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Economic Development eNews | December 4, 2018
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Pam and Dave Van Stralen in their warehouse on Hands Road near Domville.
Photos from top to bottom: Shenda Harrison with a tray of crochet hooks, Kent Wilson in the production room and Jess Grant at the joiner machine. Below, the entire team in the needle production area.
Expansion plans
in store for local
needle manufacturer
DOMVILLE - North America's only metal knitting needle manufacturer - located right here in Leeds Grenville - is expanding its operations.

DVS Manufacturing Inc. and Louet North America owners Dave and Pam Van Stralen manufacture and sell their products around the world, including the popular DVS's Square TM ergonomic knitting needles and crochet hooks.

"Our expansion options are limitless," says Dave, noting 95% of their products are sold in North America. The needle arts are a $2.5-billion business in the US alone. DVS also has customers in Japan, Spain, Russia, Austria and New Zealand.

"We're growing and have some new patented products we're very excited about," says Dave. The two companies employ 11 but could triple staffing while expanding their product lines.

Already selling to 150 independent craft stores, they plan to reach 500 stores over the next three years. "It's a very exciting time for both companies," says Dave.

The multi-generational family business was started by Dave's late mom Trudy. She turned the family's sheep farm into a retail business selling Louet spinning wheels, weaving equipment and manufacturing dyed wools. Trudy also designed 100s of knitting patterns still being sold today through Louet.

One company became two in 2016 when Dave and Pam purchased Kollage Yarns and the American company's needle-making equipment. Their son Brett, a robotics graduate, helped set up the new equipment to launch DVS Manufacturing.

"There are just so many opportunities to grow our business in other markets," says Dave. They have had support in developing their manufacturing operation from Grenville Community Futures Development Corporation and RBC.

Among their many products are Square TM crochet hooks, knitting needles in 11 different sizes and 6 cable lengths. They sell yarn, patterns, spinning wheels and weaving equipment.

Learn more by visiting their website and Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. Send them an email or give them a call at 1-800-897-6444.
Economic Development Office
New member on Economic Development team
Shelbi McFarlane is the newest member of the Leeds Grenville Economic Development team.
Shelbi McFarlane has joined the Leeds Grenville Economic Development team as the Business Development Officer.

Shelbi comes to the United Counties from the Township of Edwardsburgh Cardinal where she spent the last five years as Community Development Coordinator. In that role, Shelbi gained an in-depth understanding of municipal operations, with a focus on economic development, land use planning and community engagement.

"I'm so excited to continue my learning in the other areas of the region and work within the diverse economic environment of the Counties," says Shelbi.

Shelbi attended Carleton University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management degree, specializing in Development Studies. Since graduating, Shelbi has been working toward her Diploma in Municipal Administration through the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario, and an Economic Development certification through the University of Waterloo.
Business Retention and Expansion
Engaging Business
The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office is continuing to work on the largest multi-level Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) program in the region.

The Counties and the communities of Augusta, Merrickville-Wolford and Rideau Lakes have partnered in the project that has staff and volunteers directly connecting with businesses in the region. Nearly 80 of the estimated 300 business surveys have been completed.

Shelbi McFarlane, Business Development Officer, will be focusing her energy on the program with support from Samantha Kinsella, who is taking the Office Administration program at St. Lawrence College, along with the rest of the Economic Development staff team.

“The BR+E program interviews have been going exceedingly well. Building relationships with the local businesses in the region has allowed us to address immediate concerns and support expansion opportunities,” says Ann Weir, Manager of the Counties Economic Development Office. The information gathered during the interviews will be aggregated to help build future economic development strategies and activities for the Counties and its partner program communities.

The Economic Development staff will be reconnecting with volunteers, and in the upcoming weeks connecting with some of the region’s businesses. If you are a business interested in being part of the Counties BR+E program, please call Shelbi McFarlane at 613-342-3840 ext. 5361 or email shelbi.mcfarlane@uclg.on.ca
Funding Opportunities
Celebrate Ontario applications for festivals and events
Celebrate Ontario supports programming improvements at new and existing festivals and events that attract tourists for longer stays, create great experiences for visitors and support communities across Ontario.

This year there is a new, simplified application form with a streamlined funding formula applicable to all festival and event budgets. Funding support is focused on programming improvements and marketing to tourists.

Contact Tourism Advisor Blair Harris at 613-531-5581 or 1-800-293-7543, ext. 5581 or send him an email .

DEADLINE TO REGISTER: Wednesday, January 9, 2019, 5 p.m. EST

Workshops and Seminars
Let us know if you are hosting a workshop or seminar to benefit local business owners. We will gladly post the events and include links to help people register. Visit our Workshops and Seminars page to learn more.
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office
Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 |  econdev@uclg.on.ca