Ann Weir, Manager, Economic Development at the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville

When Ontario locked down last March it did not take Ann very long to spring into action. She quickly formed a Counties-wide Business Support Working Group whose mandate was to share information and to make sure that this information was disseminated as quickly, accurately and efficiently as possible. This group consisted of government officials, service providers and local municipal leaders.

Ann coordinated a regional approach to the Digital Main Street program to ensure the maximum amount of grant money and business support was provided to the entire Leeds Grenville region.

She also secured funds for a series of short videos to feature and promote a small business from each of the 13 municipalities within Leeds Grenville.

Terry-Ann Hare, Owner, Beauty Inside Day Spa

The lockdown of Ontario last March was hard on business, especially those who offered personal service such as Beauty Inside Wellness Spa. Once the shock of not being able to operate had worn off, Terry-Ann started to think about what she could do. With no cash coming in and inventory sitting on the shelf she began to work on getting her online store running.

Porch drop-off and curbside pickup became part of the daily vocabulary. Moving her meditation classes to an online format became another way to earn revenue. In June, the spa was able to open with new protocols in place. In December another lockdown again forced the spa to close.

Terry-Ann let her intuition guide her and started doing one-on-one numerology readings online and continued to sell products. Terry-Ann brings a balance of Grit and Grace to every task she tackles.

Shelley Mitchell, Owner, To Be Continued - Family Consignment Shop

Shelley Mitchell's To Be Continued shop in Kemptville has been operating for more than 12 years. Early in the pandemic, Shelley knew she had to do something different. After the initial panic subsided, she became educated on all thing’s social media, online shopping, and video marketing.

She set up an online store and started utilizing Facebook to her advantage. Shelley went the extra mile for her community by offering kids Easter Crafts and door-to-door deliveries.

Shelley’s lessons learned from the pandemic include – Fight for your business, Find the flexibility, Find a way to connect and keep clients, and Embrace online services.