10 Reasons Why London, Ontario is the Right Place for Your New Business
Are you thinking of launching your own business, but not sure where to set up shop? Consider London, Ontario, and the many reasons why entrepreneurs are flocking there to open new businesses.
This article will explore 10 of the best reasons for starting a new company in London, Ontario.
- London is a growing city.
According to CTV, London is one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. With a population of just around 511,000 and a growing rate of about +1.6% every year, people from the GTA and the Windsor-Essex area are rushing to London for its affordability. When deciding where to open a business, you want to make sure you launch where the economy is on the rise, and not on a decline. London checks that box!
- London is still (relatively) affordable.
While real estate prices have reached staggering heights in surrounding cities, London has remained relatively low. Yes, prices have climbed, but not nearly to the extremes Ontario has seen in other cities. For entrepreneurs, this offers a few important benefits.
Firstly, you’ll be able to find more affordable housing. Starting a new business is a seriously expensive venture, and many new business owners want to keep their personal costs as low as possible. London’s economy offers entrepreneurs the ability to save on major costs like housing. Secondly, London is also more affordable when it comes to purchasing or renting retail space than Toronto, so that may also help you launch with a little more cash in the bank.
- London has an active and helpful Small Business Centre.
London’s leadership has been actively working to help entrepreneurs launch successfully within the city, and one way they’ve worked toward that end is to build a very resourceful Small Business Centre. With specific resources for new businesses as well as established companies, you’ll have plenty of help along the way.
The London Small Business Centre offers workshops about taxation, bookkeeping, incorporation, and so much more. There are plenty of helpful online documents and forms, as well as in-person classes to guide you. Need a mentor or some one-on-one help? The LSBC offers that too!
- There are available Development Grants.
London is located in Middlesex County, and the municipalities offer a number of Economic Development Grants, available to new and existing entrepreneurs. Some of the available funds come from provincial-level organizations and banks, and others, from local sources.
Each grant has specific criteria that could include:
– What the grant money will be used for
– How long you’ve been in business
– Your average annual revenue
– Where your business is located
– What industry your company is part of
Each grant has its own application process and deadlines, so read them thoroughly, and keep an eye on the list to watch for new financial opportunities.
- London’s emphasis on shopping local.
Even more than many other Ontario towns and cities, London has an organic love of all things local. So, if you’re running a great local shop, know that you’ll have the support of the community behind you. With street markets and other events geared to local vendors, there are plenty of opportunities to get your name out there and build local interest in what you’re doing.
- Leap Junction, Fanshawe College’s entrepreneurship centre.
If you’re a Fanshawe alumni or student, you can take advantage of Leap Junction, Fanshawe’s centre for helping entrepreneurs launch their startups. Leap offers education on the four crucial aspects to modern-day entrepreneurship:
Leap offers live coaching sessions with established business owners who can help you launch successfully. They’ll help make sure you’re taking advantage of every program and resource.
Expertly presented workshops give you access to the advice of business professionals from all over the city and help you cultivate the skills you need to succeed.
Their networking events give new business owners a competitive edge by supplying access to other entrepreneurs and offering presentations that can expand your skills.
No matter what stage your business is in, whether you’re still in conception or ready to launch, there’s funding available. They help connect you to funding sources so that your dream can soon become reality.
- London’s thriving economy.
London isn’t Toronto. But for small business owners, it might be even better. London’s economy is expanding and as the city grows outward, so does the need for more businesses to serve the larger population. According to Immigration London and Middlesex County, London’s fastest-growing business sectors are agri-food, manufacturing, digital media and technology, health, and professional services.
- London provides geographical advantages.
With close proximity to the 401, connecting London to Windsor-Detroit, the 402 heading to the Blue Water Bridge, and quick and easy access to Buffalo, London is an excellent hub for the transport of goods. If you’re in agri-food, manufacturing, or just plan to ship your products to stock stores in other communities, starting your company in London makes a lot of sense.
- Support for social enterprises.
Not exactly a typical company, but not a non-profit either, social enterprise start-ups are on the rise. What’s a social enterprise? It’s a for-profit company that strives to make a positive social impact, and often reinvests its profits into a cause that meets that end. Entrepreneurs that want to explore this newer business model need specific support, and in London, they can access Pillar Nonprofit Network, an organization committed to helping strengthen businesses that have a key interest in giving back to society.
- There’s a thriving BIA.
Most cities have a BIA — a Business Improvement Area — but not every city has one that’s as thriving as London’s. London’s BIA supports small and emerging businesses with events that encourage local shopping and give your company a chance to be in the spotlight. If your business is hosting an event, you can advertise on their social pages. They even run contests that benefit London businesses.
We’re convinced London is a great place to visit, live, and launch a company. If you’re looking for your next place of business, make sure you consider all that London has to offer!