The City of Mississauga offers guidance and support, training, programs, and resources to support small businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses hard, and the City of Mississauga has stepped up to provide support. The Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre offers various resources and initiatives for small businesses, including its Digital Main Street program and the Starter Company PLUS program. The Digital MainStreet Program connects main street business owners with digital experts who assist with achieving the digital transformation of their business. The Starter Company PLUS Program is an entrepreneurship program that assists those interested in starting, expanding, or purchasing a business in Mississauga.
These programs are helping Mississauga businesses to survive and thrive, and facilitate a stronger recovery for the city’s local business community.
Supermoon Japanese Style Cheesecakes adapts to COVID-19 with an online store
Sami Kustantini and Mona Halabi are the owners of Supermoon Japanese Style Cheesecakes, Mississauga’s very own take on the Japanese cheesecake global trend. Shortly after opening their second location, the husband-and-wife duo was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, drastically lowering their sales.
“People were still ordering on delivery services,” says Halabi, noting that such services take a huge commission.
“We needed to optimize our website and enhance it with e-commerce and pre-ordering capabilities that would allow us to cater to our customers,” says Kustantini. Thanks to a $2,500 Digital Main Street grant, Supermoon undertook a digital transformation. The impact was immediate.
“We really feel that the City of Mississauga is invested in our success and our viability,” says Kustantini. “We’re very grateful.”
Mississauga favourite Joanne Lipp European Skin Care and Electrolysis gets a digital upgrade
Gloria Lipp-Stamp is the owner of Joanne Lipp European Skin Care and Electrolysis, a Mississauga company founded in 1962. Presented with the opportunity to improve her online presence with a Digital Main Street grant, Lipp-Stamp embraced it.
“I’ve got a new website coming soon and an online booking service,” she says. “The guidance from my Mississauga Digital Service Squad consultant, has been absolutely outstanding.”
Lipp-Stamp also added her skincare products to Streetsville BIA’s Marketplace and Mississauga Tourism’s Mississauga Made, both online e-commerce marketplaces that support small businesses and promote shopping local. “Between all these things, we feel as looked after as we can. We weren’t just closed and then left to fend for ourselves,” says Lipp-Stamp.
Cooks Who Feed used grant to support people worried about their next meal
Seema Sanghavi launched Cooks Who Feed in late 2019 to empower food lovers and fight hunger. Through partnerships with charities around the world that rescue surplus food, the company provides 100 meals for every apron sold.
The pandemic halted sales — which had been primarily to hospitality businesses — and production, as all of the company’s aprons are handmade by marginalized women in India, which had a sudden lockdown. “All the relationships we had just spent months building came to a stop,” says Sanghavi.
Fortunately, retail sales increased as cooking at home became a popular lockdown pastime, and Sanghavi participated in a provincially-funded Mississauga entrepreneurship program. Starter Company PLUS provided key business teachings from industry experts and Sanghavi received a $5,000 grant upon completion.
“Having that grant was a lifeline for me to be able to invest in getting more inventory made,” she says.