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  • Newmarket Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) offers roundtables to support continuity and recovery

    Created: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    ​Newmarket Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) offers roundtables to support continuity and recovery

    As the region gradually reopens, the Newmarket Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) program kicks off an industry tailored roundtable series, led by York University faculty, to support local small and medium-sized businesses in weathering and rising above COVID-19 challenges. The roundtables provide a digital space for businesses to come together to identify and solve issues related to the pandemic. 
    In April, the Town of Newmarket and Newmarket Chamber of Commerce launched the Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) program to ensure local businesses had access to support and resources from all levels of government. Through the one-on-one liaison with businesses, it was clear the community was looking for sector specific experts to help them navigate these new waters.
    In June, the Town and the Chamber launched an expansion of the program, partnering with York University to facilitate a roundtable series focused on business continuity and recovery. York was a natural choice, given its outstanding reputation for world-class business programs, and teaching and research excellence. Professors and instructors from York’s Schulich School of Business and Lassonde School of Engineering are engaged in facilitating these roundtables.
    Upcoming Roundtables
    Newmarket businesses are encouraged to register to participate in monthly roundtables offered in four sector groups: Information, Communication and Technology (ICT); Manufacturing; Retail and Hospitality; Business and Entrepreneur.

    July dates
    DateSector RoundtableFacilitator

    Monday, July 20
    9 – 10 a.m.

    Retail and Hospitality
    Information & Registration

    Schulich School of Business Faculty:

    Monday, July 20
    9 – 10 a.m.

    Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)
    Information & Registration

    • Divinus Oppong-Tawiah: Assistant Professor of Information System; Schulich School of Business

    • Bob Eichvald: Associate Director, Co-Op & Business Partnerships; Lassonde School of Engineering

    Monday, July 20
    3 – 4 p.m.

    Business and Entrepreneur
    Information & Registration

    Chris Carder: Co-Director of Entrepreneurial Studies; Schulich School of Business

    The Town of Newmarket and Chamber of Commerce continue to evolve the services available to assist businesses during this time. Most recently, Newmarket Council voted to waive fees associated with mobile and portable signs (A-frame and T-signs) offering opportunities for businesses to advertise more affordably in 2020.
    Businesses are encouraged to contact the Business Assistance Concierge via to sign up for the roundtables (now or in the future), learn more about signage opportunities or for one-to-one support specific to their business.

    “Our local businesses are pivotal to our Town’s success. Each day, I’m impressed to see how our businesses are shifting their operations to serve their customers and support their staff amid ever changing rules and guidelines. I hope all our businesses tap into the Business Assistance Concierge for strategic advice and connections, such as the roundtable and our mentorship program, to learn from experts and one another too.”

    • Newmarket Mayor John Taylor

     "Newmarket is fortunate to have a thriving business community with entrepreneurs committed to the success of the local economy. The sector tables we have launched in partnership with York University and the Town of Newmarket will provide our businesses with the resources to ensure business continuity and resilience while building a framework towards a successful recovery."

    • Tracy Walter, President & CEO of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce

    "The Retail and Hospitality roundtable discussion facilitated by York University/Schulich School of Business Faculty and the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce is a key business resource for our organization. The information provided definitely assisted in the success of my restaurant reopening. So unique and beneficial to have access to the quality of professionals represented as facilitators. I look forward to attending again in July."

    • Jennifer McLachlan, Owner of Cachet Supper Club and program participant

    “Universities have a key role to play in facilitating collaboration to build a better future, and York is proud to support the Newmarket business community as we work together to facilitate recovery from the global pandemic. This partnership includes several of York’s leading faculty members from internationally renowned programs, each deeply committed to using their knowledge to find innovative solutions to the new and existing challenges facing businesses and society.”

    • Rhonda L. Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University

    “It is interesting to hear what business managers are currently grappling with, as some of their issues were expected, but not all. As academics we are trained to analyze the root causes of such problems and develop approaches that may be straightforward or that may not have been obvious. And as facilitators, we push participants to think outside the box and push for collaborations and innovations that otherwise would have not been possible.”

    About the Newmarket Business Assistance Concierge (BAC)
    On April 21, 2020, the Town of Newmarket and Newmarket Chamber of Commerce launched the Business Assistance Concierge (BAC) program, a virtual business support and resiliency centre which will help small and medium-sized businesses in Newmarket on their journey ‘back to business’ during and post COVID-19. Local businesses are assigned a dedicated case manager who will help them with immediate needs and will continue to provide business recovery support once the COVID-19 pandemic has ended.
    As an extension of the BAC, the Town created a Mentorship Access Program (MAP) to connect local businesses with volunteer mentors available to offer strategic advice and guidance on how to adapt and map out a tangible business plan during these unprecedented times.
    The BAC is part of the Town’s overall Economic Resiliency Action Plan to provide immediate and long-term support for the local business community and the economy. For more information, visit