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Economic Development eNews | April 5, 2022
Business Profile
Bill's Repair Sales & Service Known as Hub of Expertise
Dave Seabrooke is famous for being a small engine guru.

The owner of Bill's Repair Sales and Service with partner Diane Barr on County Road 29 is known throughout Eastern Ontario and far beyond for his ability to diagnose and repair engines and equipment with exceptional accuracy.

"People do call me from all over the country," admits Dave, though he downplays the attention by saying it's more about longevity because he's been involved in the family business since he was a child.

"Everybody says he knows his stuff," says Diane. "He can tell what's wrong with an engine just by listening to it."

Dave's friendly personality is also well known, Diane says. People would congregate given the chance if there were chairs in the shop, she says. "I've called us the new Corner Gas."

Bill's Repair Sales and Service sells small engine parts, lawn, garden and forestry equipment with brands including Toro, Simplicity, Echo, Greenworks and Ferris. In 2021, Dave won the Briggs & Stratton Top Canadian Regional Dealer award for Eastern Ontario.

Dave's late father, Bill, started the business in 1968. It has been in continuous operation ever since - 54 years - with original and third-generation family customers coming through their doors.

"I've bought many things here over the years and it's always been the best service around - no question at all," says long-time customer Butch Dignard.

Dave shows an enthusiasm for all of his products, including the Greenworks battery-powered line. The zero-turn lawnmowers can cut two acres with one charge. The charger can be used in various Greenworks products.

His rule is if he doesn't like a product, he doesn't sell it. "Customer service is key. I enjoy my customers and I want them to be satisfied with the products I sell."

The shop does warranty work on products that are sold there. They do sharpening and welding work and everything from chainsaws to lawnmower blades and custom fabrication of chainsaw blades. You can find new and used parts for a large number of brands.

New and old customers should mark May 4th in their calendars for the annual big spring sale at Bill's Repair.
Top feature photo: Diane Barr and David Seabrooke with a riding lawnmower in the showroom at Bill's Repair Sales and Service, located in Rideau Lakes Township.
Above: Mechanic Lyle Gilpin has 19 years of experience. Below: Dave in the shop where they do custom fabrication of chainsaw chains.
For more information visit their website and their Facebook page. The shop is located at 321 County Road 29 (Brockville Street). Give them a call at 613-283-2027.
Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is focused on strong diversified economic growth and is developing strategies and opportunities that support top industry sectors. Tourism and Hospitality is a key sector for the region, and one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. 
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. Together they bring extensive experience in destination development, management and marketing in Ontario, in Canada and across the globe. 
The timeline for the project starts in April 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.
Key milestones include:
April - Community partner and stakeholder consultations, asset and data review in development of a destination management plan
May - Community partner and stakeholder consultations, asset and data review in the development of marketing and communications plan
June - Development and socialization of final recommendations for integrated marketing and communications, destination development, and destination management plans 
If you wish to participate in a session, please contact Joanne Poll via email. More updates will occur in upcoming enewsletters.
International Plowing Match
Plowing Match and Rural Expo
in the region September 20-24
KEMPTVILLE -The International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) is coming to North Grenville this fall.

The five-day celebration of agriculture and rural living will bring an estimated 70,000 people to the region September 20-24. The IPM is the largest event of its kind in North America with people coming from across Canada, the U.S. and beyond. This is the first IPM in 3 years so it should be a blockbuster!
The event is a collaborative effort of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, the host community and its local organizing committee composed of many local volunteers. Participants can expect plowing competitions, opportunities to learn about agriculture through hundreds of vendors and exhibitors (large and small equipment, lifestyle items and much more), live entertainment in multiple match venues and so much more!
If you are an area business, this is the perfect opportunity to promote yourself to a very large audience. Local businesses and citizens have an array of ways to get involved:

  • Accommodations - IPM will be utilizing the Counties accommodation directory. Please make sure you have a listing in the Leeds Grenville - Discover - Stay section of our website.
  • Entertainers - Singers, musicians, dancers, comedians, children's entertainment plus anyone who thinks they have an act, submit your Expression of Interest to the IPM by May 1st. For more information and to submit, visit the IPM Entertainment webpage.

  • Local Business Exhibitors - The Tented City commercial site is where businesses can be showcased. Contact Local Exhibitors Chair Dermid O'Farrell via email. For more information see the flyer.

In addition to the business opportunities, there are many ways individuals can get involved and show their support. The Volunteer Committee has recruited 450 people but will need about 1,200. There are many areas that still require assistance and the use of your time may not be required until several weeks before the event. Organizers need boots on the ground as the 5-day event covers a couple hundred acres. There is a need for every skill set and helping hand available.

"We are sure the event will be incredibly memorable and what better way to remember than to be a part of it," said Cathy Sheppard, joint volunteer coordinator with Doreen O'Sullivan. Sign up today to become a volunteer or get in touch with volunteer organizers via email.

A list of committee chairs is also available. For more general information, visit the website or send an email.
eNews Survey
Tell Us Your Opinion

The Leeds Grenville biweekly eNews will soon be turning eight. So, on the occasion of the upcoming anniversary, we thought a refresh may be in order. What do you think? Let us know by filling out our quick survey.

Our top feature is the Business Profile, which lets people know more about our many small-, medium- and large-sized businesses. Since 2014, more than 185 businesses have been featured so far as well as business news, announcements, employment and funding opportunities, events and workshops.

Let us know your thoughts and opinions so that we can better serve the needs of our business community. The survey will be open until Monday, April 11th at 4 p.m.
Funding Opportunities
Business Technology Grant

Canadian-owned small and medium sized (between 1-499 FTEs) eligible enterprises can apply for a grant that covers up to 90% of eligible costs towards a digital advisor to develop a digital adoption plan up to a maximum grant value of $15,000. Applicants must complete a free Digital Needs Assessment survey. Eligible grant recipients will work with a Digital Advisor that is registered with the program to produce a Digital Adoption Plan customized to the business.

To implement adoption plans, SME businesses can apply for a 0% interest loan, up to $100,000 from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to acquire new technology. As part of the implementation, eligible SMEs must provide youth work placement and can apply for wage subsidies of up to $7,300.

See the Program Guide for detailed information and apply to Boost Your Business Technology.
Grow Your Business Online - Coming Soon

The recently announced Grow Your Business Online will soon be accepting applications for the grant. Eligible small businesses can access up to $2,400 to help with the costs related to adopting digital technologies.

The program is expected to open for intake sometime this month. Businesses can watch for the formal program opening in upcoming eNews editions or sign up here for more information Digital Main Street or the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. For businesses located in Gananoque, contact the Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
Ontario Expanding Economic Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

The Ontario government is investing $5 million over two years in a targeted program to help Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs start or grow their business. The Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) Grant Program helps to remove economic barriers by providing funding, training, and culturally-relevant services to entrepreneurs.

  • To be eligible for the grant, businesses must be registered / incorporated and based in Ontario and be owned by people who self-identify as Indigenous, Black or racialized.
  • Applications and more details are available on the R.A.I.S.E. webpage.

The government recently announced $14 million in additional funding for the Black Youth Action Plan to help community organizations and Black-led businesses create local projects that provide the skills youth need to find jobs in high-growth sectors.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Building a Lead Magnet: How to grow your audience and your business

The speaker is Mickey Anderson, a business strategist, StoryBrand certified conversion copywriter and DigitalMarketer certified partner. Without a steady stream of qualified leads, your business will struggle to generate consistent revenue. You know you need to grow your audience, but how do you turn followers into loyal customers? In this workshop, you’ll learn how to create a lead magnet that grows your audience, qualifies your leads, and increases sales. You’ll leave with a strategic plan to turn followers into loyal customers. The session is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26, 10-11 a.m.
COST: Free
Getting the Most out of Canva: Making Custom, Beautiful Graphics

Always wondered how some businesses create custom content across all their social media? They might be using Canva! Join speaker Jennifer Baker Consulting for Part 2 of a 3-part series. You do not have to attend all 3 sessions. This webinar will guide participants through the creation of custom graphics and images for use on Facebook, Instagram, and Stories. Participants will learn how to efficiently search for images – and how to customize images through effects, filters, frames and cropping. Adding and customizing Canva ‘elements’ will also be discussed. This webinar is sure to improve your efficiency on this impressive online graphic design program! The session is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 3, 9-10 a.m.
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 April 19th edition should be received by Monday, April 11th.
  • Submissions for the May 3rd edition should be received by Monday, April 25th.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca