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Economic Development eNews | December 15, 2020
Business Profile
Above feature photo: Shop owners Luc Vincent, left, and Scott Godwin say strong community support has made a difference since the pandemic struck.
Above photos from top: Festive coffees, the new storefront, gingerbread cookies and one of three seating areas.
Bubba & Bugs Coffee Bar
is heartwarming destination
KEMPTVILLE - They say timing is everything.

In the case of Bubba and Bugs Coffee Bar, formerly Geronimo's in the heart of downtown Kemptville, the change of ownership timing couldn't have been worse - March 2020 when COVID-19 first hit Ontario.

"We started here that month to shadow the former owners," new co-owner Luc Vincent recalls. Luc (Bugs) and his partner Scott Godwin (Bubba) were fledgling business owners suddenly facing a potential nosedive in income due to a pandemic closure.

"Everything happened very fast - overnight - and we proactively shut down," Luc says, adding it was hard to know how to move forward.

"But we didn't come here to be defeated," says Scott.

"We always daydreamed about this," says Scott of their having a quaint coffee shop in a spacious heritage building, complete with curios and artwork on the walls. They admit they weren't exactly sure what they were getting into but no one, not even seasoned entrepreneurs, could know what a world pandemic could do.

They were shut down for five weeks. Rather than sit there scared, they used that time to "get their business ducks in a row," they say. The plan worked.

By mid-April when they could re-open, they were ready with new menu items for take-out. Patio and limited indoor seating began in July. "It was the best. The support from the community was overwhelming - and that's an understatement - we had to really dive in deep," says Scott.

They changed up their baking and started offering other new things while maintaining quality and freshness. They offered scones for Mother's Day, for example, special Halloween items and rainbow bread sandwiches for Gay Pride. People rave about their specialty and seasonal coffees, smoothies and teas. TripAdvisor ratings are near perfect.

"This is part of where we wanted to be and it's better than we anticipated," says Luc.

"It feels like ours now and feels natural, even with COVID. Maybe even more so with COVID. We've built strong relationships," says Scott.

"There are some awesome people who come through here. Many say thank you to us for being here and part of their 'normal' day," Scott adds. That's a great reward for following a dream in some very trying times.

Bubba and Bugs is located at 146 Prescott Street in Old Town Kemptville. You can give them a call at 613-258-2782. Visit their inspirational Facebook page for more information about their various specialty coffees and teas, sandwiches and treats. Watch their new video. They are closed Mondays.
COVID-19 Business Update
Leeds Grenville Moved to Yellow - Protect Level

On Monday, December 14, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health region moved to Yellow – Protect Level. This means additional measures including limited hours of operation for certain settings, limits on hours for sale of food and beverages at establishments, limits on the number of individuals permitted in certain settings, and a formalized Workplace Safety Plan for many businesses and organizations.
In order to assist in navigating the levels, horizontal charts for each grouping have been created to easily see the changes required:
Additional information and tips, such as food servers who work within 2m of unmasked people are now required to wear PPE that includes a surgical / medical mask and eye protection, can be found on the Health Unit’s Facebook page.
Continue to follow www.investleedsgrenville.com/covid19 for the latest information on financial support, health and safety, surveys along with the business news on COVID-19.
For business assistance call 613-342-3840 ext. 5365 or email.
Digital Main Street
LaVerne's Fantastic Finds owner LaVerne Murphy, left, is working with Digital Service Squad member Rebecca Bredin, right.
Digital Main Street Program Active
in Leeds Grenville communities

Digital Service Squads working throughout Leeds Grenville have contacted over 450 businesses and are assisting many with their online needs.

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada, nearly 85% of Canadians were already buying online before the pandemic and 8 out of 10 Canadians who made an online purchase for the first time during the pandemic intend to continue shopping online after the crisis.

Would you like to start an online presence or improve your online presence? There are five Digital Service Squads (DSS) working throughout Leeds Grenville assisting businesses with their online presence and the assistance is FREE.

Until February 12, 2021, DSS members can help with assessing your online presence, introducing online training modules and providing one-on-one support for basic website set-up, Google My Business profiles, 360-degree photos, digital storefront set-up and a social media presence. Assistance is just an email or phone call away.

Business owner LaVerne Murphy, of LaVerne's Fantastic Finds, is working with Leeds Grenville Digital Service Squad member Rebecca Bredin. LaVerne opened her shop at 230 Lawrence Street in the Larkspur Country Mall in Merrickville last month.

"I made the bold decision to open a business during a global pandemic and I knew I needed an online presence," says LaVerne. "Digital Main Street has made the process easy to navigate."

All communities in the Leeds Grenville region are now being served by a Digital Service Squad. To find how to reach the Service Squad that is working in your area, visit our Website, contact econdev@uclg.on.ca or call 613-342-3840, ext. 5361. 

The deadline for the Digital Transformation Grant has been extended to Thursday, December 31, 2020, or when all available funds have been awarded prior to this date. The $2,500 grant may be used for digital marketing, website development, ad plug-ins, training, purchase of software and certain hardware.
Economic Development Summit
Economic Development Summit Videos now on YouTube

The 12th annual Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit held virtually on November 20th is now available on our YouTube Channel.

If you missed joining us on the day, you can now check out the morning session:
  • Welcome and introductions
  • Keynote addresses by the Honourable Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Chief Economist and Vice-President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Minister Fedeli outlined the province's navigation of the pandemic and its ongoing plans for growth and renewal. Dr. Stratton gave a global and national snapshot of the economy and what the economic recovery will look like.
  • Bill Thake Memorial Award for Leadership: Video of nominees Karen Bedard, Janet Campbell, and Wendy Merkley, followed by a live announcement of the winners.
  • Presentation by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network's Lisa Severson and Jim Pine.
  • Presentation by Leeds Grenville Economic Development Manager Ann Weir.

The afternoon chat room sessions on Regional Priorities are also available.

Thank you to the more than 250 people who viewed the summit via live webcast. Mark your calendars for next year's event set for Friday, November 19, 2021. Visit our Summit 2020 webpage.

Workforce Development
Manufacturing Workforce Recruitment and Training Support Available

The Pathways to Production program is continuing to support small and large local manufacturers with newly-trained and supported employees.

The program provides industry-endorsed, pre-employment skills and industry certifications which include:
  • 4 weeks in-class training
  • Participant job coaching and support plus job maintenance support by one of the region's employment agencies - EEC, CSE or KEYS
  • Work placement that can convert into full-time employment opportunities

Sessions dates:
Prescott / Kemptville: January 11 to February 22.
Gananoque: February 22 to March 19.
Brockville: April 12 to May 7.
Prescott / Kemptville: May 24 to June 18.

Interested manufacturing businesses who require additional workforce are asked to please contact
Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager, at 613-342-3840, ext. 5365 or email.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Digital Marketing Skills for Success

In this era, digital marketing skills are an essential tool for business owners. With so many social media channels and online marketing software to choose from, which are the best options for your business?
In this 90-minute webinar with Jennifer Baker Consulting, you will have the opportunity to reflect on your existing digital marketing strategies with the goal of refining your digital marketing presence.
Discussion will focus on social media channels, engagement strategies, and the importance of email marketing. This webinar is brought to you by Queen's Partnerships and Innovation, WE-CAN and FedDev.
The WE-CAN project's mission is to inspire and empower existing and aspiring women entrepreneurs. It is led by Queen's University and supported by the Government of Canada.

WHEN: Thursday, January 14, 10-11:30 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 December 29th edition should be received by Friday, December 18th.
  • Submissions for the January 12th edition should be received by Monday, January 4th, 2021.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca