Local business support organizations

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Ottawa Film Office

The Ottawa Film Office focuses on the continued development, retention, competitiveness and enhancement of the city’s film, television and digital media industry. In addition, it facilitates the issuance of various filming permits and other municipal requirements as well as promotes the region as a preferred destination for film, television and digital media production. 

To learn more, visit the Ottawa Film Office website at: ottawafilmoffice.ca

Le Regroupement des gens d’affaires de la Capitale nationale (RGA)

The Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la Capitale nationale(RGA) brings together nearly 600 business people, entrepreneurs and managers who want to conduct business in French in Eastern Ontario and the Outaouais.

The RGA is at the forefront of the region’s economic and social development. To promote its members’ interests, it provides advice and recommendations on major local issues. The RGA’s positions on matters affecting economic development and bilingualism in business lead to concrete actions that benefit the whole community.

Le Réseau de développement économique et d’employabilité de l’Ontario (RDÉE)

RDÉE Ontario promotes economic development and employability in Ontario’s francophone communities to ensure that they remain productive and sustainable.  

Ottawa Community Loan Fund (OCLF)

The Ottawa Community Loan Fund turns investments and donations into accessible financing to fuel innovation, expand opportunities and improve lives.

Ottawa-Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA)

Made up of members from all of the region’s hotels, the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association (OGHA) is the leading voice for the local hotel industry and an advocate for tourism in the region.

Hosting an event in Ottawa

Ottawa is one of the world's greatest capital cities and the perfect place to hold your next event! The city has a broad range of facilities and venues to accommodate every event size. Ottawa boasts an impressive event hosting resume that includes many international events, such as the 2009 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships, 2008 HomeSense Skate Canada Internationals, and the successful FIFA U20 World Cup Canada.

Contact Ottawa Tourism for event planning assistance.

Ottawa Public Library - business services

Are you a small business owner, thinking of starting a business or expanding an existing one? Then the Ottawa Public Library can help. The Library is your one-stop free resource for market information and the information you need to make your business a success.  Explore the business online resources, the Guide to Starting a Small Business in Ontario and the Guide to Market Research, Ottawa. Attend workshops. Book an Appointment for a consultation with a Business Librarian to ask questions and get one-on-one help.

Service Ontario Business Services

Service Ontario will help guide you to registering and renewing your business name, and link you to websites such as Canada Business Ontario where you can access information you need to start, operate, and grow your business and search for information that pertains to your business and locate resources from many levels of government.

Invest Ottawa

See why Ottawa is a great place to invest or set up your business.

Why Ottawa?

Invest Ottawa delivers economic development programs and initiatives that generate and accelerate entrepreneurial momentum, business investment and job creation in the City of Ottawa.

Its goal is to make Ottawa the best place in Canada to start and grow a knowledge-based business.

Invest Ottawa services include start-up seminars and consulting, business incubation/acceleration and mentorship, global business investment attraction and local business retention/expansion, targeted sector development, commercialization of research and innovation, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. 

Rural Business Organizations

The City of Ottawa is distinct in that it features a large agricultural base with an agricultural economy larger than any major city in Canada, with rural land comprising over 90 per cent of its land area. Agriculture is clearly a key element of Ottawa’s economy, representing 10,021 jobs (2.5 per cent of the city’s labour force). There are a variety of key organizations and associations that assist rural businesses in the marketing and promotion of the larger agricultural and tourism sectors. They include:

Rural Women’s Business Network

The Rural Women’s Business Network (RWBN) is a resource network for potential entrepreneurial women whose mandate is to help women promote their businesses through networking and the sharing of ideas and resources. RWBN holds quarterly dinner meetings in various locations throughout their coverage areas of Russell, Metcalfe, Greely, Edwards, North Gower, Kemptville, Merrickville, Oxford Mills and Burritts Rapids. The network dinners typically attract about 50 to 60 women, some of whom are involved in running farm operations or rural small businesses.

Rural Ontario Institute

The Rural Ontario Institute was created through an amalgamation of the Centre for Rural Leadership and the Ontario Rural Council in April 2010. Its mission is to be “a catalyst for dialogue, collaboration and action on issues facing rural Ontario and deliver leadership training and development to ensure that rural contributes to a healthy vibrant Ontario.”

Rideau Chamber of Commerce

The Rideau Chamber of Commerce is a member organization for businesses in the Rideau area, fostering and supporting private enterprise, economic vitality and stability and providing a forum for idea exchange. The Rideau Chamber of Commerce offers benefits for businesses of all sizes and works to assist community development.

Vars and Area Women’s Business Network

The Vars and Area Women's Business Network (VAWBN) founded in 1998, represents a wide variety of businesses that network and support each other. Members are from Vars and surrounding rural areas, as well as Orleans and Ottawa. Members meet the last Wednesday of the month and can also attend breakfast meetings the second Tuesday of the month. The group shares information on new products, services, tradeshow opportunities, seminars, new businesses in the area as well as other rural networking organizations. There are also frequent guest speakers presenting various topics.

Osgoode Ward Business Association

The Osgoode Ward Business Association (OWBA) is a non-profit organization created by concerned business persons supported by our local politicians with a vision of turning this existing rural economic development situation into a positive and sustained opportunity for networking, support and growth for more than 600 businesses that form a vital part of economic development in the Osgoode Ward.
Email: president@owba.ca

Greely Business Association

The Greely Business Association, established in 2012, provides a strong, positive voice for businesspeople, effective leadership in matters of concern of the Greely community, and a common platform from which to pursue ongoing development of the Greely area as an increasingly relevant and sustainable business and shopping district.

Business Improvement Areas

Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) come into existence when local business and property owners join together to improve, promote and undertake projects that will result in a stronger and more competitive commercial main street or business district. With the City’s support, they organize, finance and complete local improvements and promotional events from their common location within a defined commercial area. Business Improvement Areas in rural Ottawa include the Manotick BIACarp BIA and Carp Road Corridor BIA.

Entrepreneurship Centre

The Entrepreneurship Centre is dedicated to helping Ottawa entrepreneurs make educated decisions about starting and growing their businesses. The Centre aims to promote Ottawa's economy through the development of products and services that encourage entrepreneurship and support business growth.

The Centre has a staff of dedicated business professionals who provide advice and counsel to entrepreneurs on a variety of levels. As well, the Centre provides links to other business organizations, seminars and entrepreneurial events, online training and many other tools and resources to assist the budding entrepreneur.

A program of the Entrepreneurship Centre is the Ottawa Capital Network which assists in creating efficiencies in the capital market through programs aimed at educating the entrepreneurial community, creating linkages among the investment community and providing knowledge and support to the business community.

Investment opportunities

The Ottawa Capital Network assists in creating efficiencies in the capital market through programs aimed at educating the entrepreneurial community, creating linkages among the investment community, and providing knowledge and support to the business community.

Along with great online information, the OCN also offers the following programming:

  • The Ottawa Venture Capital Fair – an annual event that showcases Ottawa emerging technology companies to Canadian and U.S. investors
  • IdeaFlow – a quarterly program that provides feedback from the Ottawa investment community to idea stage entrepreneurs
  • Online support and information for entrepreneurs
  • General consulting services – the OCN will provide general advice and referrals where appropriate to emerging Ottawa technology companies
  • By Angels for Angels – programming specifically targeted to the angel investor market.

 To learn more, visit the Ottawa Capital Network website.

Ottawa Home-Based Businesses

When you are your own boss, working from home may seem like an appealing prospect, but before you decide to start a home-based business, there are a few things to consider. Launching a business in your home could be ideal, depending on the space you require and the nature of your work. You should make sure that this arrangement suits both your personal and professional needs.

There are City of Ottawa by-laws applicable specifically to home-based businesses. There are also certain federal and provincial requirements that apply to all businesses, such as registration and taxation. 

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada - Home Based Business

Zoning By-law - Home Based Business, Section 127 and 128