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Economic Development eNews | March 22, 2022
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Trevor and Patti Johnson enjoy creating new desserts, gourmet cakes, breads and savoury items like soups and meat pies.
Violets on Main Village Bakery Bursting with new Flavours
MERRICKVILLE - There are two very busy but happy bakers in the village.

Violets on Main Village Bakery owners Patti and Trevor Johnson say they're introducing new creations along with serving your favourites after purchasing the popular Nana B's Bakery business. Former owner Anne Barr retired last year.

"We hit the ground running," says Patti of their start last September. "This is a very busy business."

After just a few months, Patti and Trevor are loving the fast pace and expanding their offerings. "It's a new adventure for the two of us and we love it here," says Patti. "The community is great and we like how we can do this together."

You'll find everything from specialty breads made by Trevor, including flavoured whites, sour dough and ancient grain to cream pies, cookies, butter tarts, croissants, squares and so much more. Try their meat pies and homemade soups. In May, when the Rideau Canal opens, they plan to offer lunch items.

The couple come from very busy careers. Patti was a fire department dispatcher before they moved from Vancouver to Ottawa 12 years ago. Trevor has worked in air traffic control until now. Patti decided to go back to school for baking and the pastry arts. She has been working at bakeries in Ottawa.

"I've always wanted to have my own place," says Patti, who notes the name Violets on Main comes from the day they first came to Merrickville to see the business. There were violets growing along the street at the time. The couple jokingly call each other Mr. and Miss Violet.

"Baking makes us happy and we have a very good product," says Patti. "It's a nice feeling that it's our own business. If I feel like making Nanaimo bars, I make Nanaimo bars."

The couple are grateful for their kitchen team and the community support. They also support local charities and causes and use local products whenever possible.

"It's one of the best things I've ever done," says Trevor, adding though busy, it is less stressful and he doesn't have to travel.
Learn more about Violets on Main Village Bakery by visiting their website and their Facebook and Instagram pages. Give them a call at 613-454-1380 or send an email. They are located at 316 Main Street West.
COVID-19 Business Update
Yesterday, Ontario removed masking requirements for most indoor settings but they remain in place for public transit, long-term care, retirement homes, shelters, jails and congregate care and living settings. All other regulatory requirements for businesses are removed, including passive screening and safety plans.

The Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit has provided additional information for those who must still wear a mask in public:
  • Anyone who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 who is not required to isolate – must still wear a mask in all public settings for 10 days from the day of exposure
  • Those with COVID who are only required to isolate for 5 days must wear a mask in all public settings for days 6–10 of their infection
  • Anyone returning from international travel must wear a mask in all public settings for 14 days upon arrival to Canada
  • Anyone in a health care or high-risk setting with a masking policy in place (or in any setting that has chosen to independently implement a mask policy to protect their staff and customers)

On April 27th, all other remaining mask requirements and emergency orders are set to expire. See the Ontario technical briefing on Living with and Managing COVID-19.

The federal government is set to remove pre-entry test requirements on April 1st for fully vaccinated travellers that enter Canada by air, land or water. Random testing of travellers arriving to Canada, from any country, may be selected for mandatory COVID-19 molecular testing. All travellers are still required to submit their mandatory information in ArriveCAN (app or website). For additional guidance on travel regulations please visit the Government of Canada Travel webpage.

For additional information on funding programs available to businesses, please visit the Economic Development COVID-19 webpage and the Invest website Funding Programs and Incentives webpage.
Celebrating Business
Brigadoon Restaurant owner receives Lifetime Achievement

OXFORD MILLS - Restauranteur and trailblazer Cheryl Mackie is the recipient of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award.

The founder and owner of Brigadoon Restaurant earned the honour after 32 years in business, including take-out service during the pandemic. The award was accepted by her granddaughter and business partner Stephanie Mackie at the virtual International Women's Day celebration hosted earlier this month by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Centre.

Opening a fine dining restaurant in a rural location such as Oxford Mills was very rare back then. "People told me it couldn't be done. A bank manager laughed in my face, but he later came to the restaurant," Cheryl said in a telephone interview. "You have to be determined and want it (your business) bad enough to go for it," Cheryl said.

Her advice to entrepreneurs is to be determined, think of ways to do things differently and don't give up. The Brigadoon Restaurant has been described as a destination eatery because of its food and interesting decor with a British flare, as well as being situated in a unique heritage building. There is dining inside, on the veranda and the patio. Cheryl has plans to expand the Brigadoon by adding a food and gift shop, selling everything from cards to chocolate truffles and ice cream.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced nine years ago to recognize and celebrate a longtime businesswoman who is a community leader.
eNews Survey
Tell Us What You'd like to See in eNews

Our popular, bi-weekly Leeds Grenville eNews will soon be turning eight so we wanted to check in with you, our readers and business support partners, to get your thoughts moving forward.

Would you like to see any big changes in content or design? What features and information would you like to continue seeing? These are some of the things you can answer by completing the short survey. Your opinions are important to us.

Since launching eNews on June 10, 2014, we have published more than 200 editions, including non stop information through the pandemic. Our top feature is the Business Profile which lets people know more about our many small-, medium- and large-sized businesses. Many have told us this lets them know what products and services are available throughout Leeds Grenville. We have featured 185 businesses so far as well as business news, announcements, employment and funding opportunities, events and workshops.

We welcome any suggestions you may have for future features.
Let us know your thoughts and opinions so that we can better serve the needs of our business community. The survey will be open until Monday, April 11th at 4 p.m.
Workforce Support
Attention Employers! Need Employees?
Register your Business in the Virtual Hiring Fair

The Employment + Education Centre (EEC) and CSE Consulting have collaborated to host this event geared for employers in the region that are hiring full-time, part-time, seasonal and students. Employers can post job vacancies and meet virtually with job seekers at their branded virtual booth to provide more information and applications to interested candidates.

WHEN: This Thursday, March 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Virtual
COST: Free

Register for your free virtual booth with Kirtus@eecentre.com or Rod@cseconsulting.com.
Funding Opportunity
Ontario Expanding Economic Opportunity for Entrepreneurs

The Ontario government is investing $5 million over two years in a targeted program to help Indigenous, Black and other racialized entrepreneurs start or grow their business. The Racialized and Indigenous Supports for Entrepreneurs (RAISE) Grant Program helps to remove economic barriers by providing funding, training, and culturally-relevant services to entrepreneurs.

  • Applications for the RAISE Grant and more details are available on the Digital Main Street website. Digital Main Street is a program that helps Ontario businesses create and enhance their online presence and generate jobs.
  • To be eligible for the grant, businesses must be registered / incorporated and based in Ontario and owned by people who self-identify as Indigenous, Black or racialized.

The government recently announced $14 million in additional funding for the Black Youth Action Plan to help community organizations and Black-led businesses create local projects that provide the skills youth need to find jobs in high-growth sectors.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Agri-Tourism and Small Produce Growers Information Session

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and RTO9 (Regional Tourism Organization) will come together to share information for agri -tourism and small produce growers. They will share their resources and tools and programs so that you can better understand how to use them to make your business or future business grow. Speakers are Kathryn Liotta. Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor with OMAFRA, and Magloire Ngnitedem, OMAFRA Business Development Consultant. The session is presented by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Centre.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 29, 12-1:30 p.m.
COST: Free
Business Transitions: Succession Plans

This is part of the Workforce Development Webinar Series presented by RTO9 Regional Tourism Organization. The speaker is Glen Harrison, Sigma Assessment Systems. The loss of a key talent can create a catastrophic ripple throughout any organization that is not prepared. With a variety of factors at play, it is not a question of if you will lose talent, it is only a question of when. So, are you ready? This webinar will guide businesses through the succession cycle to provide a roadmap for success.

WHEN: Wednesday, March 30, 10-11:30 a.m.
COST: Free
Managing the Mental Health of Your Employees

As a hospitality owner or manager, are you able to recognize the signs of burnout, depression, anxiety, substance use challenges or crisis in your team members? Do you know how to support your employees mental health? Join RTO 9 as we welcome Not 9 to 5, a global leader in mental health advocacy for the hospitality sector, and Healthy Pour, an organization that provides consultation and education to bars, restaurants and hotels regarding employee mental health.
This candid discussion will focus on real issues and challenges that hospitality employees deal with every day and look at strategies and resources that managers can use to create supportive environments for their team.

WHEN: Monday, April 11, 9:30-11 a.m.
COST: Free
How to Cost and Price Your Products and Services Profitably

Pricing is one of the most important decisions you make in your business and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Setting a price that’s too high or too low could affect sales, profitability, and cash flow. Learn a winning formula that you can use to ensure your products and services are priced profitably.
Material Covered:
  • How to conduct industry and competitor research.
  • How to calculate your true costs.
  • What’s a fair profit margin?
  • Pricing your products or services for profit.
  • How to increase your profit margins without increasing your selling prices.
  • Calculate your monthly and annual break-even sales.

Pricing your products and services effectively will help increase your bottom line results. This session is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 13, 10-11:30 a.m.
COST: Free
Introduction to Canva: The Basics

This is the first of a 3-part series, hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre. Canva is a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. In today’s webinar, you will be introduced to the basics of setting up an efficient and effective account, including the development of a personalized brand kit, folders, and customizing social media templates (for example, changing fonts, colours, images) for use on Facebook, Instagram, and Stories.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 19,
9-10 a.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 April 5th edition should be received by Monday, March 28th.
  • Submissions for the April 19th edition should be received by Monday, April 11th.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca