Starting a business in Victoria may seem like a daunting task to some. But the Business Hub is there to make it a bit earlier for entrepreneurs to do so.
Located at City Hall, the Business Hub is the first point of contact for business start-ups, relocations, expansions, investors, property owners, and leasing agents.
It helps people in all stages of opening a business, from giving people basic information, to helping them find a location, or assisting them with getting a business license.
Quinn Anglin, the hub’s business ambassador, said since it opened in 2015 there has been a steady increase of the number of people seeking help from the Business Hub on an annual basis.
From 2016 to 2017, there was a roughly 20 per cent increase in the number of people accessing the Business Hub. That continued to climb in 2018, when there were close to 500 inquiries that came in.
“It’s a significant increase year to year over the people who are accessing the hub and the information that we have available here,” said Anglin, who helps people navigate the City’s business processes, connects them with relevant agencies in the community and directs them to other business resources.
“It’s certainly on a steady increase, which is fantastic. That means the word is definitely getting out there and more people are aware of the service and utilizing the resource here at city hall … We want people to consider us as a partner in them getting a business up and running.”
The majority of inquires in 2018 were related to home-based businesses. Other inquires were about restaurants, offices, and retail space.
One of the Business Hub’s biggest accomplishments was increasing the number of home occupation business licenses in a dwelling unit from one to three.
Residents are also seeing the benefits of the Business Hub in the number of new restaurants and storefronts popping up. Restaurants that have used the Business Hub’s services include Marta Café and Pantry, Poke Fresh, and Dead Beets.
“It’s a pretty rewarding feeling to go through that with people and help them realize some of their dreams and success with starting a business here in the city,” said Anglin, who is also a former business owner.
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