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Economic Development eNews | February 7, 2023

Business Profile

Life-saving Training and Equipment for Your Business

JOHNSTOWN - Health and Safety specialist Kevin Spencer strives to make training and equipment easily available and accessible for all businesses.

KC Spencer & Associates Ltd., and its retail branch CPR Gear, is a two-pronged business designed to help agencies and businesses get what they need to create healthy and safe workplaces.

"It's about protecting your greatest assets - your workers," says Kevin, noting that acquiring the knowledge and the tools can be a simple and enjoyable process.

"We try to take the complexity out of health and safety and do our best to have employers see it as second nature within their business," says Kevin.

His company was launched in 2016 and offers Red Cross training partner courses, including Emergency First Aid with CPR and AED (defibrillators) training, Marine Basic First Aid (with CPR and AED), Basic Life Support with O2 Administration and / or airway management and opioid awareness to both individuals and groups.

A wide range of Health and Safety courses are available, from accident investigation to violence prevention. Services include audit preparation, safety policy support, safety coordination and risk assessment.

Kevin and his team of three instructors also offer emergency planning courses and services - Emergency Management Ontario (EMO) Basic Emergency and Incident Management systems, to name a few.

"We work with small and medium-sized businesses, as well as municipal, provincial and federal governments and agencies," says Kevin. One of their larger clients is Burnbrae Farms. They work closely with area training boards, CSE Consulting Prescott as well as Second Careers with St. Lawrence College.

"It's good to know we're helping people to be comfortable helping others, and possibly saving lives," he says. Kevin has been involved in First Aid training for more than 24 years and he has a background in health and safety coordination.

The CPR Gear retail branch has available an extensive list of occupational health and safety gear, emergency medical supplies, kits and backpacks, as well as life-saving equipment.

KC Spencer & Associates has a new training centre and warehouse at 29 Newport Drive in Johnstown. Learn more about this local company by visiting the website, their Training and CPR Gear Facebook pages, Twitter, call 613-345-7587 or send Kevin an email.

Top feature photo: Kevin Spencer in his Johnstown Training Centre. His business provides training and health and safety product sales.

Above photos from top to bottom: First Aid kits; a CPR wrap and dummy to allow touch-free mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and chest compressions; Ventolin and asthma response training inhalers, a Heart Start trainer, waterproof reusable splint and a Naloxone Nasal Inhaler in the foreground.

Planning Studies and Reviews Impacting the Region

Highway 401 Planning Study, Brockville

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. to undertake a Planning, Preliminary Design, and Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) Study for Highway 401 from 2 km west of Stewart Boulevard to 750 m east of North Augusta Road (about 4.5 km), within the City of Brockville. The study will develop a plan for the rehabilitation and/or replacement of five (5) structures, determine the long-term plans for the Stewart Boulevard and North Augusta Road interchanges, and will establish the future footprint for interim six lanes and ultimate eight lanes of Highway 401. 

Interested individuals are encouraged to participate in the study and provide comments to the study team. If you wish to have your name added to the mailing list, have any comments, questions or concerns, please visit the website Highway 401 Brockville that includes study information including notices, background and PIC materials or contact Gregg Cooke, Stantec Consulting, T: 289-439-9630 / David Brake, Ministry of Transportation, T: 613-893-3031 or 1-800-267-0295.

Email [email protected]

Leeds Grenville Agriculture Area Land Review

A friendly reminder, the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Agriculture Area Review is underway. The study goal is to review all rural and agricultural lands in the Counties to confirm what lands should be reflected as agriculture. It is the intent that identified agricultural lands will be appropriately protected. Development will continue to be directed to settlement areas, while limited locally appropriate development will be permitted on rural lands. 

For more information or to subscribe for updates visit the website www.leedsgrenville.com/agriculture

Digital Services

Grants for Small and Medium Businesses


Digital grants remain a valuable opportunity for Leeds Grenville businesses. Local Digital Specialists are available for free to help businesses identify and provide support in completing grant applications as well as assist with digital audits and transformation plans that will advance your digital online presence and tools.


Digital Transformation Grant

Provides a free assessment, online training and a $2,500 grant to implement a digital transformation plan.

Eligibility Criteria (in brief):

  • A permanent 'brick-and-mortar' establishment, not home-based
  • Employs 1-50 employees
  • Pays commercial property tax either directly or through commercial rent
  • Open to the general public for business and operating at the time of application

The grant is available until fully subscribed or September 30th, whichever comes first. For full program details visit the Digital Main Street portal.

Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)

The program provides two streams of funding- pending upon eligibility criteria, you may qualify for both. A CDAP grant advisor will be assigned for you to work with directly. These funds are available until March of 2025.


Stream 1: Grow Your Business Online-up to $2400 Micro-grant 

Eligibility Criteria (in brief):

  • A for-profit business that is registered or incorporated
  • Consumer-facing business or provides in-person services to consumers
  • Has at least one employee (other than the owner) OR has at least $30,000 in annual revenue in the most recent tax year.

For full program and eligibility details visit the Digital Main Street portal.


Stream 2: Boost Your Business Technology- up to $15,000 Grant

Eligibility Criteria (in brief):

  • Incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
  • A for-profit, privately owned business
  • Has between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
  • Has at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years

For full program and eligibility details, visit the Government of Canada portal.

Digitalization Competence Centre Grants (DCC) *NEW*

These grants are focused on accelerating and supporting the digital modernization of Ontario Small and Medium Enterprises by supporting them to adapt and thrive from digital evolution. A grant advisor will be assigned for you to work with them directly.


Stream 1: Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan- up to $15,00 Grant

Eligibility Criteria (in brief):

  • Incorporated federally or provincially with a valid Business Number
  • A for-profit, privately owned business
  • Has between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
  • Has a permanent establishment in Ontario
  • Must NOT be engaged in consumer facing retail or e-commerce operations

For full program and eligibility details, visit the Ontario Centre for Innovation website.


Stream 2: Technology Demonstration Program- up to $150,000 Grant

Eligibility Criteria (in brief)

  • Must have completed Digital Modernization and Adoption Plan Program
  • Has at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years

For full program and eligibility details, visit the Ontario Centre for Innovation website.

Let us help you find the right programs for your business. Visit the Leeds Grenville website, book a free consultation, call 613-342-3840 x 5368 or email Cyndy Bolton.

Connect with us now

Upcoming Event

Top Entrepreneur at Women's Day Event

The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #EmbraceEquity with a celebration of entrepreneurship and diversity in the Leeds Grenville community.

The popular semi-formal event will feature the Brockville Women in Business Showcase, the Lifetime Achievement Award, dinner by Brockberry Cafe, door prizes, gifts and more.

Keynote speaker Karla Briones will share her immigration story and entrepreneurial journey. Karla is an amazing example of the passion behind every small business. She is proudly a Mexican-Canadian serial entrepreneur with retail, food and online businesses, including Global Pet Foods and Freshii. She is founder of KB Consulting, a business consulting and network agency for immigrant BIPOC and under-represented entrepreneurs.

In 2021 she launched the Immigrants Developing Entrepreneurs Academy (IDEA) – an online platform designed to educate and connect newcomers to the Canadian business ecosystem. Karla is also a business strategist, coach and an independent business advisor at Invest Ottawa. She is a Nation’s Capital Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient, Top 25 Immigrant winner in the Entrepreneurship category by Canadian Immigrant Magazine, and a TEDx Speaker on the topic of immigrant entrepreneurship.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 8, 4-9 p.m. (Showcase 4-6 p.m.)

WHERE: Brockville Memorial Centre, 100 Magedoma Boulevard

COST: $99

For more information email i[email protected].

Learn more or register
Showcase table rentals

Business Awards

Nominations open for Rideau Lakes Business Recognition Program

The Township of Rideau Lakes is seeking nominations for the 2022 Business Recognition Awards. Each year, the Township calls for nominations of businesses located in Rideau Lakes as a way to recognize and celebrate the hard-working business owners and entrepreneurs that provide employment and services in their communities.

The application is simple to complete and staff can provide assistance. Learn more by contacting Economic Development & Cultural Heritage Coordinator Marie White via email.


  • Business of the Year Award,
  • Business Innovation Award,
  • Young Entrepreneur (under 35) Award.

Winners will be celebrated at the Business Awards Breakfast, scheduled to take place on Friday, April 14, 2023 at the Newboro Community Hall.

NOMINATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 3. Place your nomination online at rideaulakes.ca

Nomination form
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library

Cyber Crime Awareness Webinar

Cyber crimes are on the rise and can affect the daily operations of a retail store. Being Cybersecurity aware involves being mindful of cybersecurity in the day-to-day running of retail operations. Being aware of the dangers of browsing the web, payment processing, checking email and interacting online are all components of cybersecurity awareness. As retail leaders, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all your employees consider cybersecurity to be an essential part of their role. This webinar is through the Retail CyberSecure program, an effort of the Retail Council of Canada, IT and loss prevention professionals, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ontario Government's Ministry of the Solicitor General.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8, 1 p.m. via Zoom

COST: Free

Learn more or register

ExportON!: New Exporters to Border States (NEBS) U.S.

The Government of Ontario, in collaboration with the Trade Commissioner Service, is hosting a webinar program and will present on the following topics: U.S. immigration and business visa requirements, Federal and state tax liability issues, Currency exchange strategies, Corporate and legal considerations; and U.S. Customs clearance documentation requirements.

Register by: February 6th. If you have any questions please contact @Vargas, Rafael (MEDJCT).

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

COST: Free

To register

ExportON!: Exporting to Europe

The Ontario Government is presenting this webinar to highlight trade opportunities with Europe in key emerging sectors and to help you develop an effective market entry strategy. In this webinar you will learn about: major highlights in the free trade agreement between Canada and the EU (CETA), opportunities within major markets, with a focus on France, the UK and Germany, sector opportunities for exporting, specifically in Clean Technologies, Information & Communications Technologies and the Automotive supply chain. We will also cover best practices for accessing and doing business in the UK and EU markets. Register by: February 8th. If you have any questions please contact @Karpenko, Steven (MEDJCT).

WHEN: Thursday, February 9, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon

COST: Free

To register

Which Social Media Platforms are Best for Your Business

Join RTO 9 and digital marketing specialists Sean Rucko and Brian O'Grady from Search Warrant to cut to the chase with data that will help you zero in on your target market by showcasing the top social media platforms by users, demographics of social media platform users, top social media platforms by industry, and more.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 14, 11 a.m. - 12 noon Webinar

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Hiring Immigrants: Free Online Series for Employers

Are you struggling to find staff? Do you want to diversify your workforce, or are you interested in making international connections? Then check out the free training series focused on the needs of Leeds Grenville employers and hosted by the St. Lawrence-Rideau Immigration Partnership. Each session focuses on a different topic and you can register for as many or as few of the sessions as you would like.

Developing Culturally Competent Interviewing Skills to Attract Talent

WHEN: Thursday, February 16, 10-11 a.m.

Building a Culture of Belonging

WHEN: Thursday, February 23, 9-11 a.m.

Learn more or register

ExportON!: Do's and Don'ts when crossing the U.S. border

Ontario, in partnership with the United States Customs and Border Protection Agency, invites Ontario SMEs for a free one-hour webinar about the “Do’s and Don’ts” that must be observed if you are going to successfully move your goods across the border. Participants will have an opportunity to hear first-hand from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency officer, who will provide Ontario companies with important information on what is mandatory when shipping products to the United States. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of the documentation required to move goods to the U.S.

Register by: February 20th. If you have any questions please contact @Vargas, Rafael (MEDJCT).

WHEN: Wednesday, February 22, 10-11 a.m.

COST: Free

Learn more or register

Leeds Grenville Small Business Centre Business Marketing Workshops

Get help with using free apps and tools, building your brand and online marketing with this trio of webinars.

Free Apps & Tools For Your Business: Speaker Adam Gibeau, of Digital Dorsal, leads this webinar. Adam will cover a variety of different app stacks that you as a business owner will want to have in your tool belt. With a live demonstration, and a list of powerful tools that can save you lots of headaches, you won’t want to miss this presentation!

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8, 1-2:30 p.m. Online via Zoom

COST: $29

How to Build a Strong Brand: Brand Strategy, Messaging, and Design for Entrepreneurs: Ryan Gencarelli, with wild idea co., is the speaker. He will discuss how to build a brand to attract more customers and keep them coming back.

WHEN: Friday, February 24, 1-2:30 p.m.

COST: $29

Three Ways to Level Up Your Online Marketing: Ambitious marketer Lyndsay Bigley, of Lyndsay Bigley Consulting, leads this workshop to enhance your digital presence, build relationships online, and expand your reach. This workshop will cover short-form video on social media, email marketing, and website updates.

WHEN: Friday, March 24, 12 noon to 1 p.m.

COST: $29

To register

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 February 21st edition should be received by Monday, February 13th.
  • Submissions for the March 7th edition should be received by Monday, February 27th.
Ann Weir
Economic Development Manager
Deanna Clark
Economic Development Officer
Joanne Poll
Administration / Communications Support
Shelbi McFarlane
Business Development Officer

32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | [email protected]