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Economic Development eNews | April 19, 2022
Business Profile
Spend some Sweet Family Time at Hunter's Pancake House
SPENCERVILLE - Hunter's Maple Products and Pancake House is a must-do destination each spring for people who like plate-sized fluffy flapjacks with plenty of syrup.

This beloved family business is in its 49th year and continues to attract hundreds of people each weekend while the sap is running. It is a fun place to go at any age.

"We had a lady here this past weekend in her 90s and she said she just had to come here again," says John Hunter, who runs the business along with three generations of his family.

"Everyone helps out," says John, adding he has no plan to retire anytime soon.

"My daughter takes great pride in how many five-star ratings we get," says John, adding he finds joy in making people happy experiencing a sugar bush and enjoying a meal.

John enjoys being in the sugar bush tending to more than 1,600 taps. Maintaining the lines and the bush is a year-round job, he says.

"He loves to do it and the family is the same," says John's wife Marlene, adding there are about 12 who help out spanning three generations and their spouses.

They opened the pancake house in early March and will be serving each weekend until May 1st. People can dine inside or enjoy outdoor picnic tables.

The menu is impressive with a variety of choices from the Hunter's Special with your choice of bacon or sausage to the Paleo Pancake, which is gluten, dairy and sugar free. The Hunter family prides itself on it golden brown pancakes that cover your plate.

Hunter's have been busier than ever with the weekend pancake sales since nearby Drummond's closed their dining area a few years ago. It is typical for Hunter's to serve more than 600 people each weekend.

John's father Carl Hunter started the business in 1973. They moved to their current location east of Spencerville in 1978. Watch for the sign at 1909 County Road 21 when you make the trip to the pancake house.

Learn more about Hunter's by visiting their website and Facebook page. Their weekend hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Top photo feature: John Hunter where he loves to be - working in his sugar bush. Hunter's Maple Products and Pancake House is welcoming customers for two more weekends: April 23-24 and April 30-May 1. Below: Cora McFarlane enjoys her breakfast at Hunter's.
Business Awards
Above photo from left: Front of Yonge Mayor Roger Haley, organizing committee members Mike Purcell and Elaine Covey, New Business Nominee Vanessa Blenkarn, New Business Award Winner Mayur Vadher of Mallorytown Pharmacy and Health Centre, New Business Nominee Diana Drawbridge, Business of the Year Winner Shannon Morrison of Skyward Health Centre, Front of Yonge Councillor Margaret Fancy, MP Michael Barrett, and Chris and Cindy Birt, owners of Leading Edge Overhead Doors.
Front of Yonge Honours Businesses
MALLORYTOWN - Skyward Active Health Centre is the Front of Yonge Township Business of the Year.

Owner Shannon Morrison was applauded at the premiere Front of Yonge Business Award Breakfast at the Mallorytown Legion on April 13th. The event was coordinated by the Community Development Committee.

"I grew up in this community so it is a great honour to receive this award," Shannon said, adding it was a dream to start a business in her "home township" to provide quality services within her community.

Mallorytown Pharmacy and Health Centre earned the New Business Award. Co-owner and pharmacist Mayur Vadher received the award. The pharmacy was featured in a Leeds Grenville video series.

"Thank you to the community for this honour," said Mayur. "I'm very happy to be able to provide my services in my community."

Nominees for the Business of the Year were Leading Edge Overhead Doors and Xtreme Lawn Care and Snow Removal. Nominees recognized in the New Business category were the Blackwood Guitar Company, Drawbridge Family Hair Design, Mallorytown Freshmart and VB Bookkeeping and Tax Services.

The keynote speaker was the Honourable Hugh Segal, a well-known Canadian political strategist, author, commentator, academic and former senator who was chief of staff to the late Ontario Premier Bill Davis and later to Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. There was also a presentation on the St. Lawrence Corridor Economic Development Commission by it's chair Shelley Bacon.

The awards were designed by artist Alison Whitlock. A Front of Yonge artist will be selected each year to design the awards.
Above: Mike Purcell with winner Shannon Morrison. Below: Keynote speaker Hugh Segal, of the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University and an area resident.
Rideau Lakes Companies Recognized at Awards Event
Sunnyside Family Retreat winners from left: Alex Davison, Jane Malloy, Melanie and Kevin Scott.
Mayor Arie Hoogenboom. left, and the Young Entrepreneur Award winner Ben Canning.
Steve Gordanier, centre, and Lyn Wills of Elgin's Gordanier Freshmart with Mayor Hoogenboom, left, MPP Steve Clark, second from right, and Leeds Grenville Warden Roger Haley, right.
LOMBARDY - Sunnyside Family Retreat is this year's recipient of the Business of the Year in Rideau Lakes.

The Township of Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee announced their annual awards on April 8th at the Lombardy Agricultural Hall. There were a total of 40 nominations for three awards.

"We enjoy being part of the community and giving back to the community," said Sunnyside co-owner Kevin Scott.

Sunnyside Family Retreat has been in business for 30 years. Almost 160 families enjoy the Rideau Lakes region staying at the retreat each year.

"We appreciate all of the efforts of our staff," said Kevin, adding they employ 18 people. The business was started by his parents, Dave and Christine. Kevin and Melanie's children, Kaitlyn and Bryan, are also involved with the operation.

Ben Canning of Arctic Acres earned the Young Entrepreneur Award. His three-year-old company employs 8 people with manufacturing operations in Portland. The company makes high quality Godesic Growing Dome greenhouses which are shipped across Canada and provides sustainable horticultural solutions.

The Business Innovation Award was presented to Gordanier Freshmart in Elgin for its new grocery delivery program for people with disabilities and limited mobility. Out of community need during the pandemic, the store expanded its services to offer home delivery. Gordanier's also introduced new payment options, curbside pickup and telephone orders.

"Rideau Lakes is fortunate to have such a dedicated business community," said Committee Chair Cathy Livingston
Attention Tourism Stakeholders
The Counties will be undertaking its first tourism destination strategy and action plan as part of the region’s recovery and future development. The Economic Development Office has engaged the expertise of Twenty31 in partnership with Alphabet Creative.
The timeline for the project starts this month with a completion date at the end of June.
During this period of time, stakeholder consultations will include one-on-interviews, group discussions, along with a public survey and public session to ensure input is gained from various perspectives. Municipalities, existing Destination Marketing Organizations and Municipal Accommodation partners, along with industry leaders will be involved as part of those consultations.
If you wish to participate in a session, please contact Joanne Poll via email. More updates will occur in upcoming enewsletters.
Funding Opportunities
RTO9 Tourism Relief Fund for South Eastern Ontario Businesses

The Region 9 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO9) has received $3-million from the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) to deliver this fund to tourism businesses in South Eastern Ontario.

Support is available for small businesses in the tourism sector to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and seize new market opportunities through enhanced or new products and services. All expenditures must be made for upgrades to facilities, services, or enhanced sustainability, inclusivity programming that will benefit the visiting tourist and / or tourism employees.

RTO9 will be administering non-repayable financial support ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

  • For-profit businesses can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for up to 50% of eligible project costs
  • Not-for-profit organizations can apply for non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 for 100% of eligible costs.

The Tourism Relief Fund is available to; SMEs Incorporated Private Sector Tourism Businesses, Indigenous, First Nation, Metis and Inuit owned Tourism Businesses, and Incorporated Not-For-Profits that service tourists on a regular basis, Indigenous Band Councils and Municipalities.

The Tourism Relief Fund projects will focus on:
  • Product development: for example, projects that enhance tourism experiences; help tourism businesses adapt to the "new normal", to modernize their offerings; adopt more environmentally sustainable and inclusive practices.
  • Destination development: for example, projects that position communities to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities through strategic planning for medium- to long-term investments, as well as supporting destination development prospects in line with objectives set out in the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy.
  • Incorporated businesses that are owned, managed, led, or serviced by under-represented groups; Indigenous, Women, Francophone, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, Newcomers to Canada, Visible Minorities, and LGBTQ2+ communities to apply.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Sales for Small Businesses: How to increase sales, maximize revenue, and improve customer satisfaction

Most small business owners started their business to help others, not become salespeople. But, without sales, do you even have a business? You don’t have to give up your quality of service or become pushy to be an exceptional salesperson.
In this workshop, you'll learn how to increase sales, maximize revenue while improving customer satisfaction. You’ll leave with a strategic sales plan, talking points, and simple ways to overcome your most common customer objections.

The session is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre with speaker Mickey Anderson, a business strategist, StoryBrand certified conversion copywriter and DigitalMarketer certified partner. She’ll teach you the proven sales framework she uses to help businesses hustle less and profit more.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 10, 10 a.m.
COST: Free
Creating and Interpreting Reports Workshop

Speaker Keeley Patterson-Phillips, a Certified Financial Planner at O’Farrell Financial, spends her days understanding what is truly important to her clients. She then designs ways to help them attain the lifestyle they want, the protection they need, and achieve the clarity to make great decisions for their businesses, for the next generation, and beyond. The session is hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Centre.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 11, 9-11 a.m.
WHERE: Grenville Mutual Insurance Community Room, 380 Colonnade Drive, Kemptville
COST: Free
Leeds Grenville eNews Deadlines for submitting information:
If you have an upcoming workshop, seminar, or business-related event, please email it to us in advance.
  • Submissions for the May 3rd edition should be received by Monday, April 25th.
  • Submissions for the May 17th edition should be received by Monday, May 9th.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca