Economic Development eNews | July 31, 2018
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Sidney and JoAnne Sytsma in their newly renovated shop.
Alicia Lafortune at the deli counter.
New grocery opens on Main Street in Athens
ATHENS - Find what you're looking for at The Village Store.

That is what shop owners JoAnne and Sidney Sytsma are striving for. Since opening in June, close attention has been paid to what customers and cottagers want so that they get what they need and don't have to drive to larger centres.

"I hear it every day how they're glad to have an option," says JoAnne. "Sales are better than we hoped - there is more of a need than we realized."

The new shop is bright and spacious with aisles of grocery items, large banks of new freezers and a big checkout counter.

"Products are moving off the shelves quicker than we expected," says Sidney. "Customers really like the fresh produce, sandwiches, deli, baked goods, fresh meat and the full line of grocery products.

"They can plan an entire meal or weekend of meals off our counters," Sidney adds. Many customers live around Charleston Lake. "Cottagers don't like to leave the lake for long so they like a one-stop shop," he says.

The Sytsmas are new to the grocery and convenience store business but not the community, which is why they also sell products made and grown by other village vendors and area producers.

"We try to compliment what each other does," says JoAnne, adding there is an emphasis on promoting all of downtown.

The store is located in a landmark building which the couple has completely renovated. The 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation assisted them in getting funding for the rehabilitation of the exterior facade. It has been good for downtown revitalization, says JoAnne.

Adding to the level of convenience are their store hours from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Learn more about The Village Store by visiting them at 23 Main Street East in Athens, liking their Facebook page or giving them a call at 613-499-9324.
Celebrating Business
Elizabethtown-Kitley seeks
Business of the Year nominees
The Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley Economic Development Committee is calling for nominations for their Business of the Year Award. The award recognizes the contributions of local business to the township. The award will be presented at a luncheon this fall.

Deadline: Monday, August 6th

Learn more about how to nominate a business on the Township website Business of the Year page. It is quick and easy. If you have any questions, contact Alison Merkley or Laura Stanzel at 613-345-7480 or send them an email.
Taken a great shot lately?
Willing to model for us?
The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is developing new promotional materials to showcase life, leisure and iconic scenery in the United Counties.

We're looking for:

  1. Photos of outdoor activity and sports, cottage/lake life, being on the water and landmarks taken within our boundaries.
  2. Models willing to volunteer their time for images we are taking in Leeds Grenville over the next few months.

If you can help, please email us or call Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360.
Input sought for Eastern Ontario business strategy
If you are a business, industry or economic development stakeholder in Eastern Ontario, your help is needed.

You can provide your input via an online survey created by the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council. Feedback is key to the ongoing review and refresh of the Eastern Ontario Economic Development Strategy, initially published in 2014.

Elected officials, municipal CAOs, EDOs, department staff, regional economic development partners and organizations, chambers of commerce, board members, CFDCs, and all others operating in the field of economic development throughout the area are being asked to complete the survey. See the full release on our Media Releases page.
Workshops and Seminars
Doing Business with the Federal Government and the United Counties
Interested in Doing Business with Government? Here's your chance to learn how. The Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre is hosting a seminar in conjunction with the Employment and Education Centre. You will learn how to do business with the Government of Canada and the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, including a summary of their procurement policies and use of Bids & Tenders for online procurement.

WHEN: Thursday, August 16, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
WHERE: Employment and Education Centre, 100 Strowger Boulevard, Brockville
COST: Free
Learn more or how to register on our Workshops and Seminars page.
United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Economic Development Office
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 |