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Small Businesses With Big Ideas

Accessible Service Keeps Customers Coming Back

Ministry of Community and Social Services

Across Ontario, small businesses are paying close attention to the benefits of accessibility, and it starts with accessible customer service for people of all abilities.

Under Ontario's Accessible Customer Service standard, all businesses will have to offer accessible customer service by January 2012.  The owners of Muskoka Bear Wear, Café Chartreuse and Bridgehead Coffee are ahead of the curve, by already making their businesses accessible.  The return on investment is clear - a diverse clientele who keep coming back, because the service these businesses provide makes a difference. 

Ontario has a plan to become accessible by 2025.  It will help Ontario tap into the economic power of thousands of customers and visitors with disabilities, and supports the Open Ontario Plan to create new opportunities for jobs and growth.

Quick Facts

  • According to a recent report by the Martin Prosperity Institute, Ontario's accessibility standards could result in $9 billion in new retail revenue.
  • In Canada, the income of people with disabilities and those who may one day have a disability could increase by one third to a spending power of $536 billion by 2031.
  • In 20 years, Ontarians over age 55 will account for one-third of the province's total population. Today, nearly half of Ontario's seniors have a disability.

Additional Resources


“Great customer service means loyal customers and a great business reputation. That's what accessible customer service is all about.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community and Social Services

“Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario's economy. They know what their communities and customers want - and they are already showing us the business opportunity of accessibility.”

Sandra Pupatello

Minister of Economic Development and Trade



Business and Economy Jobs and Employment People with Disabilities