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Economic Development eNews | September 8, 2020
Business Profile
Top feature photo: Flying Canoe Hard Cider founder and owner Pete Rainville loads the cooler in his retail shop MacKintosh CiderHouse with the red door.
Above photo: Flying Canoe Operations Manager Matt Gallant canning cider.
All the stars aligned to bring Flying Canoe to Spencerville
SPENCERVILLE - A fortunate stroke of serendipity is why MacKintosh CiderHouse is doing business here.

"I thought it was fate," says Flying Canoe Hard Cider founder Pete Rainville of how he and wife Melissa and their two sons "stumbled across" a house for sale in Spencerville, only a few kilometres from Smyth's Orchards where they get their apple cider juice.

It turned out to not be just any house. It's a Spencer Street landmark built by Dr. Pember MacKintosh, grandson of John, who discovered the McIntosh apple in 1811.

For a well established Ottawa-based cider maker looking for a new home outside of the city, that's serendipity. "We thought the stars were aligned and it was meant to be," says Pete. "We're here to stay."

Pete started Flying Canoe Hard Cider in 2016. The business is famous for being Ottawa and the National Capital Region's first hard cider maker. The handcrafted, small-batch company has been growing steadily, including online sales, so the family decided to move to a rural location. They've renovated part of the new home into a retail outlet, which is already the #1 revenue stream since opening shop earlier this year, followed by Drummond's Gas just up the street and the LCBO located near the Costco in Barrhaven.

The product is also sold in 50 LCBO stores and 20-plus grocery stores.

"There are a lot of good things going on and we're growing," says Pete. The pandemic has meant a drop in sales for supplying major events, such as Ottawa's Jazz Festival and Capital Pride, but they've also seen increases in other areas. Expansion into other products and merchandise is proving fruitful as well. There is the Limited Edition Five Acre Cider, Flying Canoe steak spice, related products and their hard cider is an ingredient in Apple Butter BBQ sauce made by Leacock Farms.

Despite the pandemic, product consumption has increased. Production in Spencerville hit 11,000 litres of cider in July. Pete believed that would be enough product to last until the end of the summer. Instead, they sold out the first week of August and have been working hard to get more product on the shelves. He even had to go further afield to get Ontario apples after using up nearly every available apple in this part of Eastern Ontario.

"The local support here is absolutely phenomenal and unsurpassed in my life, and I've lived in different parts of Canada," says Pete. "People are working very hard to bring attention to this village and Edwardsburgh Cardinal Township. That's an inspiration for us to stay here."

Fans of Flying Canoe are making their way to Spencerville to visit the store and other area attractions, says Pete, adding they're coming from as far away as Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall, Perth, Smiths Falls and Ottawa.

"Our township's slogan is - you can get there from here," says Pete, of setting up shop and doing business in a smaller community.

Learn more about MacKintosh Cider House on their website, and Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. They are located at 9 Spencer Street. Look for the red door!
Industry Programs
Tourism businesses encouraged to apply for #SafeTravels stamp

The World Travel & Tourism Council, in cooperation with the provincial government, has created a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols for every aspect of the hospitality and tourism sector. The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario has been chosen to administer the Safe Travels Stamp in Canada. Some of Ontario’s future tourism programs will require tourism businesses to have obtained a stamp. Local businesses are encouraged to apply as many of the global protocols you are already doing.

This stamp will allow travelers to recognize government and companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols. 

Pathways to Production looking for manufacturing industry partners

Building off the success of its pilot year, Pathways to Product (P2P) is again being delivered to prepare new entrants for a career in manufacturing. Last year’s program, boasted over 30 graduates with 28 immediately employed by industry partners, who indicated the curriculum was excellent and created a positive impact in their workforce recruitment and sustainability. Industry pilot program partners included: Burnbrae Farms, Canarm, Cardinal Health, Prysmian Power Cables, Northern Cables, and the Giant Tiger Distribution Centre.

P2P integrates industry-endorsed pre-employment, technical, soft skills, essential skills and industry certifications:
  •  4 weeks in-class training and a College level Certificate of Completion
  • $1,000 employer support upon transition of participant to permanent employment
  • Job maintenance supports for up to a year post-graduation by one of the region’s employment agencies – EEC, CSE or KEYS

The program schedule starts September 14th in Gananoque with additional sessions starting in October in Brockville; January in Prescott / Kemptville; February in Gananoque; April in Brockville; and May in Prescott / Kemptville.

All interested manufacturing businesses who wish to leverage this opportunity to support their workforce recruitment, please contact Ann Weir, Economic Development Manager, at 613-342-3840 ext. 5365 or send her an email.
Funding Opportunities
Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides employers support for training

The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support to employers who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees.

Important to know:
  • Up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs.
  • Training has to be delivered by an eligible, third-party trainer.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs. Small employers with less than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of the training costs.
  • A group of employers (two or more) can pool their resources to support common training objectives and goals.

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. For additional information and eligibility requirements, visit Ontario-Canada Job Grant Program

Contact your local employment agency who can assist with your grant application:
Recovery Fund for tourism

The Ontario Tourism Economic Development Recovery Fund (TEDRF) is an application based, cost-sharing program to provide non-capital funding to innovative new tourism products, support tourism investment or build the capacity of Ontario’s tourism industry. It aims to support projects that will increase tourism visitation and spending in Ontario by:
  • Developing innovative tourism products and experiences.
  • Increasing domestic and/or foreign private sector tourism investment.
  • Supporting workforce development, including strengthening employment opportunities in the tourism sector and building the capacity of the tourism workforce.
  • Supporting tourism associations' efforts to advance the competitiveness and growth of the tourism sector.

The program is open to Tourism Businesses and Not-for-Profit Organizations with a clearly defined tourism focus.

See the application guide for program objectives, priorities, eligibility requirements and how to apply. Applications must be at least four months prior to the project start date.
Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

This fund is open to small to medium-sized companies from all sectors including not-for-profit, with the exception of government organizations, charities and Chamber of Commerce network. Funds can be used for PPE, renovating physical space to adhere to reopening guidelines and developing or improving e-commerce capabilities.

  • A company can have no more than 75 employees with minimum of $200,000 in annual sales and not more than $3,000,000.

Applications are now being accepted.

For more information on your eligibility and to apply, visit the Ontario Chamber of Commerce webpage.
Energy Assistance Program – Small Business (CEAP-SB)

The COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business provides a one time, on-bill credit to eligible small business and registered charity customers to help them catch up on their energy bills and resume regular payments.
  • Small business and registered charity customers may be eligible for up to $850 in support towards electricity bills if you are primarily using electricity for heating, or up to $425 otherwise. You could also be eligible for up to $425 towards natural gas bill.
  • The program is being delivered by electricity distributors, natural gas distributors and unit sub-meter providers in accordance with rules laid out by Ontario Energy Board.
  • Applications are now being accepted.

For background information visit the Ontario Energy Board webpage and check with your provider for more details on eligibility and application.
Workshops, Seminars and Webinar Library
Social Media Advertising

This webinar provides tips and strategies for marketing your business or products on social media - specializing in marketing, social media, website design, and SEO to tell your authentic story. Presented by the Small Social Company and hosted by Digital Main Street for Eastern Ontario.

WHEN: Friday, September 11, 8-9 a.m.
COST: Free

Downtown Brockville Lunch & Learn series: Tourism Meets Business

This Zoom session hosted by Downtown Brockville (DBIA) features guest speaker Lori McIsaac, who will explain what RTO 9 does for tourism and businesses alike. Lori will describe, in detail, their partnership program and how it can help businesses. She is also available to answer any questions about the program or RTO 9
WHEN: Tuesday, September 15, 12-1 p.m.
COST: $10 (Free for DBIA members)

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 September 22nd edition should be received by Monday, September 14th.
  • Submissions for the October 6th edition should be received by Monday, September 28th.
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