20% of Ontario Digital Transformation Grant have already been distributed – Apply Now!


July 01, 2019

Why Your Business Needs to Go Digital

Reason # 1:
Researches show that 36 cents out of every dollar spent in-store in retail shopping is influenced by digital devices. (Deloitte)

Reason # 2:
Digital Main Street makes it easy! Digital Main Street is a free online platform which gives businesses recommendations on how to get started and which tools they can use to increase sales and engage more customers online.

Reason # 3:
Exclusive Deals are available from trusted vendors. Digital Main Street encourages digital vendors to offer exclusive deals, discounts and free trials to main street businesses.

The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and the City of Toronto have developed Digital Main Street as a platform that can help you better understand the digital tools your business should be using.

Digital Transformation Grant Program

The Digital Transformation grant provides $2,500 to each qualifying small main street Ontario business to purchase and adopt digital tools and technologies. There are ONLY 2000 grants available until March 2020, so apply EARLY. To start the process to apply for a Digital Transformation Grant, visit the program information page on the Digital Main Street website.

Whether your business needs a website, a new point-of-sale or digital inventory system, or just needs to become more visible online, by joining you will receive a free digital assessment for your business, learn how to adopt digital tools and get connected to vendors offering deals and discounts for the BIA members.

Duke Heights BIA marks four years of partnership with York University

July 01, 2019

Over the last four years, businesses in the Duke Heights BIA have partnered with the University to provide York students with extraordinary experiential learning opportunities, while receiving innovative marketing expertise at no cost to their organizations.

Recent experiential education projects by York University showed that even small investments into the community by students have a substantive and positive effect on local businesses. Combining academic and community networks has increasingly become a pillar of the university.

“It’s clear that our long-term partnership with Duke Height BIA has been extremely beneficial to our marketing students and the businesses they engage with,” said Karlene Case, Senior Experiential Educational Program Coordinator with the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies.

“Our marketing students provide real, tangible benefits to organizations. They bring the skills needed to tackle marketing challenges and develop strategies to improve everything from client retention to brand awareness,” she added. “The Faculty continues to partner with the Duke Heights BIA and invites local businesses to tap into bright marketing minds for the upcoming Fall 2019 semester.  The relationship forged between York and the BIA is truly symbiotic and represents a real “Height of Opportunities.”

What to Do When a Customer Doesn’t Like Your Service or Product

June 01, 2019
Written by: Kristen Steele, DUKE Law Intern

customer-satisfactionCustomer satisfaction plays a key role in the success of any business. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, dissatisfied customers whose complaints go unaddressed have as low as a 9% chance of returning as a customer. This is in stark contrast to the 82% of dissatisfied customers who returned to the businesses who addressed their complaints on the spot.
If a situation arises in which a customer is dissatisfied with a service or product, there are numerous ways a business can deal with this matter. For example, should a customer file a complaint against a business, this is what they should know:
Under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. 30, Sched. A, customer rights are protected for most common transactions. If a customer has a complaint against a business or feels that the business has violated their rights under the Act, there are various avenues that they can take. One avenue a customer can take is to file a complaint with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services who will notify the business against whom the complaint has been made to give them the opportunity to respond. If the issue is not sufficiently addressed or the notifications are ignored, the Ministry may add the business’ name to the Consumer Beware List and/or take legal action. In this scenario, the following is a list of steps that can be taken by a business to remove their name from the Consumer Beware List:
1. Showing that they did not receive notice of the complaint from the Ministry,
2. resolving the situation to the satisfaction of the person who filed the complaint, or
3. by responding directly to the issue in the complaint.

In the case of a breach of contract, customers have access to additional legal remedies that may be solved in the judicial system. If faced with legal action, a business should obtain advice from a lawyer regarding how best to proceed.

Creating Opportunities Summit 2018

Community Benefits
Creating Opportunities Summit 2018

Celebrating Community Empowerment and Growing the Movement

This year’s Creating Opportunities Summit was a packed, two-day event and a great success! Osgoode Hall Law school, Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN), and DUKE Heights Business Improvement Association (BIA) collaborated to organize the summit to promote Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and better access to jobs and opportunities.

As part to the 2-day event, community members and leaders got to participate in a free 90-minute bus tour that provided an overview of the Finch LRT project, promoting opportunities for community benefits through its construction.

The evening featured Ratna Omdivar, Canadian Senator and founder of the Global Diversity Exchange at the Ted Rogers School of Management. A longtime leader in the struggle for social justice, Ratna delivered the keynote during Friday night’s celebration dinner where she expressed her support for CBA’s.

The second day of the conference featured the City of Hamilton Councillor and staunch advocate for Community Benefits and social justice policies, Matthew Green.

The conference provided the local politicians, union representatives, community members and advocates for community benefits with a platform to collaborate and grow together.

As Rosemarie Powell, the Executive Director of Toronto Community Benefits Network puts it best, “the only way to achieve our goals is through ongoing collaboration, hard work, and a commitment to the Community Benefits Agreement model”.

New Subway Line Opening!

The time is finally here: the new subway station extension through our community is opening this December 17, 2017!

This major investment will forever change our wonderful community, and better connect us to the rest of our city and GTA as a whole. This new 8.6 km subway line extension features state-of-the-art stations at Chesswood/Sheppard (interfacing with GO), Keele/Finch (interfacing with a future LRT), York University, Steeles (east of Jane), Highway 407/Jane, and the Vaughan Metropolitan centre at Highway 7.

As the former Chair of the TTC’s Spadina Subway Extension Committee, I am proud to have been able to work on making this amazing project a reality.

Interesting Facts About Our New Subway Line:

-The amount of soil excavated to build the six new stations could fill the Roger’s Centre.

-During tunneling, muck was dug up dating back to the Wisconsin Glacial Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.

-Enough concrete was poured at the six new stations to build 10 CN Towers.

-You can travel to a Leafs or Raptors game from the new Finch-West Station in about 35 minutes.



City of Toronto Councillor

Free Wifi @Keele Street and Finch Avenue West

Free Wi-Fi @Keele Street and Finch Avenue West

We are excited to announce that DUKE Heights BIA is now offering free Wi-Fi on the corner of Keele Street and Finch Avenue West!

Making use of our free Wi-Fi is easy. When you are in the Keele Street and Finch Avenue West corner, simply look at your available Wi-Fi networks to find the one named “Duke Heights BIA Guest.” Once you have found the network, provide us with a few simple details and you will be ready to use our free WiFi!
This pilot project will be available for the next 6-months and we are looking to expand the service throughout our BIA in the next two years. We hope to benefit businesses by providing a service on our behalf for customers to enjoy. As one of the second largest BIA’s, with over 34,000 people visiting our area every workday, our free Wi-Fi is a way to keep you connected on the go!

If you have any feedback on the service, email us at info@dukeheights.ca.

Finch West Mural

A massive new mural under the CN Rail underpass on Finch Avenue West is completed.

Artist Dan Bergeron, his team and funding from Street ArToronto (StART), together have created the mural project that stretches across Finch Avenue West from Chesswood Drive to Axeldon Road. The mural is called “Beacon” and with the vibrant colours and rays of light-the movement, the diversity, and sense of progress in the area has been perfectly captured.

The DUKE Heights BIA intends to bring more murals and art projects like such, into our Business Improvement Area to beautify our existing infrastructure, inspire visitors and represent the residents of our unique area. Cassie, a local resident says, “I like this mural, me and my family talk about it every time we pass it. I love walking through it at lunch time. We should have more in the area”.


Share a photo on Facebook, Instagram of Twitter next to our mural with #BeaconMural, for a chance to be featured in our newsletter!

An EASY Loan for Your Business

Growing your business is about having the opportunities and capitalizing on them. It may simply means one more project or new client, requiring more labor, equipment or longer to get paid. As a business owner and entrepreneur with limited cash, you are now faced with a decision to accept or reject the new project or client.

But where can you get EASY Business Loan for more hiring, equipment, or inventory, yet without personal assets being taken collateral?

In my over 25 years of helping business owners, I have helped my clients successfully secured EASY Business Loan through Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

BDC is truly a bank for Entrepreneurs as evidenced in their “Personal Assets are not taken as collateral” and their unique quick approval and repayment features, such as:


(1) All you need is a good credit score, running your company for over 2 years and a business projection

(2) Approval within few days



(1) New or used equipment, including production line machinery, equipment, commercial vehicle and more

(2) Amortization up to 12 years



START-UP FINANCING, feel free to contact Thomas Tang, LPA, CPA, CGA , Tang & Partners LLP 416-987-6005 x 210 or thomas@tang.ca