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COVID-19 Business Support
Stage 3 of Ontario Reopening Framework
On Friday, July 17 at 12:01 a.m., Leeds Grenville will be moving into Stage 3 of recovery that will see nearly all businesses and public spaces permitted to reopen subject to ensuring health and safety guidelines are maintained, along with Health Unit requirements. 

Social circles continue to be maintained at 10 people regardless of stage, while new gathering limits have extended to a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. In both situations physical distancing of two metres or more is to be maintained outside of your social circle. When hosting an indoor or outdoor event, it is subject gathering limits and physical distancing. People at their place of work, including performers and crew, do not count towards the gathering limits. Additional gathering information under Stage 3.

Businesses unable to open or facing significant difficulties in operating under Stage 3 are invited to work with the province with a reopening plan . In addition, MPP Steve Clark’s office is available to assist and can be reached by email or by calling 613-342-9522 or 1-800-267-4408.

Post Signage from Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
The Health Unit is providing businesses with signage to assist in communicating health and safety measures being taken. If you require printing assistance please email.

Financial Support Programs
Counties Economic Development Office is encouraging eligible businesses to take advantage of these funding opportunities. Staff are available to assist in helping you navigate the various financial supports, pleas e email or call 613-342-3840 ext. 5365.

Grenville CFDC is still accepting Regional Relief and Recovery Funding applications from qualifying businesses in their geographical area. The program provides up to $40,000 in a conditionally repayable loan (interest free, 25% forgiveness available provided 75% of original loan amount is paid by December 31, 2022).

Digital Main Street provides two programs that are currently open. ShopHERE is open to independent small businesses, non-profit organizations and artists with an easy and no-cost way to get selling online right away.  Digital Transformation Grant Program assists main street small businesses with their adoption of technologies through training, advisory support and an increase in their digital transformation.

Additional Financial Support programs are available on the COVID-19 webpage.
Economic Development eNews | July 14, 2020
Local Businesses and COVID-19
Top feature photo: Joanne Beckstead, son Luke and new puppy Carlie of Tropical Pools.
Above photos: Green Things Landscaping's Jesse Perrin, left, and Wally Earl with a new front step installation. Below: One of their walkway interlocking stone installations.
Above photo: Joanne Bulsara of Rideau Valley Landscaping and Supplies near Portland in her landscaping material supply yard.
Pool installers, landscapers, renovators say business is brisk
A positive outcome of staying home and staying safe during the pandemic is many people are beautifying their homes and outdoor living spaces.

Area landscapers, pool and spa installers, fencing and general contractors are reporting higher than usual requests for quotes and home improvement work. There is no shortage of business as people seek to enjoy their home surroundings. The only drawbacks can sometimes be the availability of materials and labour.

"I've had people calling from as far away as Toronto asking for pool installations because they can't get anyone in their own area," says Joanne Beckstead, owner of Tropical Pools and Spas in Prescott, a 20-year-old family business.

"I believe above ground pools are sold out everywhere," says Joanne. Her business saw a sharp uptake in demand in early June and it hasn't stopped since. On top of the pandemic, the heat wave means requests for pools and spas have gone through the roof. The wait time for spas and hot tubs has doubled.

"Once people realized this would be the case for the summer - staying home - everyone wanted something in their backyard," she says. Some people have already booked for next spring just to be in the queue.

"I think everyone in the service industry is seeing this because there is so much pent up demand for everything. We don't want to disappoint anyone and people have been very understanding, but it is hard to keep up," adds Joanne.

Jesse Perrin and Wally Earl of Green Things Landscaping agree. They've been busy right out of the gate but getting product isn't always easy. In the early days of the outbreak, product manufacturers were closed and some still may be operating at half of the staffing level. That is affecting availability now. "If it's a popular product you're likely not going to be able to get it," says Jesse.

Jesse has also started a new business this year called Mosquito Buzz, providing residential, commercial and cottage mosquito and tick control. He thought it would take some time to build the business but quickly realized that would not be the case.

"I started off the season with minimum staff and very quickly realized that we were selling like crazy and wouldn’t be able to service all the customers quick enough so I hired 4 people in one week," says Jesse.

Gerry Blain, owner of Juggernaut Fencing , says 2019 was his best year in all his years in business. He initially thought the pandemic would mean it wouldn't be repeated. That hasn't been the case. "I'm booked until November and this year is definitely matching last year," says Gerry.

Joanne Bulsara of Rideau Valley Landscaping and Supplies near Portland, is seeing the trend from all sides - increased sales to both do-it-yourselfers and contractors. Sales of landscape materials, including stone, are way up.

"The quarries we work with are having a hard time keeping up with demand. I've never seen anything like it," she says, echoing other people in the home improvement service sector.

If you're looking for a Leeds Grenville business providing home improvement services, renovations and installations, visit our Business Directory .
Funding Announcement
Leeds Grenville Warden Pat Sayeau at the podium during the announcement on July 3rd. Also shown are North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford, MPP Steve Clark and MP Michael Barrett.
County Road 43 Expansion Announced for North Grenville

KEMPTVILLE - A ll of the funding is now in place for the $9.9-million County Road 43 expansion in North Grenville.
 
The final piece of the funding was announced earlier this month by the federal government after the province nominated the project last year under the Rural and Northern Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program and committed its $3.3-million share.
 
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark, who made the announcement on behalf of Ontario Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott, was joined by Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Michael Barrett, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Warden Pat Sayeau and North Grenville Mayor Nancy Peckford.
 
“I’m thrilled we’re now at the point we can get shovels in the ground to make it a reality,” said Clark. “The residents of North Grenville made it clear that this project was their priority and I’m proud to help deliver it because I know it’s going to improve public safety, create jobs and strengthen our local economy.”
 
Clark noted County Road 43’s $9.9 million cost represents more than half of the $19.75-million bundle of five Eastern Ontario projects that received federal approval this week. “In fact, we can take pride in Leeds Grenville that this is the largest project in Ontario approved under the Rural and Northern Stream,” said Clark.
 
“County Road 43 is a critical piece of Leeds Grenville’s transportation infrastructure," said Warden Pat Sayeau. The four-laning project will ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods and residents into and through Kemptville," he said.

“This investment by all levels of government will result in the continued economic growth in Leeds Grenville and represents the largest ever capital infrastructure investment by the Counties. We are happy to have the Government of Ontario as a key partner," the Warden said.

“County Road 43 runs through the heart of Kemptville and serves as a major regional route in Eastern Ontario,” said Mayor Peckford. “On behalf of residents and businesses in North Grenville, we are thrilled to move this important project forward with crucial contributions from both the provincial and federal governments."

To learn more, see the North Grenville Media Release.
Economic Development Summit
Save the Date for the 2020 Summit

The 12 th annual Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit will continue as scheduled for Friday, November 20, 2020 under a new virtual hybrid format. 

In partnership with MP Michael Barrett, MPP Steve Clark, the Eastern Regional Workforce Innovation Board and the 1000 Islands, Grenville and Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporations please hold the date as committee members develop a program that will continue to engage the region while maintaining safety for all based on health guidelines.

Registration will open in September. The 2019 Summit presentations and video coverage are available online. Visit the Summit 2020 webpage.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Service Canada Webinars: COVID-19 Support for Workers, Employers and Service Delivery Partners

  1. COVID-19 Support for Workers: Review types of Employment Insurance benefits, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the actions required for maintaining benefits, earnings while on claim and resources to support return to work endeavours. WHEN: Thursdays, July 16, July 23 and July 30.
  2. COVID-19 Support for Employers and Service Delivery Partners. This webinar provides an overview of the work-sharing agreement, special measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, financial support for your employees or clients. WHEN: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. July 21 and July 28

Sessions are in collaboration with Employment Ontario and the Canada Revenue Agency. Webinars using WebEx, audio via phone. To register you must send a prefilled email. See our Workshops and Seminars page for information.

COST: Free
Maximizing Your Online Advertising & Digital Marketing Budget

You don't need a big budget to get noticed on the web - you just need creativity! Savvy businesses are using bootstrap digital marketing techniques to amplify their message online. In this hands-on workshop, you'll learn the tricks and tools needed to market your business effectively on a shoestring budget. This webinar is hosted by Digital Main Street.
You’ll learn:
  • How to create a basic online marketing strategy and measurement plan that fits for your business size and goals.
  • Why email marketing can be a powerful and cost-effective way to grow your business.
  • How to get people to sign up for an email list while following best practices and the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation.
  • How to take advantage of influencer marketing, affiliate marketing and other ways to generate word-of-mouth.
  • How to advertise cost-effectively through Google ads, Facebook ads and other ad networks.
  • What free or low-cost graphic design tools to use to create eye-catching online ads.

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, July 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
COST: Free for main street small businesses in Ontario.

BDC Chief Economist, experts discuss the importance of digital tools and technology

Entrepreneurs who use digital tools and technology typically enjoy higher profits and better productivity. Join experts for a live webinar, where they will offer practical advice on how to execute tech investments that will help make your operations more efficient, agile and profitable. BDC Chief Economist Pierre Cléroux will also provide an economic update and talk about the importance of adopting digital tools. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

You will discover:
  • How the right digital tools can help solve your operational pain points
  • Two foundational tech solutions to make your business leaner and more agile
  • An easy three-step method for selecting the best systems for your business
  • An update on the economic situation as the pandemic evolves

WHEN: Wednesday, July 15, 3-3:45 p.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 July 28th edition should be received by Monday, July 20th.
  • Submissions for the August 11th edition should be received by Friday, July 31st.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 |  econdev@uclg.on.ca