the Business Immigration Program and the specific selection requirements.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation website also provides detailed information about Business Immigration. 

Download resources such as the Resource Guide for Business Immigrants to Ontario from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation website

If you are looking for an available location or facility to build or locate your business within Simcoe County, the Economic Development Office website of the County of Simcoe has an online map that identifies commercial, residential, agriculture, and business listings throughout Simcoe County:

Ideally situated just north of the Greater Toronto Area, stretching from the shores of Lake Simcoe to Georgian Bay, Simcoe County’s combination of location, lifestyle and opportunity makes it a great place to live and do business. The region’s diverse communities and natural amenities inspire residents and the business community.

Simcoe County is located in Central Ontario. It is an ideal location that allows our business community to serve northern and southern Ontario, including three of Canada’s largest urban centres, as well as several major U.S. metropolitan areas. 

A large portion of Simcoe County is serviced by major highways, further facilitating quick movement of goods across the province, country, and into the U.S. marketplace. Many of the communities in Simcoe County are located directly along Provincial Highway 400, while others have quick access to the highway through 850 kilometres of well-kept county roads. It is also important to note that Simcoe County’s location has a marketplace of approximately 7 million people within a three-hour drive of our borders. The County also has rail and airport access.

Want to conduct international business? Simcoe County combines perfect location with a no-hassle Lake Simcoe Regional Airport—home to a Canada Customs Office and commercial-length runway—and is located less than 2.5 hours away from several 24-hour U.S. border crossings.  

Furthermore, businesses in Simcoe County have access to major domestic and international marketplaces, connecting them to more than 130 million people, all within one day’s drive.

With more than 16,000 companies, the business community in Simcoe County is diverse and growing. These businesses are supported by a host of resources, including 11 Chambers of Commerce, four Community Futures Development Corporations, two Small Business Enterprise Centres, a Business Incubator, and many more business support organizations. Visit the County of Simcoe Economic Development website for more detailed information on local and external resources:

Simcoe County is home to internationally known institutions like Casino Rama, Georgian College, Canadian Forces Base Borden, Lakehead University, and the Ontario Provincial Police Headquarters. 

Honda of Canada Manufacturing established itself in Simcoe County in 1986 and continues growing its operations. However, automotive is just one of many industry sectors that thrive within the county. From plastics and glass manufacturing to pharmaceuticals and aggregate resources, Simcoe County has a diverse economic base. Agri-business is a diverse multi-faceted industry and farmland in the region, including a section of the Holland Marsh in Bradford West Gwillimbury, is among the best in all of Canada. 

Tourism is a vital industry in Simcoe County, providing a diversity of jobs and economic impact in a variety of sectors, including accommodation, restaurants, destinations, events, and retail. Each year Simcoe County plays host to more than 6.7 million visitors who contribute more than $570 million to our economy. The region is renowned as one of the province’s premier outdoor playgrounds.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of 31,000 acres of County-owned Forests; enjoy the splendour of Wasaga Beach, the world’s longest freshwater beach; spend a day at one of the area’s many ski resorts or test your skills at an award-winning golf course.

Long known as Central Ontario’s outdoor playground, the opportunities for fun and recreation for you and your family are endless. Situated amongst picturesque rolling hills between gorgeous Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, there are countless opportunities for amusement both on land and in the water. 

The area not only attracts residents looking for lifestyle options but also industry seeking opportunity for growth and a qualified workforce. Simcoe County boasts excellent regional health-care and education facilities, vibrant and unique rural and urban communities, and a host of leisure and recreation opportunities. You’ll find what you’re looking for here, in Simcoe County.

Businesses in Ontario

Businesses in Ontario are also required to pay taxes, depending on the type of business being operated. For more information about filing taxes and other tax information for business in Ontario, visit the Service Ontario ONe-Source for Business website.

Ontario’s Tax System: Credits, Benefits and Incentives for Single People and Families

Ontario’s Tax System: Credits, Benefits and Incentives for Businesses

Here is a list of resources for more information about the tax system in Ontario

What are taxes?

Taxes are collected from individual Canadians and businesses by the government to help pay for roads, schools, health care, and other important government programs and services.  Taxes are collected in different ways.

Income Tax: In Canada, a portion of each employee’s income is considered taxable. Most employees choose to have this amount deducted directly off their paycheque, while others choose to calculate what they owe when they file their annual taxes and pay the difference at that time. The amount each person is required to pay varies based on their total annual earnings, minus any deductions and credits. For more information about income tax, visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website.

Business Development Resources

Simcoe County has a host of organizations and resources available to assist you in locating and developing your business in the County free of charge. Visit the County of Simcoe Economic Development website to learn more about regional business development resources

Start a Business

Some newcomers consider starting a business or becoming self-employed. In Canada, most self-employed people are professionals working as independent contractors (freelance), business owners, salespeople who work on commission, and farmers.

Before deciding to start your own business you should consider the advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages to owning your own business are the independence and freedom from routine, as well as the possible financial rewards if the business is successful.  Some of the disadvantages of self-employment include less job security, no medical or dental benefits, and paying and preparing business taxes. 

There are many ways for someone to become a business owner. Three common ways include  starting a business from scratch, purchasing an existing business, or purchasing a franchise.

Economic Development Offices

The Simcoe County Economic Development Office provides high-level support to local economic development offices and business development organizations across the region, ensuring all our businesses are well supported. Among the resources on their website, they provide real-time commercial real estate listings, a free online business directory, general statistics about Simcoe County, news about the local economy, and listings for federal, provincial, regional, and local resources. The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office can also provide information about the County, as well as direct you to their local counterparts when specific information and assistance is required.

Through local Economic Development Offices you can learn more about available property and businesses, government funding programs, zoning permit requirements, local business development resources, and upcoming seminars and workshops in the area.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

1110 Highway 26
Midhurst, ON
L0L 1X0
Phone: 705-726-9300

70 Collier Street 9th Floor
Barrie, Ontario
L4M 4T5

Phone: 705-728-9850
Email: ​​

(A partnership between the Municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny and Tay)


100 Dissette St. Units 7 & 8
P.O. Box 100
Bradford, Ontario
L3Z 2A7

Phone: 905-775-5366 Ext 1301

Economic Development Centre
Angus Recreation Centre
8529 County Road 10
Angus, ON
L0M 1B0

Phone: 705-424-4054

2101 Innisfil Beach Road
Innisfil, ON
L9S 1A1

Phone: 705-436-3740 Ext 1510

P.O. Box 910
10 Wellington St. E.,
Alliston, Ontario
L9R 1A1

Phone: 705-435-3900 Ext 256

P.O. Box 100
148 Line 7 South
Oro, Ontario
L0L 2X0

Phone: 705-487-2171

50 Andrew Street South, Suite 300
Orillia, Ontario
L3V 7T5

Phone: 705-325-4900

2231 Nursery Road
Minesing, Ontario
L0L 1Y2

Phone: 705-728-4784

30 Lewis Street
Wasaga Beach, Ontario
L9Z 1A1

Phone: 705-429-3844 Ext 2285

Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs)

The Community Futures Program is an initiative of the Government of Canada. Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) are community-based, not-for-profit organizations that offer programs and services to support community economic development and small businesses. To learn more about the Community Futures Program, visit: 

There are Community Futures Development Corporations in Simcoe County that can provide guidance to you on starting your own business. These corporations can help you develop your business plan and provide guidance as your business grows. They also provide loans for innovative businesses that may not be eligible for loan financing through your regular bank. 

Below is a list of Community Futures Development Corporations in Simcoe County.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

450 Hume St, Unit 2
Collingwood, ON L9Y 1W6

Phone: 705-445-8410

PO Box 8, 105 Fourth Street
Midland, ON L4R 4K6

Phone: 705-526-4993

39 Victoria St E
Alliston, ON L9R 1V6

Phone: 705-435-1540

95 Holland St W, Unit 105
Bradford, ON L3Z 2A9

Phone: 905-775-9119

2101 Innisfil Beach road
Innisfil, ON L9R 1A5

Phone: 705-436-3806

22 Peter St S
Orillia, ON

Phone: 705-325-4903

Small Business Enterprise Centres

There are 57 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs) operating throughout the Province of Ontario through partnerships between the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, and the local municipalities in which they reside.

SBECs provide entrepreneurs with assistance and support to start, grow, and expand their businesses, such as:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​free consultations with a qualified business consultant
  • workshops on key business topics
  • free review of business plans
  • consultations through a lawyer/accountant referral service
  • access to current resource materials, including directories, trade indexes and books
  • guidance on business structure, licenses, permits, registration, taxes, regulations and other forms and documents required to start and build a business
  • import and export information
  • information on patents, copyright, and trademarks
  • guidance on hiring and other human resources issues
  • access to funding information
  • information on adopting e-commerce and new technologies
  • resources for innovation
  • advice on marketing, operations, cash flow and financial considerations
  • mentoring and networking opportunities
  • supports and programs for young entrepreneurs

To learn more about Small Business Enterprise Centers, visit or contact one of the agencies below.

24 Maple Ave, 202
Barrie, ON L4N 7W4

​Phone:  705-720-2445

105 Hurontario St
Collingwood, ON L9Y 3Z5

​Phone: 705-446-3355

Local Libraries: Business Services

The local libraries are a great place for information and resources to help you with your business. In particular, the Barrie Public Library offers business services and is supported by a business librarian. They have resources and services available to enhance your business, such as:

  • Business-related books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, and videos
  • Subscription databases, many of which are available remotely
  • Specialized business databases, including PCensus and the Million Dollar Directory
  • Monthly business programs, including business planning and market research
  • Seminars led by community business experts
  • Community Information Database: a database that includes more than 2,500 organizations and groups, to keep you in touch with the community
  • Community Event Calendar: a database to see what is going on in the community

Barrie Public Library: Business Services
Contact the Business Librarian
Phone: 705-728-1010 Ext 7014

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada (formerly called Canadian Youth Business Fund – CYBF) supports young entrepreneurs at every stage of their businesses by providing expertise, financing, mentoring and business resources.  They also have supports for newcomer entrepreneurs.

Futurpreneur Canada
National Phone: 1-866-646-2922
National Website: 

Local Community Partner: Business Enterprise Resource Network 
Phone: 705-792-0989
Toll Free: 1-866-963-7327 (ask to speak to the Futurpreneur Coordinator)

For more information about Recruiting and Hiring Skills Immigrants

Success Stories

Please send us your Local Immigration Business Owners Success Stories

Immigrant Entrepreneur - Sumant Sarin

The winner of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Award is Sumant Sarin.  This marks the first time a married couple have received awards.  Sumant is married to Shelley Sarin, who received an award in the Immigrant Mentor category.  This nomination was also provided by Arjun Batra.

Arjun states that, “…Sumant has all the qualities which a diehard entrepreneur should have which also includes giving back to the community… His many qualities include (being) a creative thinker, knowledge seeker, and a calculative risk taker.”

Sumant was born and raised in India and has since lived in the United Kingdom, the United States, but has called Canada home since 1999.  Sumant received his MBA in Canada.  He is the CEO of Insight Business Group, is a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.

Sumant has become one of the leading names in Canada for student recruitment in international education.  He is an expert in the India-Canada education corridor and has worked with multiple post-secondary institutions in Canada including locally Georgian College but also Douglas College and Camosun Colleges in British Columbia, Algonquin College in Ottawa, Winnipeg Technical College in Manitoba and Durham College in Oshawa and the University of Toronto.

During the time Sumant worked with Georgian College, he recruited thousands of international students.  Arjun Batra, Sumant’s nominator was one of these students.  Arjun remarks, “Recruiting international students was his job but being a mentor was a choice.  He definitely improved the life of many residents who looked upon him as an inspiration.”  Today, Sumant’s business provides job opportunities to several Barrie residents in Simcoe County including new immigrants and his company also provides internship opportunities for international students.

Sumant’s true entrepreneurial spirit is also reflected in his recent acquisition of “Logan’s Restaurant” on Bayfield Street in Barrie.  It turns out he is also a licensed realtor!

Sumant gives back to the community and has been a sponsor and active volunteer in the Diwali celebrations in Simcoe County.  Sumant was also a key supporter in promoting the game of Cricket in Simcoe County and is a volunteer with the Barrie Cricket League.

Please join us in congratulating Sumant as the 2014 Immigrant Entrepreneur Award winner.

Jun's Roll
Jun’s Roll

Jessie and Jun admired Canada as a land of adventure.  While living in Tianjin, a large city in China, they applied to immigrate to Canada.  After arriving in Toronto in 2003, Jun secured employment in Penetanguishene as an engineer with an automotive company.  There they began their Canadian adventure and had their first daughter.  They were surprised by the generosity of their coworkers and neighbours who gave them a stroller and baby clothes to celebrate.

The company Jun worked for closed down after a few years.  They relocated to Barrie for better labour prospects.  Jun was soon employed by a company near Waterloo and returned home to Barrie on the weekends.

In China, Jessie worked as a Chinese/Japanese translator but she was always interested in the large restaurants that her family owned and operated.  She began cooking and selling food at the Barrie Farmers’ Market in the summer and was encouraged by customers to open a restaurant.  While pregnant with their second daughter, Jun and Jessie decided to take on the challenge of opening a family restaurant.  They found a location on Collier St. near the Barrie Farmers’ Market.  Jun resigned from his job and through online resources learned about operating a business in Canada.

At the market, Jessie offered samples of traditional Chinese food, using recipes from her family’s restaurant.  Customers were eager to try the small portions but Jun and Jessie struggled to attract customers into the restaurant to order a meal.  Customers were hesitant to order food that was too unfamiliar to them.

Through the support of their family and church, Jun and Jessie began reviewing their menu.  Over time, and with much trial and error, they found the right balance of Chinese cultural food and menu choices that residents in Barrie were interested in.  “Before, I never tried chicken balls.  Our customers asked for them and now I love them too!  It’s a top seller!” laughed Jessie.

With so much time and money spent on finding the right menu options, Jun and Jessie had little money left for advertising.  “They (customers) didn’t know who we were.  Advertising is most important,” stated Jun.  “You need to spend the money to advertise.  But it is hard in the beginning when you are making no money.”  Determined to make their restaurant known, they now advertise in the newspaper, internet and Canada Post door-to-door mail.  Customers began to know about the restaurant and they now have regular customers for the lunch buffet.

While it has been a struggle to grow the customer base, Jun said, “You cannot stop once you start.  It provides for the family and we invested so much.”

“When people try our food and are satisfied, it encourages us,” said Jessie.

“We came to Canada for adventure.  This is a part of it,” added Jun.