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COVID-19 Business Support
 Mayors Economic Recovery Alliance
In this unprecedented time, collaboration amongst municipalities is paramount. Mayors of the region’s 13 municipalities within the geographical boundaries of Leeds Grenville have formed the Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes Economic Recovery Alliance to minimize the adverse effect COVID-19 has had on business and redefine the needs to support economic recovery, sustainability and growth. Economic Task Teams will be working through the recovery phases on the following regional recovery priorities:
  • Support for Business Re-openings
  • Small Business Support and Transformation
  • Local Business Marketing and Promotion
  • Tourism
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing / Transportation and Logistics / Warehousing
  • Workforce
  • New Economy Needs, Trends and Opportunities

Support for Business Re-openings
The Task Team focusing on Support for Business Re-openings has now developed signage templates that can be used in your store front to help build consumer awareness of what you doing to protect them. 

The Re-opening Checklist Sign is a fillable Adobe form that you can check off the boxes, add the number of customers and your phone number. This signage was developed along with the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit to comply with provincial guidelines. In addition a sign for Hours of Operation has also been developed for your use as well.

Additional health and safety information along with the local PPE supplier list is available on the Counties dedicated COVID-19 webpage.

Small Business Support and Transformation
The Task Team will be coming together to focus on support for Small Business in their recovery from this crisis and their transformation into the new economy. 

The Ontario government, in partnership with the federal government, has invested $57-million to help businesses create and enhance their online presence. The Digital Main Street platform has three new programs to support business digital transformation – shopHERE powered by Google, Digital Main Street Grant and Future-Proofing Main Street.

Regional Relief and Recovery Funding (RRRF) Still Available!
If you were thinking of applying for the RRRF, don’t wait and apply today - remaining funds now available are limited! This program provides up to a $40,000 conditionally repayable loan (interest free, 25% forgiveness available provided 75% of original loan amount is paid by December 31, 2022).

Visit 1000 Islands CDC and Grenville CFDC for more information.

Additional Notables
  • Subscribe to www.investleedsgrenville.com/covid19 to get the latest updates on Financial Supports, Health and Safety, News, Surveys and available resources
  • Business Assistance is available at 613-342-3840, ext. 5365 or email.
Q&A With Local Businesses: Adapting and Pivoting from a Small Retailer's Perspective
Hear from 6 local retailers about how they are weathering the COVID storm and what they are doing to keep their businesses safe and successful going forward. Be inspired by their stories and innovative business ideas. Hosted by the Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office.

  • The Affinity Gallery - Bruce Perron, Merrickville
  • Echo Clothing Co. - Lynn Libbos, Brockville
  • Mrs. McGarrigle's Fine Food Shop - Janet Campbell, Merrickville
  • Steel Style Garage - Shannon Yates, Gananoque
  • To Be Continued - Shelley Mitchell, Kemptville
  • The Village Store - Joanne Sytsma, Athens
WHEN: Friday, June 19th, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
COST: Free

Register by Thursday, June 18th, at 5 p.m.
Economic Development eNews | June 16, 2020
Local Businesses and COVID-19
Area Farmers' Markets rally
to continue serving customers
Farmers' Markets are coming up with great new ways to ensure their customers are enjoying Local Foods and farm products during the pandemic.

While nothing can replace the friendly vibe of going to an outdoor Farmers' Market and seeing vendors face-to-face, many are adjusting to offer online ordering and safe-distance pick-ups of your favourite farm-fresh items.

"People seem to be responding very well," says Tara Treanor, who has coordinated an online site for the Gananoque Farmers' Market and its vendors from throughout Leeds Grenville. This is their second week with pickups at the Thousand Islands Playhouse. There are about 20 vendors.

"It's not a decision we made lightly but in April we realized it was an issue and we didn't know when we would be able to be back in our regular location in the Town Hall park," she says.

"We had to adapt," says Jeff Klug, owner of Roots Down Organic Farm near Seeley's Bay. Jeff is involved with the Gan market and has been doing online sales with both Kingston's year-round and Brockville's new online market.

"I think they've been unquestionably a big success," says Jeff of online markets, adding so far he is exceeding last year's sales. It's a choice for the individual vendor to make to see what works best for them, he notes.

Natasha's Ukrainian Cuisine owners Natasha and Peter say the orders are coming in. They have a loyal customer base, many of which are ordering online from both the Gan and Brockville Farmers' Market. If some of their clients aren't ready for online purchasing and e-transfers, they offer other safe options as well to get their products out. "It's been an up and down experience and we need to raise awareness."

The Kemptville Farmers' Market re-opened this past Sunday with Health Unit guidelines for social distancing, safe practices and one-direction shopping in place in the B&H Your Community Grocer parking lot at 301 Rideau Street in Kemptville. Chair Joanne Krock says they are encouraging advance orders with all vendors listed on their website. Joanne feels pre-ordering may continue post-pandemic. "It's a good thing and planning ahead helps vendors too. It will be the best of both worlds. You have to reach out and try every way to contact your customers," says Joanne. More information can be found on their Facebook page .

Brockville Farmers' Market board chair Chelsea Lee and co-chair Brandy Jackson, who is also a vendor, say their fourth week of online sales with drive-thru pickup every Saturday at Fulford Academy has been going very well.

"We're still downtown and in a beautiful open space," says Chelsea. "Every week we see a lot of returning customers as well as new ones."

Brandy owns Flycreek Farm in North Augusta . She is one of 30 vendors listing her products online via the Brockville site. "Right now it is all pre-orders so there is no waste. You can never replace the experience of going to an open market. However, vendors I've talked to say they like the online store format as well with the guaranteed sales per week."

Many vendors agree both options may be what is in the future. "If we maintain an online presence and there is another interruption (because of COVID-19), and the street presence becomes unavailable again, it makes for a seamless transition back to online shopping," says Brandy.

The Prescott Farmers' and Crafters' Market is also making adjustments. It is not open but please visit their Facebook Page to learn how to contact vendors. Augusta Township is launching two Farmers' Market open-air, one-direction walking sites. Maitland's MERC Hall parking lot is the location Wednesdays 3-6 p.m. beginning June 24. The Masonic Hall in North Augusta will be Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information email Nicole. In south Leeds near Lyndhurst, is the well established local food hub Wendy's Country Market .

Helping customers get in touch with Farmers' Market vendors has led Darlene Collin, of Kemptville, to start an online shopping service mylocalmarkets.ca to help small operations who may otherwise not be online . "It started as a passion project," says Darlene, adding the number of vendors has grown from 13 to 40 over the past weeks. Her site includes a large number of products from farms and shops, including Merrickville locations.

"The customers have been so happy with the food and products. We will keep doing it as long as people want the service," she says.
"Hopefully it will continue on and keep people shopping local," Darlene says.

Learn more about Farmers' Markets and online sites by visiting the following links: Open Food Network Canada and Farmers' Markets Ontario.
Top feature photo: Brockville Farmers' Market Manager Chelsea Lee, left, and vendor Brandy Jackson of Flycreek Farm at the market drive-thru. Below: Natasha of Natasha's Ukrainian Cuisine and her famous perogies.
Above photo: A unique veggie bowl from the Kemptville Market.
Above photos: Jeff Klug, co-owner of Roots Down Organic Farm near Seeley's Bay, helps to hand out rhubarb orders at the Gananoque Farmers' Market pick-up location at the Firehall Theatre; food bags filled with produce ready for pick-up.
Bill Thake Award
It's time to nominate a community economic development leader

The Leeds Grenville Economic Development Office is asking individuals, councils and economic development committees to identify candidates for the Bill Thake Memorial Award for Economic Development Leadership.
Before heading off for summer vacation, talk to your colleagues and community members about who is deserving of this award in your municipality. Many volunteers help to improve the economic vitality of Leeds Grenville. Our goal is to honour them for their ongoing efforts.
If you have someone in mind within the 10 member municipalities of Leeds Grenville, consider putting their name forward. You can connect with us at   econdev@uclg.on.ca   or call Deanna Clark at 613-342-3840, ext. 5360. For more information and nomination forms in both Word and PDF visit our   Summit 2020 webpage.   The award will be presented at the annual Economic Development Summit on November 20, 2020.
Deadline: Friday, September 25th, 2020, 4 p.m.
Funding Programs
Local Food Infrastructure Fund initiative

The Local Food Infrastructure Fund (LFIF) is a five-year, $50 million initiative ending March 31, 2024. The program is part of the Government of Canada’s Food Policy which is Canada’s roadmap for a healthier and more sustainable food system in Canada. The LFIF objective is to strengthen food systems and to facilitate access to safe and nutritious food for at-risk populations.

The LFIF's objectives are to:
  • improve access to safe, healthy and culturally-diverse food while promoting community development
  • support local economies
  • improve health outcomes for Canadians most at-risk
  • promote environmentally sustainable food systems

The fund supports community-based, not-for-profit organizations to improve their food systems through investments in infrastructure that are directly related to addressing food insecurities and increasing the accessibility of healthy, nutritious, and ideally, local foods within their community.

Applications for Phase 2 of the program are now being accepted.

Tourism Attraction
Let others know your favourite places, things to do in southeast Ontario

RTO 9 is looking for locals to share with them your favourite places and things to do in South Eastern Ontario. It could be your favourite mom and pop joint, a neighbourhood hang out, or a hidden gem that deserves some love. From your input, RTO 9 will be creating a "Local Series" campaign that will include nine blog posts (for each destination) and a series of Instagram Takeovers on our consumer channel @southeast.ontario.

The goal is to inspire our audience to visit a new destination, support a local business, and hopefully share their experience with their friends and families. Below is a link with 10 quick questions for you to complete. Please keep in mind that they are looking for specific places and things to do.

Tourism Industry Survey
TIAO's COVID-19 Survey 6.0 is now live

As many tourism businesses are preparing for reopening, the data on the impact of COVID-19 to your operations is more critical than ever. The data collected from the survey will be used to let all levels of government know which tourism businesses are at risk and what kinds of economic supports must be continued into the next stages of reopening.

TIAO will use this data in official written submissions to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, and in direct meetings with provincial ministers in August. Please help TIAO best represent you and your interests, and take a few minutes to fill out the survey.

Take the Survey. It is open until Friday, June 19th, at 8 a.m.
Events and Webinars
Re-opening your Business Safely - Advice from the Health Unit

All businesses in the region are invited to learn about reopening business in a manner that will minimize the transmission of COVID-19 and keep the number of local cases low. Discuss public health measures such as physical/social distancing, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, such as masks and other considerations on how to conduct business in a safe manner. The speaker is Kim McCann, Senior Public Health Inspector with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. The session is hosted by the Town of Prescott.

WHEN: TODAY, Tuesday, June 16, 1-2 p.m.
COST: Free. Advanced registration is required.

1 Hour with an Expert Series

If we continue to communicate with each other and help solve problems during the pandemic then your chances of success are greater than staying silent and feeling alone. IT Navigator Randy Watson will present "The Importance of Security for Businesses moving to Online Platforms" in the June 17th session. Learn more about LG Shop Local and how it benefits you and your community with speakers Fraser Hardy and Kevin Savoy on June 24th.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 17, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Wednesday, June 24, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
COST: Free

Exporting 101

Learn what you need to know to export goods abroad. Learn the basics as well as the important details that will impact your bottom line and avoid mistakes, minimize costs/risks and maximize revenue in this session hosted by Invest Ottawa. The speaker is Christian Sivière.

WHEN: Monday, June 22,
1-3 p.m.
COST: Free

Rideau Lakes Business Network hosting session on what is next

Be part of the discussion: How will you be running your business in the post COVID-19 world? What best practices will you put in place? How will you market yourself? Join the online discussion to share your experiences and ideas - we need your voice to make a difference. You may think you have little to add to the conversation, but you will be surprised, organizers say.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 23, 7 p.m. (online webinar)
Learn more about upcoming webinars on our Workshops and Seminars page.
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 June 30th edition should be received by Monday, June 22nd.
  • Submissions for the July 14th edition should be received by by Monday, July 6th.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 |  econdev@uclg.on.ca