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Economic Development eNews | October 20, 2020
Business Profile
Colourful Virtual Art Tour travels through studios
MERRICKVILLE - Mike Venables sees striking patterns and colours through his camera lens.

"I focus on the exotic of everyday places, both near and far," says Mike, a photographer for the past 10 years. His perspectives of urban and rural scenes have dramatic light, often shot in the golden or blue hours just before or after sunset.

Mike is one of 24 artists happy to be showcasing his photographs via the new Merrickville Artists' Guild (MAG) Virtual Tour. For three decades the fall tour has been a premiere event for the guild. This year they've adapted to COVID-19 by creating a compilation video of all of the MAG artists and have featured it on MAG’s YouTube Channel.

"We get to talk about our art and how it is created," says Mike, adding a video of him in his gallery discussing his photography is so much better than posting static pictures of work. It is more personable and appealing.

In addition, the Guild has created a “MAG Marketplace”, that showcases work for sale and provides information on how to contact the artists.

"We wanted to make sure we still had a presence," says Johanna Jansen, a multi-media artist based in Oxford Mills. "We're still here and doing work so we want our loyal customers - and any new customers - to know that."

The artists miss seeing people in person and hearing their feedback that the traditional fall tour provided. However, developing this online presence and the creation of the YouTube Channel will mean the guild members and their individual businesses are accessible year round.

"It's a great thing and this is a whole new way of looking at art and presenting your work," says Johanna, adding she feels the online presence will continue even when "in-person tours" are back. Moving forward, they will complement each other.

Artist Jane Jefferys is very active on social media but it was her first time to participate in a video for YouTube. "It was such a great experience and I absolutely would do it again. It lets a whole new audience see your work," says Jane.

MAG President Nick Previsich says the executive committee felt a more aggressive approach was needed to support artists and promote the relevance of art in the community. Videographer Vincent Sabourin was hired to film the artists in their studios or galleries. Each video offers an intimate view into the work of each artist. Artists also have their videos and / or links posted on their respective social media sites and websites.

MAG has also collaborated with a local business - the Merrickville Food Market, which donated one of its large windows to display the work of artists on a rotational basis. Learn more on MAG's Facebook page.
Top feature photo: Photographer Mike Venables. Below: A photograph by Mike taken from an alcove and perfectly timed to show a plane taking off from a Montreal airport.
Above photos beginning second from top: Multi-media artist Jane Jefferys of Burritt's Rapids with her work Transcendence, ceramic artist Johanna Jansen of Oxford Mills with some of her pieces and silversmith and jeweler Fiona Macintyre of Merrickville.
Economic Development Summit
Minister Vic Fedeli is Keynote Speaker at November 20th Summit event

The Honourable Victor Fedeli is an entrepreneur, successful business person, philanthropist, and serves with the Ford government as Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

He is the keynote speaker of the this year's Leeds Grenville Economic Development Summit, being held virtually.

Minister Fedeli was elected to two terms as Mayor of North Bay from 2003 to 2010. As Mayor, he focused on fiscal prudence and economic development, restoring hope and solvency to North Bay. He served 10 terms on the Board of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, was a Director with Global Vision, and has served on many agencies, boards, and commissions, often as Chair.

WHEN: Friday, November 20th, 9 a.m.
COST: $10

LOCAL FOOD OPTION: Counties Economic Development is proud to partner with My Local Markets in support of Leeds Grenville local food products for this year’s virtual Summit. 

Packages are $25, $50 and $75 will be delivered the week of November 16th. Taxes and delivery are included in the price. Substitute local products may be required in some packages pending on demand.

Johnstown's Greenfield Global
announces $75M investment
JOHNSTOWN Greenfield Global is investing $75-million to expand its Johnstown plant to produce medical-grade alcohol critical to making hand sanitizers for Ontario.

The company made the announcement last Friday along with Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark. The Ontario government is providing $2.5 million through the Ontario Together Fund to support the investment.

“Expansion of our Johnstown facility is an exciting considerable step forward in our domestic supply capacity," said Greenfield President and CEO Howard Field. It will create 8 new jobs at the facility as well as related farming and trucking positions.

"This will greatly enhance our capabilities to serve our customers, including life science and pharmaceutical companies, that are experiencing unprecedented demand for their products needed to protect citizens and help keep us safe and healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” Greenfield's CEO said.

“I am pleased to announce our government’s support for Greenfield Global as they upgrade their facilities to provide critical PPE for Ontarians," said MPP Clark, speaking on behalf of Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
From left: MPP Steve Clark, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville Warden Pat Sayeau, Greenfield Global President and CEO Howard Field, Greenfield Johnstown Plant Manager Brendan Bland and Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MP Michael Barrett.
“Residents of Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes can take pride in the fact that we’re playing a leading role in ensuring we have a made-in-Ontario source to strengthen our PPE supply,” said Clark.

This is the the second major investment for PPE production in the region after the federal and provincial governments each committed $23.3-million for 3M Canada’s new N-95 respirator mask plant in Brockville in August. Construction work at the Greenfield site is expected to begin later this month.

The Johnstown facility’s distillation technology will produce over 114 million litres of specialty medical-grade alcohol annually, which will be used in hand sanitizers and other applications that rely on high purity alcohol. "Ontario is supporting companies like Greenfield Global so they can continue to provide made-in-Ontario solutions to reduce our dependence on foreign supply chains and strengthen our domestic capacity,” Minister Fedeli said in a statement.

The government launched the $50 million Ontario Together Fund to help businesses retool their operations to produce PPE and develop technology-driven solutions and services for businesses to reopen safely.
Rideau Lakes honours Business, Innovation and Entrepreneurs

CHANTRY- The Township of Rideau Lakes Economic Development Committee has announced this year’s Business Recognition Awards winners.

Gordanier Freshmart is the Rideau Lakes Business of the Year Award winner. This second-generation family business is co-owned by siblings Steve Gordanier and Lyn Wills, shown at right. Gordanier's is a community-minded grocery store with a large selection of household staples, locally-made products, an in-store butcher, deli counter, and bakery. It employs over 20 people and supports community events.

Corey Evans, of Rideau Roots, has earned the Young Entrepreneur Award. She founded the business three years ago and continues to offer a range of gardening services to her clients. She has a passion for native and pollinator plantings and promotes long-term sustainability in Rideau Lakes.

Business Innovation Award recipients Robert and Shannon Miller own and operate Miller’s Bay Farm, a fourth-generation family farm. In addition to employing many local youth, operating a popular strawberry patch and farm gate store, and running their Bountiful Basket program, the Miller family can be found volunteering for several charitable causes, donating produce to the Food Banks and supporting local beautification initiatives.

The contributions of your businesses to our Rideau Lakes community are much appreciated. We commend you for your business excellence, hard work and wish you continued growth and success," said Committee Chair Claire Smith.

"Your vision and hard work have resulted in outstanding contributions to our community," added Mayor Arie Hoogenboom. The Committee reminded all residents that Rideau Lakes is home to a vast array of businesses and services. It encourages residents to support local businesses. Many are best positioned to provide personal, professional, and friendly service during this difficult time.

Funding Opportunity
Free assistance and grant dollars are available to local main street businesses. It is an innovative program built around an online learning program and designed to help main street businesses achieve digital transformation.

Digital Service Squads are teams of street-level experts that provide businesses with FREE digital transformation consulting and support.

What a Digital Service Squad can do for your business:
  • A digital assessment of your business’s digital literacy
  • Access to a free online video-based digital transformation training program
  • Assistance in applying for a $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant
  • Google listing, analytics, support
  • Website - review, updating, creation, photography, videography, best practices
  • Social Media – creation, support, best practices, advertising
  • Digital Transformation Support: loyalty programs, point of sale systems, e-commerce, back-end business operations support (i.e. setting up QuickBooks etc.)
  • Technology – support and guidance for the best options of technology tools

Digital Service Squads are able to assist main street businesses with physical storefronts generally located on a primary retail street or commercially-zoned areas. Services provided will be customized based on a business's digital needs. The level of assistance may vary depending on technologies the businesses may already have in place.

To learn more about how a Digital Service Squad can help you (FOR FREE!), contact Shelbi McFarlane, Business Development Officer at 613-342-3840 x 5361 or econdev@uclg.on.ca  
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Payroll 101: Human Capital and Business Growth

This webinar looks at employee versus subcontractor from the employer perspective, including source deductions, EI, CPP, Income Tax, T4 and T4 filing, Record of Employment (ROE) along with helpful programs and apps to use. A special guest is Michele Quigg of MQ Accounting. The webinar is hosted by the Small Business Advisory Centre.

WHEN: Thursday, October 22, 10-11 a.m.
COST: Free

Bridges to Better Business Conference - Leading Through Change

This interactive online Zoom event will be held live at the Aquatarium in Brockville. The theme is "Gaining results through Resilience, Overcoming Adversity and Embracing Uncertainty". It will feature keynote speaker Brodie Church, along with success stories and the presentation of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Paul D. Boivin Memorial Award and the Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The event is hosted by the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre.

WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
COST: $40

Human Resource, Labour and Occupational Health & Safety

The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade is partnering with Munera P.C. to discuss key developments in government programs and the laws that are crucial for employers. They will provide an overview of the government initiatives facilitating the re-hiring of laid off or furloughed employees and the safety measures employers must first implement. The agenda will include: Wage Relief: Aids and Incentives for Employers; The regulatory Framework in Response to COVID-19; The Legal Framework in Response to COVID-19.

WHEN: Thursday, October 29, 10-11 a.m.
COST: Free

Recover, Restart & Rebound: The New
COVID-19 Normal

For Businesses in the Town of Gananoque or Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands - this Zoom session deals with the results of COVID-19 being here to stay and it is essential to pivot to this new normal but what does that look like? Learn more about consumer trends, the changing economic landscape, and where are the "now" opportunities?

WHEN: Thursday, November 3, 9-11 a.m.
COST: Free

Webinar 3 - Understanding Your Cash Flow: Tuesday, November 10, 9-11 a.m.
Webinar 4 - Relevant Advertising and Promotion: Tuesday, November 17, 9-11 a.m.

Sessions are hands-on with takeaways you can apply instantly to your operations. Be prepared to complete different task sheets and activities.

For more information, email Laura Godard, Town of Gananoque, or call 613-382-2149, ext. 1131.

Selling Food to Ontario - Food businesses looking to expand their markets

Create new opportunities for your farm or food business by learning how to expand into new markets such as farmers’ markets, food service and retailers. Learn how you as a producer or small processor can access new market channels.

Topics include:
  • Market channel opportunities
  • Basics of food safety and regulations
  • Retail market readiness
  • Food packaging and labelling
  • Mega trends in the food industry - risks and opportunities
  • Hear first-hand from Sobey's on their local procurement program

This webinar is suited for farmers, producers, food and beverage startups, small food and beverage manufacturers and food business retailers/restaurants.

WHEN: Thursday, November 5, 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
COST: Free Zoom webinar. Space is limited.

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 November 3rd edition should be received by Monday, October 26th.
  • Submissions for the November 17th edition should be received by Monday, November 9th.
COVID-19 Business Updates
Continue to follow www.investleedsgrenville.com/covid19 for the latest information on financial support, health and safety, surveys along with the business news on COVID-19.
For business assistance call 613-342-3840 ext. 5365 or email.
32 Wall Street, Suite 300, Brockville, ON K6V 4R9
613-342-3840 | 1-800-770-2170 | econdev@uclg.on.ca