Business Support

The business community of Orillia and area prides itself on being passionate, inviting and collaborative. There are a number of business associations in Orillia and the surrounding area that provide networking opportunities and membership benefits. 

Featured Partner Highlight
 Highlight: Georgian's Career & Employment Community Services and Orillia Agilec

Local Employment Ontario service providers helping connect employers with job seekers


Georgian’s Career and Employment Community Services (CECS) and Orillia Agilec are working to bridge the gap between employers looking for workers and job seekers looking for long-term employment. They offer a variety of workforce development programs and services that support Orillia and area employers.


Georgian College’s Career and Employment Community Services (CECS) has been a staple in the Orillia area assisting employers with their hiring needs for more than 15 years. The staff are passionate about their commitment to providing a personalized, no-cost, and quality service to local businesses that encourages growth and the ability to offer sustainable employment for job seekers. As each employer’s situation is unique, we are always striving to find a solution to any recruitment or retention challenges an employer may be facing.


Georgian works with small, medium and large companies from all industries. We love offering a service that provides a return for the community and hearing about the positive impact our work has had on local businesses.


Agilec is a free service to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed (less than 20 hours a week) and over the age of 15. The Agilec team, provides a person-centered approach to support individuals in meeting their employment goals. We welcome everyone into the centre and act as a liaison between job seekers, employers, and other community supports, including advocating the importance of hiring people with barriers to employment.


Agilec also has Employer Liaisons who connect with local employers to find out more about their hiring needs and provide a job matching program where they can connect individuals directly to employers. You can contact us via phone or email to speak directly with our staff. Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a phone, or are more comfortable walking in, you can do that as well.


Some of the services offered through Employment Ontario service providers include:

  • Hiring incentives and training supports
  • Job posting services
  • Pre-screening candidates and/or resume collection
  • Interview/meeting space
  • Job fair hosting and planning
  • Apprenticeship supports and incentives
  • Labour market/job searching support for employees facing layoff
  • Free services and support for newcomers and mentorship through the Job Finding Club for Immigrants

Employer Impact

“We’ve had a very positive experience while partnering with Georgian College Career and Employment Community Services. We recently had great success using their incentive program to hire our newest member of the Crossroads Staffing team. We look forward to collaborating with them more in the future to assist our local employers in this challenging and perpetually changing job market”

-Crossroads Staffing 


“With how hard it can be to find employees, Agilec has done a great job in getting us qualified individuals who have been a joy to work with. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Agilec and providing further opportunities to individuals in the local community.”


-Dana Hospitality 


Georgian College Career and Employment Community Services, Orillia Campus

825 Memorial Ave., Room A200

Orillia, ON L3V 6S2

Phone: 705-329-3102



Orillia Agilec Office

50 Andrew St. S., Suite 100

Orillia, ON L3V 7T5

Phone: 705-325-1203



Highlight: Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia

Small Business Centre Strengthening Partnership in Orillia


The Small Business Centre of Barrie Simcoe County and Orillia encourages and supports entrepreneurship within our region by being a one-stop source for all your small business needs. The Small Business Centre is supported by the Province of Ontario and the City of Barrie. It is a part of Small Business Centres Ontario and one of the 54 small business enterprise centres across Ontario.


Our team helps clients make the right decisions during their business start-up and assists them in developing their business as it grows.


The Small Business Centre has been serving the local business community since 2001. Over the years, we have become a staple in the local business ecosystem. Our core services include:

  • Free consultations and advice
  • One-on-one assistance with the creation of business plans
  • Advice on regulatory requirements (business licenses, permits, etc.)
  • Regular seminars on a variety of small business topics
  • Networking and training opportunities
  • Grant programming including Summer Company and Starter Company Plus


Coming this summer is an increased partnership with the City of Orillia and Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) through a dedicated Digital Service Squad member for the Orillia area.


Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, our Digital Service Squad, and a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.


Client Impact

“This was a fantastic program. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Digital Service Squad. I learned a tremendous amount of information, and they are great people. They are genuinely there to support us as small business owners. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be part of this program. I can’t express how much they have helped me. I learned so much about marketing, branding, and social media.” - Jen Weissflog, Evocative Essentials.


Businesses are encouraged to contact the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia by phone (705-720-2445) or email ( to learn more about our services, the Digital Main Street program, and how to participate.


Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County & Orillia

24 Maple Ave, 2nd Floor, Barrie ON, L4N 7W4

Phone: 705-720-2445



 Highlight: Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC)

The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation is here to help your business start, grow, and succeed. The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is an invaluable resource for local business owners and entrepreneurs.

 Staff of Orillia Area Community Development Corp.

The CDC serves Orillia, Severn, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation. The Orillia Area CDC has supported local entrepreneurs in all stages of business development for over 38 years, including:

  • Business counseling
  • Business loans
  • Registering a business
  • Professional development & training
  • Business and marketing plans
  • Support in selling/buying a business

Business Loans: The CDC is the first call to make when you are considering business financing. We understand the unique situation our entrepreneurs and business owners are in and the climate of our local community. This knowledge helps us offer business loans that fit your unique situation and we are able to work with you to create a manageable repayment schedule. Our staff can also help review your financial statements and make recommendations around best practices.


BizLink: A proven transition program and tools that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a business. BizLink is the only program that offers a business matching service as well as wrap-around support from business inception through transition and beyond.


Coaching: Our knowledgeable staff offer free, one-on-one support. Whether you are just beginning and unsure where to start, or are established and looking for tips on how to grow, our team is looking forward to sitting down with you and helping you determine what is best for your unique situation.


Workshops: The CDC offers several workshops throughout the year, providing training from skilled



To stay in the loop about upcoming workshops, grants, and other community opportunities, sign
up for our newsletter on our website.

We also work with many community partners on various community economic development projects to build an economy in Ontario’s Lake Country that is prosperous, growing and sustainable. The Orillia Area CDC is here to help your business start, grow and succeed!

Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC)
22 Peter Street South, PO Box 2525
Orillia, ON L3V 7A3
Phone: 705-325-4903 x 101


Highlight: Lakehead University

Lakehead University is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a particular emphasis on involving students in research, community partnerships, and international research collaborations. These areas reflect our history, collaborations, and areas where our research contributes to the economies of Simcoe County and Northwestern Ontario. 


Lakehead University is the highest ranked university in the world with less than 10,000 students for global impact according to the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2022. These rankings are reflective of our efforts in advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


Economic Drivers 

Lakehead University and the Lakehead-Georgian Partnership have a significant impact on the regional economy. 

$245.7M economic impact on Ontario's GDP originating from Lakehead University's Orillia Campus 

Meeting the needs of employers through an in-demand, skilled workforce.  

Supporting internationalization within the region. 

Championing the Innovation Collective as a founding partner.  



Access to Talent

2,104 student enrolment (Lakehead Orillia and Lakehead-Georgian) 

950 students from the County of Simcoe (Lakehead Orillia and Lakehead-Georgian) 

97.7% employment rate within two years of graduation 

100% of programs incorporate experiential learning opportunities such as co-op, work integrated learning, and research internships.  


Access to Research & Innovation  

$73K in research funding per faculty member (university wide). 

116 industry and not-for-profit industry partnerships around the world.  

25 Research Chairs advancing Lakehead on the world stage.  

#1 in Not-for-Profit Research Income in Canada in our peer category 


Access to Partnerships and Collaborations  

Upskilling the regions industry and business talent through initiatives such as the Lakehead-Georgian Executive Leadership Program. 

Leveraging funding and talent expertise for research and development initiatives. 

Access to lifelong learning initiatives such as Third Age Learning Lakehead (50+). 


Faculty projects  

Dr. Farhan Ghaffar, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering Lakehead-Georgian Partnership, was part of a team that used advanced wireless applications to transform blood bag sterilization systems. The team developed a system, using advanced wireless applications, to track the exact dosage of radiation the blood bag has received through the irradiation process, thereby, minimizing the number of disposed blood bags. 


Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education is working with Camphill Communities Ontario, a biodynamic farm in Angus, on a SSHRC funded study to examine the potential benefits and impacts on the well-being of adults with developmental disabilities engaging in a broad range of activities.  


Contact Information 

Research, Innovation, Economic Development:  

Rebecca Heffernan 

Research & Strategic Initiatives Facilitator  

705-330-4010 x2022  


Career Services and Co-op 

Jessica Lovett 

Director, Career Services and Co-op 

705-330-4010 x2121 


Community Engagement & Lifelong Learning  

Linda Rodenburg  

Interim Principal, Orillia Campus  

705-330-4010 x2126 


Community Development Corporation (CDC)

The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a vital community resource for both new and existing businesses. The CDC can assist with:

  • Business counseling
  • Business loans
  • Registering a business
  • Professional development & training
  • Business & marketing plans
  • Selling/buying a business 


Watch the 2021-2022 Orillia Area CDC Activity Review for an overview of recent business successes and offerings.


22 Peter Street South

PO Box 2525

Orillia, ON  L3V 7A3


Phone: 705-325-4903


Downtown Management Board (DOMB)

The purpose of the Downtown Orillia Management Board is to oversee the marketing, beautification, maintenance, and development of Downtown Orillia as a heritage shopping attraction and as the primary regional centre for business in Orillia and area. 


33 Mississaga Street West

Orillia, ON  L3V 3A5


Phone: 705-325-3261



Orillia District Chamber of Commerce

150 Front Street South

Orillia, ON  L3V 4S7


Phone: 705-326-4424


Orillia & Lake Country Tourism

Orillia & Lake Country Tourism encompasses five distinctive districts: OrilliaOro-MedonteRamara, and Severn


Box 2525

22 Peter Street South

Orillia, ON  L3V 7A5


Phone: 705-325-9321


Agilec is a non profit organization assisting individuals and businesses with recruitment and skills training needs.


50 Andrew Street South, Suite 102

Orillia, ON  L3V 7T5


Phone: 705-325-9299

Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce

148 Line 7 South

Oro-Medonte, ON  L0L 2E0


Phone: 705-487-7337


Ramara Chamber of Commerce

2297 Highway 12

Brechin, ON  L0K 1B0


Phone: 705-484-2141


Small Business Centre for Barrie, Simcoe County and Orillia

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


Phone: 705-720-2445



Search for the permits or licences you may need to start or grow your business.