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YOUR SOURCE FOR BUSINESS AND AGRICULTURE IN LANARK, LEEDS & GRENVILLE FEBRUARY 2014

VOL. 12 NO. 10

Tweed leaps into production Provincial finance critic takes government to task and files for public listing By HOWAIDA SOROUR It is official. Tweed Inc. is now a Ministry of Health licensed medical marijuana production facility. Though Tweed only officially received its licence on Jan. 28, it’s already well into production and planning to have its first product ready for sale by April when the new Marijuana for Medicinal Purposes Regulation (MMPR) comes into effect and producers like Tweed become the only licensed source. “That was their intention from the start,� said Smiths Falls mayor Dennis Staples. “Back in September, they wanted to be in a position to have the product available for April when the new regime starts.� Already one mother room is up and running with hundreds of nursery plants, under the watchful eye of Ryan Douglas, master grower. “We’re looking to produce 25 different strains with different properties,� said CEO Chuck Rifici. That’s a big jump from the initial five strains the company had mentioned in earlier interviews. “Carrying a wide variety of strains, ensuring we have medicine available when patients need it, and providing unparalleled support to customers is what will guide our company,� said Douglas, in the original press release following the licence announcement. The various strains will have different levels of THC and Cannabidiol and there is, according to Rifici, already enough information to point towards how different properties can best be applied to patient needs. “We will have information available

-Business Today photo by HOWAIDA SOROUR

The first mother room is well stocked with nursery plants that are being carefully tended under the watchful eye of Ryan Douglas at the Tweed facility in Smiths Falls. to help patients with that choice,� said become a commercial supplier of mediRifici, “but like any medication, people cal marijuana under the new MMPR. may have to try different strains to find In the past people were allowed to grow marijuana for their own use in the right one for them.� Tweed is now the fifth company to See TWEED page 2 receive a licence from Health Canada to

By LAURA ARMSTRONG A forecast $12 billion provincial deficit can be attributed to a Liberal government spending spree not a revenue problem, the Tory finance critic told North Grenville business men and women at a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Vic Fedeli, Member of Provincial Parliament for Nipissing, told guests at the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce’s Jan. 29 Economic Impact Event that high hydro rates, high corporate taxes and red tape are “job-killers,� keeping the province from not only attracting, but also maintaining private sector investors. Heinz, Kellogg’s and Caterpillar are some of the large manufacturers leaving the province after losing trust in Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government, Fedeli said. The uncertainty stems from the 2012 budget, when the Liberals promised to reduce corporate taxes to 10 per cent. Instead, corporate taxes remain at 11.5 per cent and are expected to rise to 12 per cent, the highest corporate tax rate of all the large provinces in Canada. “Does that not tell you we’re doing something wrong?� Fedeli said. “You’ve got world leaders who are evacuating Ontario for Quebec and the states. They’re not closing up, they’re just getting out.� Visiting ridings such as Orleans, Rockland, Kanata, Belleville, Kingston and Cornwall ahead of pre-budget consultations held by the legislature’s finance committee on which he sits, Fedeli said he learned constituents would rather be scared

-Business Today photo by JOE MORIN

Vic Fedeli, provincial PC finance critic, addresses the crowd gathered for the Chamber of Commerce Economic Impact Luncheon in North Grenville Jan. 29. than uninformed. “You may not like what you hear,� Fedeli said. “In fact, if you’re a proud Ontarian, you won’t like what you hear.� Ontario, he said, did not make its growth numbers last year, and the Bank of Canada is projecting the same to occur in 2014. The lack of revenue leads to an estimated deficit of $11.7 billion this year, contributing to the province’s “massive� $278 billion debt. The Liberal government’s decision to go on a spending spree as if they’re See DEBT page 2

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REGIONAL BUSINESS NEWS

Public input sought on Rideau Canal enhancement project By LAURIE WEIR Parks Canada hosted community leaders and Rideau Canal stakeholders at the unveiling of the Rideau Canal Visitor Experience Opportunities Concept (VEOC) Friday at the Rideau Canal office in Smiths Falls. The public will have an opportunity to view the results on Feb. 28 at the Gallipeau Centre at the City Lights Rural Tourism Conference, where there will be information on tourism industry trends, marketing tips, ideas for collaboration, networking, customer service, and how to tap into available resources. “This is collective decision making,” said Susan Fournier, Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation and spokesperson for the culmination of the partners involved. “We will see what’s possible and continue to play a role as the future unfolds.” VEOC represents a consolidation of potential tourism experience opportunities and innovations for the Rideau Corridor collected through discussions sessions held with Rideau Canal stakeholders throughout the fall of 2013. This collaborative initiative aims to inspire movement towards an improved model for revenue generation and economic sustainability in the Rideau Corridor. “Today we are here to celebrate the culmination of months of work, and the efforts of many people who share the goal of bringing a renewed energy, and economic sustainability to the Rideau Canal heritage corridor,” said LeedsGrenville MP Gord Brown. The VEOC brings to light the many untapped resources for economic development within the Rideau corridor, and underlines the importance of shared responsibility and cooperation to maximize the potential of the Rideau Canal and its adjacent communities as a world-class, relevant, and vibrant sustainable tourism destination.

-Business Today photo by LAURIE WEIR

Annie Laurie of Parks Canada addresses the crowd gathered Friday, Jan. 31 at the Rideau Canal office to hear the next plans in the Rideau Canal Visitor Experience Opportunities Concept (VEOC). To her right are MP Gord Brown, Susan Fournier of Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation and MPP Steve Clark. The roundtable discussions over the past several months “was all with the intention of infusing our communities and our region with enthusiasm and understanding about who we are, our best assets, and our potential for growth and sustainability in the future,” Brown said. The unveiling of the Rideau Canal VEOC is only the beginning of what promises to be an exciting period of renaissance for the region, he said. Next steps will be identifying relevant and achievable initiatives for the short, mid and long term, and together facilitating the natural networking of interested parties to start making things happen.

It is heritage, and speaks to the beginnings of the nation; a serene environment, and clean flat water; vibrant urban centres and quaint rural villages; recreation and also industry, all of which can attract and maintain a strong tourism market share, celebrating the people, traditions, and technological accomplishments which have shaped this UNESCO designated World Heritage Site and its communities. “The Rideau Canal is not just a waterway; it is the lifeblood of the region. The Government of Canada is proud to be working with Rideau Canal stakeholders on this collaborative initiative to improve upon and create visitor experience opportunities that will

achieve a stronger, better future for our families, our businesses and in turn make the Rideau Corridor a more viable and sustainable tourism region,” Brown said. Fournier added: “We have a real opportunity here to take the ideas that have been generated through this initiative and make some immediate changes to how we look at the Rideau Corridor in terms of tourism and economic development; with everyone working together toward a single vision – with businesses, stakeholders, nongovernmental organizations and all levels of government alike, the Rideau Corridor has the potential to be signature Canadian heritage destination.”

DEBT

From front page

going to spend their way out of a recession is unrealistic, Fedeli said. “I have news for you. The recession ended a long time ago. “We have a spending problem in Ontario, not a revenue problem. (The other provinces) are all about to balance their budgets, and we are going from a $9.2 billion deficit to an $11.7 billion deficit.” The solution to getting the province back on track financially is to get the fundamentals of the economy right using the Tories’ economic agenda, Fedeli claimed. The proposed “Million Jobs Act,” announced by provincial Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak midJanuary, will create jobs for a million people provincewide; 600,000 of whom are unemployed, and 400,000 of whom have given up hope. The Tory leader has pledged to reduce red tape by 30 per cent in his first term, tying cabinet members’ pay to the initiative as an incentive. Freezing public sector wages for two years, repealing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario tax and cancelling the Ontario College of Trades are also included in the agenda, Fedeli said. A Tory government would make the province greener; something the current Green Energy Act is not doing, said Fedeli, the party’s former energy critic. “Ten years ago, hydro was 4.3 cents a kilowatt-hour. Today, peak hydro rates are 12.9 cents a kilowatt-hour.” Costs incurred through the current Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program created under the act, such as $500 million in 2013 to get Quebec and the United States to use the province’s excess wind power, are only contributing to the annual deficit. The Tories

would honour existing FIT agreements but cancel the rest of the program to eliminate needless spending, Fedeli said. “The Liberals won’t admit

“We have a spending problem in Ontario, not a revenue problem... we are going from a $9.2 billion deficit to an $11.7 billion deficit.” VIC FEDELI, PC FINANCE CRITIC

the green energy plan was a failure.” His party’s plan, said Fedeli, offered Ontarians a way out from a scary economic future. Luncheon About 50 people joined Fedeli at the North Grenville Municipal Centre over lunch Jan. 29 at the Impact luncheon. For $35, local business people networked with other community members, ate a buffet lunch by Catered Affairs and heard greetings from Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce Wendy Chapman, Mayor David Gordon and Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark. Following keynote speaker Fedeli’s talk, he, Clark and Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, partook in a question and answer period. A municipality’s Chamber of Commerce is the heart and soul of the community, said Fedeli, who was chamber president in North Bay in 1996. “They work with the downtown, they work with the council; you will always find the pulse of the community connected with the Chamber of Commerce.”

TWEED From front page

their homes or commission someone to grow it for them under the Marihuana Medical Access Program. Last year Health Canada announced it would be phasing out the MMAP March 31, 2014 in favour of licensed commercial operations under the MMPR, in a bid to improve public safety. The commercial operations have to operate under strict regulations and their product has to be clearly labeled with THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) content. “We are currently contracted with a lab in Lanark County but we do plan to do internal testing,” said Rifici. Primarily focused on getting their product ready for market in time, the team at Tweed is busy monitoring the plants they have in the mother room while feverishly completing the first of the grow rooms that will accommodate the more mature plants. “Each grow room will be equipped with 120,000 watts of light, which I’m

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told will seem as bright as sunlight,” explained Rifici. Each of these grow rooms is expected to yield about 100 pounds per harvest. Needless to say security at the facility is high – a combination of digital and biometric scanners at every exit and entrance to every room. “At every stage the product is tracked by weight as it moves from one area of the facility to another,” said Rifici. All product ends up in the 5,000 square foot vault where it is cured and stored until shipment. The vault, which is buried deep inside the facility, is equipped with state-of-the-art security. The entire operation once it reaches full capacity is licensed to produce 15,000 kilograms of product per year at the current price of $7 to $12 per gram depending on the strain, which according to Rifici, is comparable to street value. According to Smiths Falls Police Service the going street rate for marijuana

is $10 per gram in this area and can go launch its product website on Feb. 6, on as high as $20 per gram in the city. Bob Marley’s birthday, in a quiet salute to the late reggae singer and marijuana Workforce advocate. At that time patients with At this stage Tweed has about 20 medical marijuana prescriptions will be employees and expects to reach any- able to register online. where from 100 to 200 employees once it reaches full capacity, although when Third goal that might be depends on a lot of facHaving achieved two of its goals, the tors. purchase of the building and the HC “Obviously we hope that we will licence, Tweed is actively pursuing its reach full capacity as quickly as possible, third goal. “They made me aware from but it will be dependent upon a number the beginning that they had three things of variables, including Tweed’s ability on their plate, one was to purchase the to attract customers. As it depends on facility, the second was to secure a so many market variables, I really don’t Health Canada licence and the third was want to speculate other than to say we the desire to go public,” said Staples. are working as hard as possible to get to The company is already filing papers full capacity as quickly as we can,” said towards a listing on the TSX Venture Mark Zekulin, vice president. Exchange. It will be the first public listSince Tweed, like the other four com- ing of a marijuana producer in Canada mercial sites in Canada, is prohibited according to a Bloomberg report. from operating a physical retail outlet, Tweed’s bid to go public is being hanpatients will have to register online or dled through a Capital Pool company in by phone. Meanwhile Tweed intends to Ottawa. It’s a relatively new program

BUSINESS TODAY

launched by the TSX Venture Exchange that gives small venture companies like Tweed faster access to a public listing than would be possible under a traditional Initial Public Offering. “So legally we become a subsidiary of the CPC, but from a business perspective we give up five per cent of the company to become publicly listed,” explained Rifici. The benefits of going public however are huge for Tweed,. While they are currently focused on the growing Canadian market, they are also keen to be in a position to take advantage of the import/ export market when it develops according to Rifici. “Going public gives us access to additional capital if we need to expand very rapidly - it makes it easier to raise funds quickly,” said Rifici. “It also forces us to be very open and transparent which is where we want to be and it gives us visibility. In an industry where we’re not allowed to advertise visibility has value.”

FEBRUARY 2014


REGIONAL BUSINESS NEWS

Scotiabank gives back to local community in more ways than one By TARA GESNER A $5,000 donation to the Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital (CPDMH) Foundation from Scotiabank is “the icing on the cake,” said Robyn Arseneau, the foundation’s manager of fundraising. “It is amazing, wonderful and totally unexpected,” she added. On Friday morning, Jan. 17, she accepted the gift from local Scotiabank branch manager Christene Coulas. The money is earmarked for patient care equipment. Stanley Cup The $5,000 contribution wasn’t the only surprise Scotiabank had up its sleeve. On Dec. 8 members of the Carleton Place Novice A Kings volunteered their services at the CPDMH’s annual tree lighting festivities – just one of the many ways the team gives back to the local community. That night, to say thank you for the wonderful work they do in Carleton Place, Coulas announced $1,000 in financial backing for the Kings, part of the Scotiabank Community Hockey Sponsorship Program. “Scotiabank branches support over 4,500 minor hockey leagues across Canada,” she said. Team members were absolutely delighted, but their level of excitement was about to go up a few notches. The door to the hospital’s boardroom opened and in came the much-loved Stanley Cup, the championship trophy awarded annually in the National Hockey League. For almost one hour, players had an opportunity to pose for

-Business Today photo by TARA GESNER

On Friday morning, Jan. 17, Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital Foundation manager of fundraising Robyn Arseneau accepted a $5,000 donation from local Scotiabank branch manager Christene Coulas and manager of personal banking Chris Patterson. an individual and family photo with the trophy. “It was a wonderful opportunity for us,” Arseneau said, “and it was great to share it with the kids.” The Stanley Cup surprise was all caught on camera for a Scotiabank commercial. To view the Scotiabank commercial, go to www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gEuX4mvh5BY. Scotiabank staff, local politicians and CPDMH patients, staff

and trustees also spent time with the Stanley Cup. Moreover, the trophy was briefly taken to the Bowes Brothers Home for Christmas concert, taking place in the upstairs hall at the local arena. Proceeds from the concert benefited the hospital. Arseneau noted $4,644 was raised at the event.

foundation’s fundraising goal for equipment is $341,000. The opening $200,000 of an $800,000 expense for X-ray replacement equipment, which will be paid over a four-year period, is included in the figure. “X-ray equipment has an average life of approximately 10 years,” Arseneau said. The new X-ray equipment is not Medical equipment expected at the CPDMH beginning For the current fiscal year the in 2015.

TransCanada buys area solar farm One of Canada’s largest energy companies has acquired a newly-built Ontario solar power farm in the Pakenham area. TransCanada Corporation, which is buying nine solar facilities in Ontario from Canadian Solar Solutions Inc., announced Jan. 2 that the project known as Mississippi Mills is its latest addition. The acquisition of the 10-megawatt facility is for a reported $61 million. Calgary-based Trans Canada is already well known locally for its pipeline projects, including the Keystone project and EnergyEast, which includes the proposed converting of one of two gas pipelines down the Ottawa Valley to transport oil from the Prairies to ports in the East. While the company is best known for its oil and natural gas projects, it is taking advantage of provincial government incentives to invest in power generation from renewable sources, including solar, wind and nuclear generation. The Pakenham solar farm deal follows the previously announced purchase of Brockville 1, Brockville 2 and Burritts Rapids solar facilities. Canadian Solar had a deal to build the nine solar farms with a combined capacity of 86 megawatts for TransCanada for about $500 million. All nine projects have 20-year power agreements with the Ontario Power

Authority, sell electricity at the premium rate of $443 a megawatt hour. Four of the projects are already providing power to the grid and TransCanada anticipates the remaining five will come into service by the end of 2014. “We are pleased to have acquired an additional solar facility in Ontario as part of our growing energy portfolio, one-third of which are facilities that produce electricity from emission-less sources,” said TransCanada president Russ Girling in a news release. “The addition of these solar facilities to our asset base continues to allow us to complement our existing operations in Ontario where we have become the largest independent power producer in the province.” To date, the company has invested more than $5 billion in emission-less energy sources including the largest wind farm in New England; the Ontario solar projects; and Canada’s largest wind farm development located in Quebec. TransCanada is also a partner in Bruce Power, Canada’s first private nuclear generator that currently produces 6,200 megawatts of emission-less electricity in Ontario. The company operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,500 kilometres (42,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America.

Vendors sought for sixth Brockville Chamber announces Lifetime Business Achievement Award annual business fair and expo • Longevity, • and Personal/Corporate Generosity. Sherri Simzer, Executive Director of the Employment and Education Centre, will be the third ever recipient of this award following John and Steve Mazurek last year, and Dave Jones in 2012. Sherri will be honoured at a special presentation sponsored by the 1000 Islands Community Development Corporation following the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting and breakfast at the Brockville Country Club on Thursday, March 27.

The fee structure is $60 if registered by March 15 and $80 if registered between March 15 and April 18. Space size is 8’ x 8’ with table. For larger spaces please inquire. All registrations will be taken at the Town of Prescott office 30 Dibble St., Prescott. Make cheques payable to the Town of Prescott. For more information call 613-925-2812. It is expected spaces will go fast so hurry and register.

Business Start-up and Expansion Loans up to $250,000

Support for Existing Businesses and Community Organizations

Support and Counselling for New and Existing Businesses

Funding Available for Planning, Training and Internships

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The award, sponsored by the 1000 Islands Development Corporation will be presented at the Brockville & District Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting on March 27, 2014. An independent committee of judges was formed to consider worthy recipients based on a number of criteria including: • Community Impact, • Mentorship, • Economic Impact/Job creation, • Volunteerism,

The sixth annual Augusta Township/ Prescott Business Fair and Expo will be held on Friday, May 2 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 3 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Leo Boivin Community Centre in Prescott at 444 Prince St. This year the fair and expo will be held over two days will be open to all types of exhibitors from all over South Grenville which includes Augusta Township, the Town of Prescott, the Township of Edwardsburg/Cardinal and any outside this area would be considered.

613 345 6216 800 431 6015 www.ticdc.ca www.ticdc.ca With the Support of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

FEBRUARY 2014

BUSINESS TODAY

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SMITHS FALLS BUSINESS NEWS

Ravens Candy Shoppe and Odditorium offers so much more than just treats and odd toys By HOWAIDA SOROUR Ravens Candy Shoppe and Odditorium on Russell Street in Smiths Falls only opened last September, and is already expanding to add an ice cream, cookies and homemade candy counter. “I don’t know how many flavours we’ll have but somewhere between six and 12, and that will be in time for May,” said Auben Clair, proprietor. The shop is currently open from Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but will increase to seven days a week with longer hours come summer - the decor is definitely ‘Tim Burton-esque’, as Clair describes it but says she also likes the description one of her younger customers came up with - an “evil Mrs. Tiggy Winkles”. The store is absolutely packed with every form of candy imaginable and some really unusual small toys and gifts as well. “We have everything including imported candy, from the UK and Japan, we have retro candy, theme candy, unusual toys and tricks, wind-up toys and I can order anything in. But what I love is that everyone can afford something in here. I have kids who come in with 25 cents and they can still walk out with something,” says Clair. It hasn’t been easy opening a candy shop in Smiths Falls where there are still a lot of folks who feel very negatively towards at least one major confectionery supplier. “I know it’s a sensitive issue, and if enough people say “no Hershey” then I’ll make it a “no Hershey” store, but honestly I get a lot of requests for Hershey products on a weekly basis,” says Clair. If there is one thing Clair has found out about this business it’s just how personal candy is to everyone. “I get people who come in and see a particular retro-candy and it will remind them of a childhood event or going to grandma’s house and they’ll often share

-Business Today photo by HOWAIDA SOROUR

Auben Clair and her son Dorian (not shown) have created a delightful fantasy world around the theme of candy and all things fun at Ravens Candy Shoppe and Odditorium on Russell Street in Smiths Falls. that story with me and I love that I can be part of that,” says Clair. But Raven’s isn’t just a candy store; it is so much more than that, and Clair has been busy developing the various facets of her business. She now has two complete ultimate theme birthday party rooms. The Shiver Me Timbers Pirate party room and the Enchanted Forest party room, both are perfect for hosting

parties for the three to eight-year-old child with no more than eight guests. Party packages include the room for one hour with an appropriately dressed adult supervisor, soda and treats, served in the room, loot bags, and a special gift for the birthday child, as well each room is equipped with a tickle trunk for guests to dress up, while the pirate room also includes a sand pit where children can

dig for treasure. “One of the upgrades parents can do, is to have the host child come in a little earlier and I’ll do their make-up and get them into costume, which they can either buy or rent, and I will dress up as well and then the host child and I will greet guests appropriately at the door,” says Clair. The last time she did that, it was with

a young pirate and they both stood outside in full pirate regalia greeting their guests with “Aar matey!” “My daughter Kailey wanted the Pirate room,” said Kelly Veitch whose daughter celebrated her eighth birthday party at Ravens. “She really loved it and the loot bags were great, and they also had a treasure chest that the kids loved.” Veitch who is from Munster, has hosted theme birthday parties for her daughters at home in the past, but says that it ends up costing more money. “Besides if you do it at Ravens you don’t have all the clean-up to do,” she says, “I highly recommend it.” Children’s parties are not the only things that Raven’s Candy Shoppe and Odditorium offers. “I can provide candy for weddings and parties and I do rentals of pop corn machines, cotton candy or snow cone machines. I can also do some event planning for example I’m doing a Halloween wedding and a Carnival wedding this year,” said Clair. She also hosts séance nights and Tarot readings from time to time. “We had one just before Halloween and it was sold out so I’m planning another one just before March,” says Clair. The next event will be a chocolate tasting evening for couples, that will include an ice cold glass of milk, imported chocolate, retro-chocolate, chocolate fondue and fudge. “I’m kind of aiming for the Saturday before Valentine’s,” says Clair but suggests calling her or friending her on Facebook for an alert. “Actually if you friend us on Facebook you’ll also be able to take part in our weekly contests,” says Clair. A single parent Clair credits her 15-year-old son for making it possible for her to manage the store and an 18-month-old baby. “I really couldn’t have done this without Dorian’s help and support,” said Clair.

Smiths Falls Chamber of Commerce welcomes new board members By LAURIE WEIR The Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce has some new directors on board, and after a change in a bylaw, there seems to be a renewed sense of direction for them. A full house of people crammed into the boardroom at Valley Heartland Wednesday, Jan. 15 surprising the president, Chris Saumure. “I’ve never seen this many people in attendance,” he said. “This is great.” Three new members have been nominated to the board of directors, including Joe Gallipeau, Jim Pankow and Tracey Pankow, and two have been reinstated, Sean Lawrence and John Gray. “The bylaw now reads not less than six (members) and no more than 12, plus the executive,” said manager Melissa Hillier, who added that members will be receiving a questionnaire in the mail shortly. “We’ve just developed a survey to -Business Today photo by LAURIE WEIR see what our members want to see in Smiths Falls & District Chamber of Commerce president Chris Saumure their chamber and how we are going reads his notes before the start of the meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

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BUSINESS TODAY

“Who are we and what do we want to do? I want to get a sense of ‘us’ and the membership needs to be aware of what we are and the board needs to take a lead on that. We will brainstorm on how to get things kicked off and will we have sub-committees or the board be engaged it that as a whole?” MELISSA HILLIER CHAMBER MANAGER

to move forward,” she said. She’s been working with Anne Shropshire on the survey, who has taken it under her wing to provide some strategic planning to the menu. “Who are we and what do we want to do?” she asked members during the meeting. “I want to get a sense of ‘us’ and the membership needs to be aware of what we are and the board needs to take a lead on that. We will brainstorm on how to get things kicked off and will we have subcommittees or the board be engaged it that as a whole?” Mayor Dennis Staples, speaking as the council representative, praised members on their proactive stance. “The discussion you have just had here (regarding bylaw changes and adding new board members) shows great clarity,” he said. “Continue to work on your discussions and make the decisions right here. You’re on track, and that’s tremendous.” The next chamber meetings will take place on Feb. 12 and March 12, both at 7:30 a.m.

FEBRUARY 2014


SMITHS FALLS BUSINESS NEWS

Smiths Falls DBA gains new, familiar face By HOWAIDA SOROUR She’s been with the Local Immigration Partnership Council (LIPC) project since its inception in Smiths Falls, but as of early December, Dianne Pinder-Moss has left LIPC to join the Downtown Business Association (DBA), taking over the coordinator’s position. “Dianne was great to work with,” said Coun. Ken Graham, who is also the cochair of LIPC. “She brought her personal touch and commitment to the job. I was absolutely sorry to see her leave. The LIP loss is definitely a gain for the DBA and I applaud them for the wisdom of their selection.” The new job is a part-time position, which suits Pinder-Moss just fine. “I’m at that point in my life when part-time works for me because I do a lot of volunteer work as well,” she said. She volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lanark County, the Salvation Army, Relay for Life and her church and whatever else might come up in life. Her first day on the job Pinder-Moss found herself hosting 500 elementary school children. All part of the lead up to Christmas, the students had arrived by invitation to decorate the town hall tree and it was a DBA event to coordinate and manage. While a little harrowing, it was fun and went well, according to Pinder-Moss.

“Assuming Dianne brings her enthusiasm, expertise and the commitment she displayed at the LIPC project she will be a definite asset to the DBA which is also ultimately great for our community,” said Graham. Pinder-Moss says she plans to continue building on the momentum the DBA has gathered over the past three years. “The DBA has accomplished quite a bit in the last few years and I’m looking to build on those accomplishments. It’s been very successful in attracting new members to the board and last year launched the first Healthy Living Festival, so we’re already looking ahead to the next one, which will be on Saturday, June 21, and hope to make it even bigger,” she said. “Right now we’re looking for vendors, particularly food vendors.” The only thing she’s changing is the DBA’s office hours from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. “I just wanted to spread the hours out a little so if people had questions or needed to reach the DBA we were open a little later in the week,” said PinderMoss. As she points out the DBA has put together a number of excellent initiatives that she intends to continue and expand. “There was the introduction of the

passport to shop and win and it was very successful with 675 complete ballots that’s $67,500 that were spent downtown, so we’re looking at building on that. And there’s the Girl’s Night Out that will be back again in September. “There are the Black Friday promotions, the window decorating challenges at Canada Day, Halloween and Christmas,” she added. The DBA file is not entirely new to Pinder-Moss who, as a Carleton Place reporter and editor, enjoyed close ties with the Business Improvement Association in that town and more recently has volunteered with the Smiths Falls DBA and participated in DBA events. “As someone who has shopped and worked at both the EMC and the town, I’m very familiar with the downtown businesses either because I’ve written about them or dealt with them through LIP or shopped with them,” she said. Pinder-Moss believes this is a very exciting time in this town’s development and she wants to be a part of the new Smiths Falls. “It’s a town that seeing a renewed enthusiasm and that’s why I think it’s an exciting time to be taking on this role, we’ve seen the addition of a number of new businesses in the downtown core and I hope 2014 will bring more of the same.”

- Business Today photo by HOWAIDA SOROUR

Dianne Pinder-Moss has left the Local Immigration Partnership and moved over to the DBA. While she looks forward to building on the accomplishments of the DBA, she says she will miss her co-workers as well as meeting and welcoming new immigrants to the community.

EcoPerth moves forward with Food Hub proposal The first step in an ambitious past several decades. tional demand for local food and project launching a Local Food “Food Hubs are an important the Food Hub would provide a Hub in the Lanark County and link in the local food chain,” key infrastructure component to North Leeds region is currently Cheryl Nash, ecoPerth represen- accelerate the local food moveunder way. The Food Hub As- tative, explained. “It answers the ment in this region. sessment Study, coordinated by questions like how best can local Nash explained ecoPerth enecoPerth, explores the logistics growers and farmers aggregate, visions the Lanark County and of creating a centralized aggre- process and market their goods? North Leeds Food Hub project to gation, storage and distribution How can they most easily get not only represent a storage and facility for local food in the re- what they grow into the hands of distribution facility but eventugion. purchasers?” ally become a community facility The Food Hub concept is an The local Food Hub concept with equipment sharing and one innovative approach to local food has already taken a foothold in where growers and purchasers distribution that is rapidly mov- other parts of Ontario. With simi- can take advantage of valuable ing into the mainstream in Cana- lar projects cropping up in other resources and training. Potenda. Although Food Hubs can ap- areas close to home like Ottawa tially facility locations are being pear in many different forms, it and Hawkesbury, local Food explored in the Smiths Falls area is essentially a centrally located Hubs can also provide the op- due to its central location and acfacility dedicated to coordinating portunity to link different regions cessibility to both growers and aggregation and distribution of and resources. With the imminent markets in Eastern Ontario. locally grown foods to the benefit introduction of Ontario’s Local “This project offers a starting of both growers and purchasers. Food Act, the Lanark County point for engaging the commuOne of their main goals is to help and North Leeds Food Hub proj- nity, not only local food growSubmitted photo Extending its support for a second consecutive year, the Royal Bank of Canada presented a cheque recreate the local food infrastruc- ect couldn’t be timelier. The Act ers and purchasers, into the local for $36,000 to Rideau Community Health Services Board Chair, Graeme Bonham-Carter to the ture that has been lost over the could lead to an increased institu- food debate,” Nash said. visible delight of the children at Duncan J Schoular Public School. The funds go to support an After School Program for about 30 children (age 7 to 12) at the school. Shown at the far left of the SAFETY TIPS image is Peter McKenna, executive director of RCHS with Glen Kelsey, regional vice-president of Candles: Never leave children or pets unattended in a room with a candle or oil lamp. RBC standing immediately beside the cheque. Dave Lawrence, RBC manager, and Nick Ritchie, Be cautious. Be safe. RBC commercial accounts manager are both hidden behind the cheque and the sea of children.

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CARLETON PLACE/MISSISSIPPI MILLS BUSINESS NEWS

BIA reflects on successful year, sets goals for 2014 at AGM Storeroom, to name a few. “There’s been a number of changes and moves last year and I think that’s a good thing,� Sorfleet commented, citing examples such as Sunshine’s Then and Now moving from Victoria Street to Bridge Street and Read’s Book Shop from the Carleton Place Mews to Bridge Street. Perhaps the biggest initiative undertaken by the BIA last year was the $75,000 in funds they dedicated to putting a roof on the Market Square. “The BIA played a strong role in the development of Market Square,� Sorfleet said. “We got the roof on with the help of the town, of course, and helped with signage.� Manager’s report In her report to attendees, McOrmond, who celebrates 10 years with the BIA this October, said 2013 was a year of successful partnerships for the organization. “The BIA this year has had an excellent working relationship with many organizations, including Algonquin College, the high schools, citizens, police and fire departments, the town and the parks and recreation department have all committed volunteer hours to our events and activities,� she stated. “Their support has been tenfold.� “It’s important to point out that the BIA has a solid working relationship with the Town of Carleton Place, staff and municipal leaders,� McOrmond added, noting that mayor Wendy LeBlanc and councillors Louis Antonakos, Jerry Flynn, Rob Probert and Strike. “BIA and town council have a strong working relationship which has opened doors for all of us to benefit.� As the BIA’s vision is beautification and promotion, McOrmond said time will be spent this year enhancing summer and winter beautification. “We will increase the floral and LED

McOrmond concluded.

- Business Today photo by ASHLEY KULP

The Carleton Place Business Improvement Association (BIA) held its annual general meeting at the town hall auditorium Jan. 23. Above, BIA manager Cathie McOrmond, left, and chair Paul Sorfleet show off some of the promotional tools the organization has created: reusable bags and The DownTowner publication, which was released in October. This year, the BIA will continue to strengthen its partnerships and focus on beautification and promotion of the downtown core. light beautification,� she said. “The length of the floral season has extended as a direct result of the great care town staff took of watering and the maintenance of plants.� The organization continues to be a strong leader in the community, McOrmond stated, through its involvement in events such as Pitch-In Day, Comic Book Day, Lambs Down Festival, Bridge Street Bazaar, Maskeraid Halloween Parade and the Santa Claus Parade. They also partnered on the Brett Pearson Run for Your Life for the first time this past September and remain committed to aiding People First of Lanark County’s Bunny Run, Strongman Challenge,

Wine’d Around Downtown, as well as Cruise Night and the Carleton Place Farmers’ Market. The BIA also remains dedicated to the promotion of tourism and for the past two years, McOrmond has served as the chair of the tourism team, made up of different groups in the community which gathers each month. The organization has also partnered with the town’s economic development co-ordinator, Jasmin Ralph, to further those initiatives. This year also saw the launch the BIA’s The DownTowner publication, which was a partnership between the Carleton PlaceAlmonte Canadian Gazette and the organization. The

first issue was released in October and profiles the numerous services businesses offer as well as community events taking place in the downtown are. McOrmond also noted that the BIA set up a new committee in 2013, dedicated to organizing events in the downtown. “Any business members who’d like to sit on it and provide their views or thoughts on organizing events in the downtown can email or call me, if interested,� she said. “Downtown Carleton Place is the heart of Carleton Place and our community. The BIA and the merchants of downtown should be proud and together we are making a difference in the community,� Maria Murphy, store manager of The Hub’s Rebound store, cuts the ribbon to open the new location at 14 Industrial Ave. in Almonte on Saturday, Feb. 1. Joining her, from left, are: Mary Lou Souter, Mississippi Mills town Coun. Paul Watters, assistant manager Barb McPhail, Cheryl Gleeson, Terry McClelland, building and repair gurus Don Kenward and Ian Baker, Hub President Glenda Jones, and real estate magnates Terry O’Donahue and Jack Uppal. - Business Today photo by DESMOND DEVOY

6

BUSINESS TODAY

Keys to vibrant community LeBlanc then took the floor to present a slideshow on the aspects which make a community thrive. She commented that business has grown at an “amazing rate� in Carleton Place over the last few months. “Cathie told me the occupancy rate is the highest it has been in nearly a decade,� she stated. She noted that a snowball effect, providing community gathering places, beautification, customer service, downtown residential opportunities, partnerships, new ventures, celebrating heritage, easy access to information, an active voice (such as the BIA), are all important keys to making a vibrant community. According to Gordon Hume, LeBlanc said, four themes to a successful downtown are: arts, heritage and culture, food and fun, business and commerce, as well as residential. “I’d say we’re well on our way with the first three and definitely moving forward with the fourth,� LeBlanc remarked. “It takes vision, passion and leadership and I congratulate you, the business owners, BIA board, Cathie, and Gary, our council rep, for their strong showing in each of these areas.� Ralph and Kate Crosbie of the Canadian Career Academy, also provided information on programs and services offered to help support businesses, during the evening.

Budget To close out the evening McNeely presented the budget for 2014. The 2013 figures were $176,944.01 in revenues and $159,720 in expenses, leaving a surplus of $17,224.01, which was allocated to a capital reserve fund. The biggest expense of 2013 was the $75,000 earmarked for the Market Square roof project. For 2014, the BIA has set a similar budget: $176,568 in revenues and $156,568 in expenses. McNeely said the biggest chunk of revenue comes from the BIA levy paid by taxpayers. In 2013, $149,577.50 came in and an increase of two per cent is on the way for 2014 ($152,568),in keeping with the town’s increase in property taxes. The main street project replacement, which was previously a $20,000 line item in expenses, will now be treated as an allocation to the capital improvement fund, McNeely said. “...We will transfer that (monies) to a reserve fund to use for capital improvements in the future,� he stated. Overall, McNeely noted that the BIA is in a good financial position, despite a slight deficit. “We have $25,000 in the bank and owe the town $118,000, so we have an overall deficit position of $93,000,� he commented. “The BIA has been in a deficit since we took on the main street project payment.�

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By ASHLEY KULP The Carleton Place Business Improvement Association (BIA) strives to put the needs of downtown businesses first and will continue to fulfill that mandate following their annual general meeting (AGM) Jan. 23 at the Carleton Place Town Hall Auditorium. The auditorium was filled with business owners, council members and supporters who were treated to dinner provided by Waterfall Catering before the evening’s business got underway. BIA chair Paul Sorfleet of Valley Design welcomed guests and introduced the board for 2013-2014. “Every one of our board members shows up to our events and makes them a success,� he stated. They new board features: vice-chair Ben McNeely of Kelly Huibers-McNeely Chartered Accountants; and board members Dennis Burn of Leatherworks, Petra Graber of the Good Food Company, The Granary’s Dena Comley, Aisha Toor of Read’s Book Shop; council representative Gary Strike, as well as new board member Sean Lawrence of Crain & Schooley Financial Corporation. Lawrence takes over from Jack Taylor, property owner of Bridge Street Apartments. “We bid farewell to Jack, who is leaving the board. He has worked very hard for us,� Sorfleet said. “He’s been there whenever we’ve needed him and has taken part on committees. His representation on the board has been very much appreciated and we’re sorry to see you go.� Sorfleet also applauded BIA manager Cathie McOrmond on being named the 2013 Carleton Place Chamber of Commerce’s Employee of the Year and remarked that the organization welcomed 13 new members this year, including The Dress Shop, Lorraine’s, Dollar Tree and The

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CARLETON PLACE/MISSISSIPPI MILLS BUSINESS NEWS

Runway fashion comes to Almonte’s Mill Street courtesy of Avenir Designs By KELLY KENT Almonte’s Mill Street is famous for many things: food, gift shops and, of course, antiques, but it might soon be known for designer fashion, too. Coming to the heart of Almonte straight from the runways of fashion shows is an independent boutique called Avenir Designs, which will sell high-end contemporary women’s fashions. The store held its soft opening on Feb. 1, with plans for a grand opening sometime in April. “We’re just so excited to be opening up in Almonte,� said Donna Cook, one of the boutiques, co-owners. “It’s something we’ve really been looking forward to.� Avenir Designs, which is taking root at 96 Mill Street in Almonte, is primarily an outlet for Cook’s daughter, Micaela, to begin selling her own line of high-end, quality clothing. Cook is taking ownership of the store with Micaela and her other daughter, Meghan. The store in Almonte will be their first independent boutique, although the brand and clothing have been around for a few months. “We knew how hard it was to get into fashion on your own,� Cook said, “so we thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we open our own store and sell her line ourselves?’� Micaela, 25, is a breakout designer who recently graduated from prestigious Huddersfield University in England, which is known for design among other things. She didn’t wait long after she had finished school to begin perusing her dreams of becoming a clothing designer. Soon, the Carp native had begun creating her own line of women’s fashion under the name Avenir Designs. The store’s tagline is “Fashions for the rhythm of your life,� and Cook says they aim to take high fashion looks to an accessible line of day-today wear. Avenir’s 2014 spring and summer collection, Cadence, was fully designed by Micaela and was named

- Business Today photos by DESMOND DEVOY and submitted

Donna Cook, above left, old-fashioned iron in hand, and designer daughter Micaela Cook, stand beside an old, foot-pedal-operated Singer sewing machine during the soft launch of their new fashion store, Avenir Designs, on Mill Street in Almonte on Feb. 1. Their store is due to have its grand opening in April. Right, Avenir Designs was recently featured at Ottawa Fashion Week as their opening show. after her first-born niece. The line features a variety of colour-blocked women’s clothing items that are both bright and bold. “It’s been about a year since she graduated,� Cook said, “but we’ve already had so much attention.� Just a short while after it had been created, Avenir Design’s Cadence line managed to snag a spot as the feature opener at Ottawa Fashion Week, a three-day event that showcases the hottest fashions, for their fall 2013 show. Since then, Cook said the recognition and attention surrounding the brand has really taken off. Avenir Design’s boutique location

will feature Micaela’s famous Cadence line as well as her new lines as they come out. As a bonus, the store will also carry other famous Canadian brands like Sympli. “All of our clothing is made and manufactured in Canada,� Cook said, “and retails from about $120 and up.� Cooks says she is ecstatic to open up a boutique in a town she knows so well and to have her family by her side as they take on this new chapter. “It’s amazing,� she said. “You dream of something for so long and you never really think it’s going to happen. But then it does and you have to pinch yourself to see if you’re awake.�

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PERTH BUSINESS NEWS

Perth and District Chamber of Commerce gets set for 2014 From organizing the Festival of the Maples to providing personal referrals, the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce worked hard to provide networking and promotional opportunities for its 370 members throughout 2013. When reflecting back on the year, General Manager Pauline Fitchett says the Chamber had a plan and executed it successfully. “Our members told us they wanted to see more networking opportunities provided by the Chamber, and so we listened,” she explains. “We organized 14 Chamber-related events, gave personal referrals and provided advertising opportunities for members at our largescale events including the Festival of the Maples and our Annual Golf Tournament.” The Chamber also introduced new initiatives including the Garden and Grounds Tour to help promote tourism in the area as well as developing a homeowner’s package for local real estate agents to distribute to residents new to

the area. The Chamber continued with its social media strategy, developed and distributed its popular Visitor Guide and also hosted its Annual General Meeting

last March as well as the Annual Dinner in October. “It’s always nice to look back at what we’ve accomplished over the course of a year,” says Fitchett. “It allows us to see where we’ve witnessed success, where we can improve and how we can further support local businesses across Perth and District.” Support is a key word which will often be used around the Chamber office in 2014. The Chamber plans to develop and distribute an employer support package for hospitality-based businesses as well as launching a resource-based tool as part of its Business Growth Initiative. “We have established our networking events and we now want to delve further into how we can support our businesses both behind the scenes and on the front lines,” says Chamber President Jill Campbell.

filling up for 2014. The Chamber will host its Annual General Meeting in Perth on March 26. The Annual General Meeting welcomes members to come for a delicious lunch, which is then followed by presentations made by the Executive and Board Committee Chairs. The financial statements will be reviewed and executive and board members will be elected to represent the Chamber for 2014. Staff and volunteers are now getting ready for the 37th Annual Festival of Maples, which is set to take place in downtown Perth on Saturday, April 26. Vendor spots are still available and can be booked by calling the Chamber at 613-267-3200. The Chamber hosted its third annual Speed Networking Session at Carolina Retirement Suites in January. It’s a popular event allowing business owners and organizations to network with one another in a quick and fun fashion. Upcoming Chamber Events Upcoming information events include The Perth and District Chamber of Commerce’s social calendar is quickly a Health and Safety workshop as well as

a session on how to expand your business. The next After-5 Mixer will take place at Lavender & Lace for a Girls’ Night Out theme on Tuesday, Feb. 11, allowing members and potential members to get together at a Chamber members’ business following the work day. “These are events the Chamber organizes in order to integrate connections amongst its members,” says Campbell. “We want members to have a way to connect with one another and that’s where we play an important role within the local business community. The Chamber also reaches out to a wider audience by promoting both its services and members using Facebook and Twitter. The social media platform has been a key communication tool for the Chamber as it allows us to connect with our 500-plus followers.” For future events and information about the Perth and District Chamber of Commerce, please keep an eye on the Chamber’s website at www.perthchamber.com.

Furniture built for your life: Sentesy Solid Woodwork & Nick Moore Business - When was the last time you chose to invest in quality over accessibility or convenience? Is it really worth it? David Sentesy, fine furnituremaker and owner of Sentesy Solid Woodwork, would say yes - without question. What value do we take from reflecting on how and where we choose to spend? As Christmas approaches, some may question choices that do not support environmental sustainability – we want to give in a way that contributes, that doesn’t deplete. Sentesy takes a strong and simple stance: value the earth and make things that last. In 1970, Sentesy began to build his business from the ground up; he has been serving clientele in Perth and area for over 40 years. As Sentesy puts it, “I just love wood. I like to bring the presence of trees into our daily lives in an organic way.” A look at his website portfolio reveals a remarkable collection of beautiful, custom-designed, local hardwood furniture (tables, chairs, desks, bedframes, casework), architectural millwork (fire mantles, staircases, doors) and restoration work. The breadth is varied and ever-expanding; no project is too large or small. “You are getting what you can’t buy in a box store – custom design, quality joinery and superior materials.” Beyond supporting local, independent business, what makes a piece like this preferable to a factory-made item? Perhaps surprisingly, it may be the most economical and environmental decision. Although the cost of a hand-crafted piece may seem at first daunting, the furniture will endure use for over 100 years. Cheap, factory pieces may be made with weak joinery or particle-board, liable to collapse under load or moisture and end up in landfill. Solid woodwork is designed and constructed as a whole to consider woodexpansion over time. A single

8

Polish design. Though glad to accommodate you, furniture is not a fashion item for Sentesy, “it should be timeless.” His natural style and design-sense reflects the grace and simplicity of the material beneath his hands. “You could call it Traditional Canadian solid wood furniture.” He reflects, “My work has an antique flavour, much like the kind available to people living in Canada 100 years ago.” Sentesy considers the colour, grain and markings of every element when crafting a piece - not only a well-seasoned tradesman, but an artist. Sentesy’s career began with a degree in English and History; finding no work in teaching, he turned to his craft. He began apprenticing under an Italian cabinetmaker in Ottawa, and took a guitar-building course at Algonquin College. He worked with his brother Paul Sentesy (now owner of Sentwood-Mercer Construction) until committing to his passion for furniture-

making and settling shop in a converted old cheese factory on the 7th Concession of Drummond Centre. He has since taught the Heritage Woodwork and Introduction to Cabinet Making courses at Algonquin College. In February of 2013, Nick Moore, a graduate of Rosewood Studio in Perth (school of fine woodworking) dropped into Sentesy’s solitary workshop seeking a home for his business. Inspired by work with local and exotic woods and exploration with veneer work, coloured inlay, and modern design, Moore’s furniture is unique and complementary to Sentesy’s. He received a degree in Furniture Production and Management at Buckinghamshire Chiltern University, UK in 1997, where he learned of Rosewood. After working six years in restoration and upholstery, Moore moved to Canada to attend Rosewood and stayed there as shop steward for five years until he sought a larger

space. With their differing styles and complementary skills and input, Sentesy and Moore now work supportively alongside each other, providing the community with quality, handcrafted furnishings. “I love the warmth of wood,” shares Sentesy. “It’s forgiving, unlike metal work, a similar temperature to holding someone’s hand – something living. It gives pleasure. The legacy of a woodworker is that the work outlasts its maker. A new tree will have grown by the time a piece dies.” Sentesy Solid Woodwork and Nick Moore Furniture-Making will receive orders now for those wanting pieces built in the New Year, with payment plans available. To contact them or view their portfolios, visit www. solidwoodwork.ca or www. nickmoore.ca. Submitted by Monika S. Walker of Bright Mingle Media

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NORTH GRENVILLE BUSINESS NEWS

Provincial funding reductions questioned at economic luncheon Stable, predictable funding for municipalities is lacking, said Clark. “In terms of the OMPF, I’m shocked that at the AMO conference last year there wasn’t a public uproar amongst all the municipalities.” According to the AMO website, cuts to the fund have occurred annually in the last few years. Between 2012 and 2013, the total envelope was reduced by $23 million. A further $25 million cut in 2014 means total allocations will fall to $550 million with continued cuts expected to reduce funds to $500 million by 2016. The reductions per municipality, AMO said, are happening provincewide. Clark said he has written to Premier Kathleen Wynne about the cuts in funding, saying she needs to let municipalities know whether or not they will receive less money so they can plan for it. “Local councils want to know year after year what to expect. They want stability and predictability, and that’s not happening.” After talking to municipalities, Clark said most mayors know whether they’re a winner or a loser. “The winners know that they’re going to get a windfall and the losers know they are going to have catastrophic tax increases.” According to North Grenville Municipal Council finance chair Tim Sutton, his municipality is losing out on funding. At a regular council meeting Mon-

day, Jan. 27, when council approved the 2014 budget, Sutton said a cumulative net reduction in revenues of $569, 300 over the past two years was one of the greatest challenges of this year’s budget deliberations. “At one point, it was looking as though we would be facing a tax increase of over six per cent,” Sutton said. Council was able to reduce the tax increase to two per cent, Sutton said, but it remains difficult for the relatively small municipality to absorb such a huge cut in funding over such a short timeframe. As well, with the two-tier system of government under which the municipal-

ity operates, Sutton said the services being uploaded benefits mostly the country government. “Our municipality requires stable, predictable funding, much like we receive through our gas tax revenues from the federal government,” Sutton said. “Living in a world of unknowns, particularly with respect to provincial funding, is difficult at best and does not typically promote long-term planning by municipalities.” A recent application by the municipality to the Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund (SRNMIF) was rejected based on a ‘means’

test, Sutton said. The response to the application stated the municipality’s proposed project did not pass the prescreen because “other applicants had more challenging economic conditions (as measured by property assessments and incomes).” The province, Sutton said, is essentially penalizing the municipality for being good managers of the public purse. In mid-December, council voted to suspend their $4,000-a-year AMO membership for 2014. Given these types of statements, Sutton said, it has become more evident that the municipality must fend for itself.

-Business Today photo by JOE MORIN

Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark addresses the audience during the Jan. 29 Economic Impact Luncheon hosted by the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce. R0012448758

By LAURA ARMSTRONG A more than $500,000 net reduction in revenues from the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund over the past two years was on the mind of council members present at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Wednesday, only days after council’s financial chair attributed budget deliberation challenges to the drop in funding. The Municipality of North Grenville’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carré took advantage of the question and answer period at the end of the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Impact Luncheon Jan. 29 to ask Leeds-Grenville Member of Provincial Parliament Steve Clark, Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and MPP for Stormont, Dundass and Glengarry Jim McDonell how the municipality could restore the critical funding. “We predict with another two years of cuts (the reduction) will go over a million. We all know that OMPF is a big part of the management of municipalities,” Carré said. Clark, a former municipal affairs critic as well as a past Association of Municipalities of Ontario president, said provincial Conservative leader Tim Hudak was vilified by big city mayors at the 2011 AMO conference when he suggested putting the brakes on the upload of social assistance benefits and court security costs to the provinces, a deal that was negotiated in 2008.

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UÊÓÊÞ>À`Ê̜Ê{äÊÞ>À`ÊVœ˜Ì>ˆ˜iÀÃÊvœÀÊÃVÀ>«Ê“iÌ>ÊœÀÊÜ>ÃÌi UÊ i“œˆÌˆœ˜ÊÜ>ÃÌi UÊ,i˜ÌÊ>ÊLˆ˜ÊœÀÊLÀˆ˜}ʈ˜ÊޜÕÀÊÃVÀ>«Ê“iÌ>ÊvœÀÊ -t UÊ-“ˆÌ…ÃÊ>ÃʏœV>̈œ˜ÊˆÃÊ>ʏˆVi˜Ãi`ÊÌÀ>˜ÃviÀÊÃÌ>̈œ˜ÊvœÀÊÜ>ÃÌi UÊœV>Þʜܘi`ÊEʜ«iÀ>Ìi` “Most people talk recycling. We do it!”

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>Ài̜˜Ê*>Vi]Êi“«ÌۈiÊ>˜`Ê̅iÊ ÀœVŽÛˆi]Ê*ÀiÃVœÌÌ]Ê>˜>˜œµÕiʓ>ÀŽiÌÃt "˜Ê iÜÃÊÃÌ>˜`Ãʈ˜Êˆ}…Ê/À>vwVÊœV>̈œ˜ÃÊvœÀÊ̅iÊ*ÕLˆVÊ̜ʫˆVŽÊիʓœ˜Ì…Þ° ,i>`ʜ˜ˆ˜iÊ>ÌÊ  ÕȘiÃÃ̜`>Þ°V>° `ÛiÀ̈ÃiÊvœÀÊ>ÃʏˆÌ̏iÊ>ÃÊfÓäÊ>ʓœ˜Ì…ʈ˜ÊœÕÀʼ ÕȘiÃÃÊ œ˜˜iV̈œ˜Ã½Êvi>ÌÕÀi

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BUSINESS TODAY

9


GANANOQUE BUSINESS NEWS

Chamber sees a year of change and renewal By JAN MURRAY Despite the less than ideal weather conditions, the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce welcomed a full house to its 2014 Levee and Breakfast. The special event, Monday, Jan. 27 also featured a silent auction at the Glen House Resort on the 1000 Islands Parkway, and was sponsored by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). Gananoque Chamber president Joe Baptista along with six guest speakers took the opportunity to reflect on the previous year and share their goals and objectives for what lies ahead in 2014. Baptista began, “I would like to first acknowledge and recognize our now former executive director, Lisa Wells. Over the past year, her efforts have been invaluable to the chamber as we navigated through change and evolution.” The chamber is very pleased she is staying on as a board member, “We are going to retain her expertise and insight as a consultant as the chamber continues to evolve and to grow to better serve our region.” Just before moving on to the morning’s first speaker, Baptista added, “2014 will be a year of change and renewal for the Chamber of Commerce. We have a very strong board that represents many different businesses throughout Gananoque and the Thousand Islands. The board is committed to providing more comprehensive advocacy for the businesses that we serve.” First speaker of the morning was Craig Betts of the OLG who shared his pride in its accomplishments. “We have a proud history of supporting events like this one; events that help to strengthen local communities,” he stressed. “Last year alone we provided more than $2 million to help support communities and local economies by sponsoring various festivals and events across Ontario. This includes more than $50,000 for festivals and events right here in Gananoque and the Leeds and 1000 Islands area.” Guest speaker MPP for Leeds-Grenville Steve Clark thanked the chamber for inviting him to return and have the opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past year as well as talk about the challenges which were faced. He touched on the casino issue, conveying how very worried he is about job losses in the horse industry. “I want to commend the outstanding

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Jesting that he learned from Tom Russell, Kinsella then made a cheque presentation; a donation to St. Lawrence District Medical Centre in Lansdowne for $2,500 from BMO and the Ontario Clean Water Association toward the building expansion project. Tom Russell, executive director of the Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation began by thanking everyone and complimenting the township for all their hard work. “Our organization at its core,” Russell explained, “We are a small business support service.” Russell explained some of the projects which have been funded in the town of Gananoque and in TLTI. “Our popular internship program, where we cover the wages of some young people coming out of university and colleges and giving them a wonderful opportunity to get some wonderful experience. In the past 12 months we’ve done internships with the Thousand Islands Playhouse, Dreams in Motion, the Thousand Islands Accommodation Partners, the Gananoque Thousand Islands Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Gananoque.” In keeping with tradition, he took the opportunity to thank some people and make some cheque presentations. The first of which was for the Arthur Child Heritage Museum for which Debra McGee accepted a cheque for $13,600. He also made a cheque presentation to the Canadian Thousand Islands Boat Museum in the amount of $41,000 and a cheque in the amount of $52,000 to the Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

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From left, Tom Russell, executive director of the Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation, Frank Kinsella, mayor of the Township of Leeds & the Thousand Islands, Craig Betts, OLG, Gananoque mayor Erika Demchuk, MPP Leeds and Grenville Steve Clark, MP Leeds and Grenville Gord Brown and 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce president Joe Baptista were all smiles as the 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce welcomed a full house to their 2014 Levee and Breakfast, Jan. 27 at the Glen House Resort. work that the management and employees Brown commended the chamber for here have done in our community. There the great work and efforts it has underis certainly a great example of community taken over the years. He also pointed to minded business that works with munici- the importance of remaining focused on palities and area groups,” Clark assured. balanced budgets. Clark also addressed another issue He assured everyone that the, “Govat hand. He had attended an event, in ernment is on track to balance the budget Brown’s Bay, whereby snowmobilers had by next year. Canada is expected to be taken a stand to support their use and ac- one of the strongest growing economies cess to the 1000 Islands Parkway. in the G7 for 2014.” Clark also spoke of the propane short“Another thing that I am bringing forage that many have experienced with the ward is a bill to allow Canadians to conunexpected demand. tribute to National Historic Sites and get “The immediate shortage appears to be a tax receipt,” he mentioned. He has been resolved to some degree but I remain very named chair of the standing committee of concerned about the supply and the issue Canadian Heritage. of pricing,” he reiterated. He has written Erika Demchuk, mayor of Gananoque to Premier Kathleen Wynn and requested was not nearly as pleased with the progthat Ontario act immediately to work with SHUT DOWN! the federal government and the propane Turn off the industry, to address the issue of the prolights, the pane shortage. “It’s time to put politics and pointing computer and the TV when fingers aside. I think we all need to all they are work together to provide some relief for not in use. some people who are already struggling Using only highly to make ends meet.” efficient and Not surprisingly, Clark continues to money saving put jobs and families at the top of his priappliances ority list. “Number one issue at Queen’s can reduce Park remains creating jobs and getting the electricity our economy back on track.” consumption MP Gord Brown opened by recognizof an average ing the passing of John Matheson. “He household to was the father of the Canadian flag. But one tenth a little known fact is that he is also the father of the flag of Gananoque,” Brown of the average. pointed out.

ress on the casino issue commenting, “I wish I could say that the casino issue has been settled but unfortunately that is not the case.” “The town and the township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands are still working very closely to make sure that we can attract successful private investors.” Making sure, however to acknowledge that Clark’s efforts in the matter have not gone unnoticed. Demchuk closed by launching the new video, “A thousand reasons to do business in the 1000 Islands.” Frank Kinsella, mayor of the Township of Leeds & the Thousand Islands, reiterated the words of his predecessors, emphasizing that working together to ensure that TLTI is a prime destination for diverse growth and prosperity which respects natural assets is of utmost importance. Kinsella spoke on grant money and why it is not always easily attainable. “In north eastern Ontario, the average assessment is $231,000. In our township it is $322,325. We are 91,000 above the average home assessment.” “Average income in north eastern Ontario is $61,000 in TLTI it is $76,400. Our debt load is less than $1 million. We also have a borrowing ceiling of $25 million dollars.” He summed it up by outlining, “The township has $11 million budget with over $70 million is assets.” He introduced the new CAO Milena Avramovic who in turn took to the podium and introduced the new senior management team.

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FEBRUARY 2014


BROCKVILLE BUSINESS NEWS

International Women’s Apply now for 2014 Day event to feature Summer Company program showcase, special dinner By MARLA DOWDALL Inspiring Change is the hope for the International Women’s Day dinner and Spring Showcase. The event takes place March 6 at the Brockville Memorial Centre, and keynote speaker for the dinner will be Kathie Donovan. The Leeds and Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre has partnered with the Brockville Women in Business to put on this showcase. Donovan, special guest speaker for the dinner, became well known in the area after 35 years on radio and on CJOH’s Regional Contact. “Kathie has shared inspiring stories about people who have made a difference by bringing their dreams to life. In the latest chapter of her career, Kathie is using her gifts and combining two of her favourite subjects: human behaviour and spirituality,” notes the poster advertising the event. Also during the evening, two awards will be

presented including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Sue MacLaurin Memorial Leadership Award. The Spring Showcase will feature 23 businesses and exhibits, from throughout the community. At this point space has been sold out, noted Wendy Onstein, manager for the LGSBC and past president for the BWB. The Spring Showcase begins at 4 and runs to 6:30 p.m. This portion of the day is open to the public. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the trade show only is $5. Those who wish to attend the meal must get their tickets now at a cost of $45 (which also includes admission to the trade show). There will be an opportunity to purchase raffle tickets on baskets, and proceeds from the event will be going to Leeds and Grenville Interval House and Girls Inc. There will be a cash bar. Those wishing to purchase dinner tickets may do so through the LGSBC by calling 613-342-8772 ext. 471 or via email to enterprisecentre@brockville.com.

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Startup funding Summer Company participants are provided up to $1,500 in startup funding, and upon successful completion of the program, up to $1,500 at the end of the summer. Participants meet bi-weekly with mentors – business professionals from various sectors in the community, said Nicole Hanson, business development coordinator, with the LGSBC. As part of the application process a business plan must be undertaken. However, Hanson described it as “user friendly”, with simple instructions to walk the applicant through the process. This also includes a cash flow portion. For further information about the program, or how to apply, please contact the Leeds & Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre at 613-342-8772 x 470 or e-mail enterprisecentre@brockville.com, or visit the website at www.lgsbec.com/

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The following is a list of some of the events taking place in the St. Lawrence Region of Business Today (Gananoque, Brockville, Prescott, Iroquois) that are of particular interest to businesses and industries in the area.

Tuesday, February 11 ÀœVŽÛˆiÊEÊ ˆÃÌÀˆVÌÊ …>“LiÀʜvÊ œ““iÀViÊ iÌܜÀŽˆ˜}Ê Ài>Žv>ÃÌÊ>ÌÊ̅iÊ ÀœVŽÛˆiÊ œÕ˜ÌÀÞÊ ÕL° /ˆ“i\ÊÇ\ääÊ>°“° -«i>ŽiÀ\Ê+Õii˜½ÃÊ*>ÀŽÊÕ«`>ÌiÊvÀœ“Ê**Ê-ÌiÛiÊ >ÀŽ ,iÃiÀÛ>̈œ˜Ã\ÊÜÜÜ°LÀœVŽÛˆiV…>“LiÀ°Vœ“ or ȣ·Î{ӇÈxxÎÊ ÝÌ°Êä

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By MARLA DOWDALL Opportunity abounds for those who are successful in qualifying for the Summer Company program. The program allows youth to build a good business foundation and spread their wings. Open to residents of Leeds and Grenville between the ages of 15 and 29, applicants must be students, and returning to school in the fall. The program allows participants to start up and run their own summer business. This competitive program has an application deadline of Friday, May 23. This year will see 18 students take part in this area. Previous Summer Company entrepreneurs have brought many unique ideas to the table – for instance some have undertaken drama camps, woodworking, food industry initiatives, baked goods, tech industry and more. “It’s an excellent program,” Wendy Onstein, manager, Leeds and Grenville Small Business Centre commented. Summer Company, is offered through the provincial government’s Young Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, February 12 Ài>ÌiÀÊ ÀœVŽÛˆiÊ`ÛiÀ̈Ș}ʘ`Ê->iÃÊ ÕLʇʍœˆ˜ÌÊ “iï˜}Ê܈̅Ê̅iÊ,*ÊÃÜV°Ê>ÌÊ/…iÊ ÀœVŽÛˆiÊ

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FEBRUARY 2014

ÀœVŽÛˆiÊEÊ ˆÃÌÀˆVÌÊ …>“LiÀʜvÊ œ““iÀVi‡ º ÕȘiÃÃÊvÌiÀʈÛi»Ê>ÌÊ/…iʈÊ,iÃÌ>ÕÀ>˜Ì /ˆ“i\Êx\ääÊqÊÇ\ääÊ«°“° ,iÃiÀÛ>̈œ˜Ã\ÊÜÜÜ°LÀœVŽÛˆiV…>“LiÀ°Vœ“ or ȣ·Î{ӇÈxxÎÊ ÝÌ°Êä Send us information on your business meetings or events for this monthly calendar. Information is required by the first Wednesday of the month. Email: wthornhill.@stlemc.ca BUSINESS TODAY

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2014’S WITH BI-WEEKLY LEASING HWY: 5.3L/100 KM CITY: 7.5L/100 KMʈ

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BUSINESS TODAY

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The Hyundai names, logos, product names, feature names, images and slogans are trademarks owned by Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. †Leasing offers available O.A.C. from Hyundai Financial Services based on a new 2014 Santa Fe Sport 2.4L FWD/Accent 4-Door L/Tucson 2.0L GL FWD MT with an annual lease rate of 3.90%/0.90%/2.90%. Bi-weekly lease payment of $159/$83/$129 for a 60 month walk-away lease. Down Payment of $2,495/$0/$1,895 and first monthly payment required. Total lease obligation is $23,165/$10,790/$18,665. Lease offers include Delivery and Destination of $1,760/$1,550/$1,760, fees, levies, and all applicable charges (excluding HST). Lease offers exclude registration, insurance, PPSA and license fees. $0 security deposit on all models. 20,000 km allowance per year applies. Additional charge of $0.12/km on all models except Genesis Sedan and Equus where additional charge is $0.25/km. Delivery and Destination charge includes freight, P.D.E., dealer admin fees and a full tank of gas. Lease a new 2014 Accent 4 Dr L and you’ll be entitled to a $225 dealer to customer lease credit. Dealer to customer lease credit applies before taxes. Offer cannot be combined or used in conjunction with any other available offers. Offer is non-transferable and cannot be assigned. No vehicle trade-in required. ʕPrice of models shown: 2013 Elantra Limited are $24,985. Prices include Delivery and Destination charges of $1,550, fees, levies, and all applicable charges (excluding HST). Prices exclude registration, insurance, PPSA and license fees. ʈFuel consumption for new 2014 Santa Fe Sport 2.4L FWD (HWY 7.3L/100KM; City10.2.L/100KM), Accent 4-Door L (HWY 5.3L/100KM; City 7.5L/100KM), Tucson 2.0L GL FWD MT (HWY 7.2L/100KM; City 10.0L/100KM) are based on Manufacturer Testing. Actual fuel efficiency may vary based on driving conditions and the addition of certain vehicle accessories. Fuel economy figures are used for comparison purposes only. ΩPrice adjustments are calculated against the vehicle’s starting price. Price adjustments of up to $5,000 /$4,540 available on 2013 Sonata Hybrid/ 2013 Elantra L 6-Speed Manual. Price adjustments applied before taxes. Offer cannot be combined or used in conjunction with any other available offers. Offer is non-transferable and cannot be assigned. No vehicle trade-in required. †ΩOffers available for a limited time, and subject to change or cancellation without notice. See dealer for complete details. Dealer may sell for less. Inventory is limited, dealer order may be required. ††Hyundai’s Comprehensive Limited Warranty coverage covers most vehicle components against defects in workmanship under normal use and maintenance conditions.

FEBRUARY 2014

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