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MILE STONES 70 years!

Reliable Motors celebrates their 70th Anniversary on May 23. Cars from the past seven decades were on display as well as a 1911 Model T. The open house featured entertainment, BBQ, birthday cake, car wash and much more. Best wishes to Greg and all the Reliable staff!

New Location Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for Wilmot Financial Services, 369 St Andrew Street W. Unit 1 Fergus, was held May 21. Del may be reached at 519.787.4627.

New Park

Happy Birthday! Lloyd Scott Enterprises, Alma is celebrating their 40th Anniversary in business. Congratulations and Best Wishes for continued success.

The Grand River Agricultural Society presented a $15,000 cheque to Heritage Centre Wellington for the BT Corner project to commemorate the Beatty family’s contribution to the history of the township. The park is at the corner of Queen, St David, and Bridge Streets, and the official opening is set for June 20. From left: Julia Tyndale-Biscoe, Dr Ted Clarke, Paul Taylor, Dave Beynon, Kathy Baranski. MINDING OUR



is mailed to all registered businesses in Centre Wellington. Not registered as a business with Canada Post? Misplaced your copy? Pick up a copy of Minding Our Business at: Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce, The Wellington Advertiser, Fergus BIA, Elora BIA, Wellington-Waterloo Futures Development Corporation




PAGE 2 | June 09





Minding Our Business is a business magazine focusing on items of interest to commercial, retail, industrial and service businesses in Centre Wellington.

COVER Centre Wellington is the hub of summer activity with 3 BIG festivals: The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games, The Elora Festival and The Fergus Truck Show, all of which make the area a cultural mecca for tourists and locals alike.


Openings | Awards | Moves

4 5


BUSINESS Box 252, Fergus, Ontario N1M 2W8 519-843-5410 telephone 519-843-7607 facsimile Sales: Sherry Clarke Graphic Design: Helen Michel

ELORA BIA Thank You, Elora


EDC Bringing You Up To Date

general policy


FERGUS BIA Artwalk & Folk Festival

7 Advertising is accepted on the condition that, in the event of typographical error, that portion of the advertising space occupied by the erroneous item, together with a reasonable allowance for the signatures, will not be charged for, but the balance of the advertisements will be paid for at the applicable rate. In the event of a typographical error advertising goods or services at a wrong price, goods or services may not be sold. Advertising is merely an offer to sell, and may be withdrawn at any time. Persons wishing information regarding circulation, rates and additional service are invited to contact our office for further details. The publisher accepts responsibility for claims and honors agreements made by himself or by regular staff on his behalf. No responsibility is accepted for actions by person(s) not in the employ of the paper, or otherwise over whom the Publisher has no control. All Advertising accepted is done so in good faith. The Publisher maintains the right to approve or reject advertising and articles submitted for publication.





THE CHAMBER PAGES 11 Meet the Members: 12

AL’S COUNTRY FURNITURE Events Calendar ON THE WEB: Are you confusing your website visitors?

14 NATIONAL HUNGER MONTH Changes at the local Food Bank


June 09 | PAGE 3



JUNE 2009


2009 ART WALK and FOLK FESTIVAL – A great opportunity to sell We’re going to match or exceed the

town, but you the retailers, service

near and wide, so bring your lawn

3,000 + visitors who came to last

providers and restaurants, are the

chairs and enjoy. The Art Walk will

years downtown Fergus ART

real reason its all happening. AND

go from 10 AM until 4 PM, and the

WALK. Join in. Put on your best

this year there’s more. Along with

Folk Festival from 2 PM through 9

face, have a special sale, put out

the Art Walk, we’re holding the first

PM. So why not stay open later?

sidewalk tables. The artists are the

Fergus Folk Festival in the Market

draw bringing all these people into

parking lot, featuring ten acts from



As submitted by the Fergus BIA

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What I do have space for, however, is another well-deserved “thank you”.


Allow me to explain…

A group of economic development professionals from all over Canada arrived in town a few weeks ago. They were attending a professional development course at the University of Waterloo, and they had been sent here to assess Centre Wellington’s tourism and retail sectors and produce a report identifying each sector’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in this project on behalf of our BIA. So for a few hours on a beautiful Thursday morning in April, I, along with five or six other commercial stakeholders from our community, had the opportunity to share information about our little town with four industry experts, who listened very carefully, asked many pointed and intelligent questions, and then put all of their own ideas, experience and knowledge to work to produce an excellent presentation, which they graciously agreed to share with the members of our working group. There isn’t enough space here to communicate all the insights gleaned from their investigation, but the relevant documents are available to anyone who is interested in reading them – just contact the Elora BIA, Fergus BIA, CW Chamber of Commerce, or CW Economic Development Office for a copy.

At that meeting in April, the community stakeholders in attendance were given the opportunity to introduce their organization to the rest of the group and then muse for a while on what they believed were the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of their own constituencies. As I was preparing to speak on behalf of the Elora BIA, I jotted down a rough SWOT analysis for Elora and surprised myself at just how quickly the “S” column filled up. Boy, do we have a lot going for us in this community! We often celebrate the natural beauty of the area and its power to attract attention, but so much additional work is done to draw people here every year by local volunteers. As I rhymed off a list of the various events, festivals, programs and facilities offered by this selfless army of Elorians, I could actually detect members of my audience turning a lighter shade of green:The Elora Festival, Sensational Elora, The Elora Centre for the Arts, the Dominion Day Parade, the Santa Claus Parade, Art by the Yard, the Festival Book Sale, the Studio Tours, the Open Doors event – the list goes on and on.

Tim Horton

Our businesses are truly blessed to find themselves in such a dynamic and stimulating space, among residents who care so much and work so hard to keep it that way. So a big “Thank You” to Elora: what a wonderful place to work and live!

Make Dreams Real If you are interested in making a difference locally & internationally

Centre Wellington Centennial Rotary Club

JOIN ROTARY! BREAKFAST MEETINGS - THURSDAYS 7 A.M. At the Gorge Country Kitchen, Elora Centre Wellington Centennial Rotary Club For info. call 519-846-0971 June 09 | PAGE 5



Dave Rushton

Good evening ladies and gentlemen and please allow me to pass on the regrets from our Mayor and council as they launch a new document that incorporates the zoning in six former municipalities that make up the Township of Centre Wellington. This document has been 10 years in the making to try and incorporate the best policies that we had or the best policies that we can find. I know for my life things will be much simpler to have a single set of rules instead of multiple sets. Some of the more recent activity that council or Economic Development and Tourism have had in Fergus are: 1. Community Improvement Plan to promote continued development, signage, residential intensification and design guidelines. 2. In this years budget, $10,000 was agreed to by council to kick off the funding for BT Corners and this, coupled with the money from the Grand River Agricultural Society means that project is about 50% funded. 3. Over the last several months a new retail group has formed with the township, the two BIAs and Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce that can work on joint projects in marketing and business attraction. 4. This is the second year for Fergus to be in the Doors Open program which will be coordinated with their Art Walk and Folk Festival on Saturday, June 20. 5. Reports from my staff indicate that Tartan Day, also in it’s second year, was quite successful in April. 6. Another council budget approval was their investment in the Fergus Grand Theatre – new roof and heating, etc. 7. In about two week’s time, nine way-finding directional signs will be erected around Fergu, helping visitors to find their way.

PAGE 6 | June 09

8. The sign in Victoria Park was blown down and that gives us an opportunity to create a new look and program around its replacement. 9. We have also formed a parking committee to look at parking issues in both Fergus and Elora. We need to take a longterm approach to parking needs while continuing our request to get business owners and employees to avoid using the prime parking lots. 10. Public Works and Parks and Recreation continue to support the beautification of the downtown streets and park areas. I have also been asked to speak on the impacts of the new shopping opportunities that are taking place in both the north and south end of Fergus. It is my experience that our downtown can win from this type of activity. If we work together Centre Wellington can become a regional shopping centre that keeps our residents shopping dollars here and brings in residents from surrounding areas, then we will all win. I have witnessed this in other areas like Goderich, Hanover and Owen Sound that had significant big box development and the downtowns remained healthy. I have also experienced on a regular basis that when the shoppers in my family are out shopping, they won’t stop until they get what they want. This means we need to market regionally as well as in our own backyard to attract these people being drawn in by the larger stores with their huge marketing budgets. We need to consider talking to the people who don’t shop here but live here and find out what we are missing. Since 7,000 people leave town everyday and get home after 6 p.m., how many hours are you open when they are home? The question becomes one of servicing the customer versus servicing our personal needs to be home to take our kids to activities and feed our families and live the same lifestyle afforded people not in retail. We have an opportunity now to identify gaps in our product delivery in the downtown so as space becomes available we know the type of business that will work well and compliment the community. If you have ideas in this regard please let me know.

WHILE YOU’RE LOOKING AFTER BUSINESS WHO’S LOOKING AFTER YOU? HEALTHY WORKPLACES - 1 When we hear a phrase such as the title of this piece, each of us conjures up our own image of what is entailed in a “healthy workplace”. In trying to define a healthy workplace, many factors come to bear – and sometimes in a back door way. Does high absenteeism indicate an unhealthy workplace? Does a staff of runners and joggers indicate a healthy workplace? It goes way beyond either of these. A healthy workplace is one in which the employees and the employer are engaged in a continuing dialogue that ensures the expectations and responsibilities of both are being fulfilled and met. Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe work environment and appropriate compensation (and there’s another whole discussion), and they have an expectation that employees will come in as scheduled and provide a full days work, keeping quality and quantity guidelines in mind. Employees expect a safe work environment and a decent wage and in these days of economic uncertainty and the sandwich generation, they also want some recognition that they work to live, not live to work. They have a responsibility to act in the best interest of their employer and to enter into the dialogue about what makes the workplace “tick” in a constructive manner. With all the pressures on working folk these days there has developed a concept known as

“presenteeism”, whereby an employee comes to work every day but is so distracted by the other things on his/her mind, they might as well be away. Very little work gets done, and what gets done is handled in a manner befitting the employee’s mindset.

Barney Tracy CFP, FLMI

How can an employer assist in creating the atmosphere that allows employees to get their minds on work when they are at the plant or office? Implementing an Employee Assistance Program is one option. These plans provide counselling services for employees and cover a wide range of issues, from legal and financial matters to family conflicts and substance abuse issues. These plans can be implemented as part of your group insurance program, but not all insurers provide them. There are also providers out there who will set up a plan for your business as a stand-alone benefit. Costs vary from about $3 per employee per month to more than $15 per employee, so it’s important to get some input from a variety of sources before jumping into a plan. It’s best to talk to your group benefits advisor. In future articles we’ll explore other aspects of healthy workplaces. Barney Tracy is a group insurance advisor working with small businesses in Centre Wellington and surrounding area. He can be reached at or 519820 1283.

Garth Green

Tracy Group Benefits

BBA, AIIC CIP Associate

& Financial Services Barney Tracy

57 McNab St. Elora, ON N0B 1S0 Tel: 519-579-333 ext. 324 Fax: 519-579-1151 1-800-265-2625

Tel: (519) 820-1283 Fax: (519) 886-8562 P.O. Box 31141, Guelph, On N1H 8K1

CFP,FLMI Tel: (519) 866-1283 Fax: (519)886-8562 330 Coleridge Dr., Waterloo, ON N2L 2V6


June 09 | PAGE 7

all a little nervous because it’s very expensive.” Still, Serena Ryder is nearly sold out, and Natalie McMaster is selling well - nearly two months before those show dates. Petrenko said in case of bad weather, the concerts can be moved to the Gambrel barn, which can accommodate 700 people, and which requires having 300 ticket buyers receiving “fair weather” tickets, which promise a refund in the event the show has to move indoors. Petrenko noted, as do the organizers of the other festivals, the number of volunteers is huge. He comes from Toronto, where he lived for nearly 50 years, and he likes what small communities like Elora can accomplish. “What you can do in a small town, you can’t do in the city,” he said. “I continue to be staggered at the number of volunteers we have at the festival.” And, he added of his new home, “I’m just lovin’ it.” Petrenko said he expects great things as well from the opening night gala, Requiem, by Berlioz and the finale, Coronation Anthems. And, as he noted, not only does the festival “bring a lot of people in. Many of them come back. It’s a beautiful town and a lot of people want to come back.” The festival is advertising farther afield than ever, and its reputation is such that he expects to see a lot of first-time attendees coming to the community. He said Toronto was a particular target to entice “people to come for a day in the country.”

are not making money. She noted show organizers had to re-jig the layout of the event this year and move the truck pull off rented land to a new location that was formerly used for parking and booths. But, she said, a more compact show is not necessarily a negative thing in poor economic times. And there are positive signs people are still interested in attending the largest truck show of its kind in North America. Billings said the camp sites are filling up quickly. She said of one field, “It’s almost full.” There are other signs, too, that the show will do well this year. The Terri Clark concert on Thursday night is selling well, with ticket orders arriving daily. Billings noted the trade show is down slightly but she said bookings usually slow down in May and then pick up steam again in June.

At the truck show it is Canadian country music, Canadian classic rock, and Canadian bluegrass. At the Elora Festival, the quarry concerts have always been Canadian talent. And Canadians continue to shine at the Scottish Festival, as always. Dalziel, though, foresees even better times ahead. She said embryonic events in the community also have a chance to grow and become as internationally known as the Big Three. She specifically mentions such shows as Art Walk, in Fergus; Art in the Yard, in Elora; Tartan Day, in Fergus; Sensational Elora, which is heading into only its second year; and the Studio Tour, which covers all of the township. She calls them “emerging world class events.”

Billings said another good sign for the show is a meeting scheduled in a few weeks for all the volunteer groups.“They’re all coming - and that’s a good sign. We need all the help we can get.” BIG NUMBERS INCREASING Dalziel is pleased at the way the Big Three events attract people to the community, and noted that in each event there is a Canadian music component that showcases this country’s talent to the world.

FERGUS TRUCK SHOW Like any event, the Fergus Truck Show has had its struggles - and this year was particularly difficult when it lost some rental fields that had been included for some time. But those difficulties were solved with the rental of some other properties and Centre Wellington council acting as landlord, and now things are beginning to pick up for the July 23 to 26 show. Administrative assistant Mardi Billings said the economy could have an effect on the 2009 show because when truckers are not on the road, they

PAGE 10 | June 09

Terri Clark

MEET THE MEMBERS AL’S COUNTRY FURNITURE Some things never go out of style. Where some furniture stores were forced to close doors, Al’s Country Furniture has been providing customers with affordable, quality furnishings for 30 years now. Current owners Frank and Linda Verbakel bought the business from founder Al seven years ago, after having worked in his business for nearly 20 years. Originally located in downtown Elora they now can be found along County Rd. 7, between the Gorge Family Restaurant and Tim Horton’s. Frank and Linda have one employee, Marianne Dingeldein, who has been with the firm for many, many years. Most of their inventory is handmade on local Mennonite farms within 30 miles of here. Furniture is offered in standard sizes but customers can also buy custom-made pieces to fit odd shapes or sizes. A local finishing company can match the finish for you. And all that at very good prices. “We are still cheaper than a lot of our competitors,” Frank says. “If people are asking for prices you know that the sale may not be in today’s books, but it will probably be in tomorrow’s sales.” So far Al’s Country Furniture has weathered the recession pretty much unscathed. A resurgence in demand for home office furniture the last months indicates that maybe more people have started their own business or have moved back to their home office to save on commercial rental space. And money may be tight, but that doesn’t always change how much is being spent.“People are going more for quality these days. Customers go for durability, as they do not want to replace something again in a few years’ time.” The client base is very diverse: from newly weds to retired couples many have been shopping at Al’s for many years. You don’t have to buy everything all at once; people buy what they can afford now, and come back for more in the same style and/or finish later.

“The Mennonite styles will never be discontinued,” Frank said. Dealing with small Mennonite woodwork shops does have its challenges. Communication via telephone or email is not always possible; Frank has to go to the farm or the Mennonite farmer has to drive his buggy into town or to a neighbour to call. As these manufacturers are smaller mom and pop shops they also have limited production capacity; this means that people will have to wait 4-8 weeks for delivery. “Many will call after two weeks, asking: Is it ready yet?” Selling solid wood, hand-crafted furniture in this instant-gratification era isn’t always easy. “But it is great seeing someone’s stick drawing turn into a custom piece of furniture,” Frank smiles.

the chamber OF COMMERCE Al’s Country Furniture is open seven days a week and can be found at 470 Wellington Rd 7 SS4, between Tim Horton’s and the Elora Gorge Family Restaurant, on County Rd. 7 in Elora.You can contact Al’s Country Furniture at 519-846-2073.

Al’s Country Furniture can’t survive on local clients alone, and its competitive pricing attracts tourists from all over the world. “We have shipped to many cities in Ontario, out west and even Germany,” Frank and Linda Verbakel are very grateful for the Chamber and local BIAs’ efforts to increase local tourism. “The Chamber of Commerce works very hard to keep local business flowing.” Some may know Frank from Elora Family Martial Arts. Or as a former volunteer fire fighter. Frank and Linda support many local organizations.

June 09 | PAGE 11

the chamber OF COMMERCE

ON THE WEB always be visible – your visitors rely on it. I’ve said it often before: cute is confusing.

Chamber Calendar NETWORKING BREAKFASTS Wednesday, June 24th between 7:30-9:00 am at Van Gali’s Restaurant. Deb Dalziel will speak on Festival Fun in Centre Wellington as we wrap up our Networking Breakfasts Meetings for the summer. RSVP for above events by calling 519-843-5140 or email: BUSINESS AFTER HOURS Wednesday, June 17th 2009 Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce will hold the Business After Hours Wrap up BBQ at the Chamber office. Bring the whole family for an M & M Meat Shops charity BBQ. RSVP to the chamber at 519-843-5140 or email: GOLF… Fore!! It’s time to get back into the swing of things! Wednesday, June 10th 2009 at Ariss Valley Golf and Country Club. Our prices for sponsorship and to play have remained the same this year. For more info contact Roberta at 519-843-5140.

PAGE 12 | June 09


ARE YOU CONFUSING YOUR WEBSITE VISITORS? Many companies are designing their websites these days. Their websites have been around for a while and need a fresh coat of paint, or an increased desire for sales leads has prompted them to look at optimizing their online sales and promotion funnels, or they want to add new features such as video or a blog. Reviewing your current site should be step one in this process, in order to avoid transferring parts of your site that don’t work onto the new site. So: are you confusing your website visitors? Many websites leave a lot to be desired. Start by looking at your site’s navigation: 1. Consistent navigation – Your navigation needs to be consistent, so people can always find their way back – and forward. Too many sites have main or sub-navigation that is there on one page, and gone the next. Avoid situations like, “Where did that link go? I saw it just a few pages ago…” 2. Visible navigation – You know the type: a website that looks beautiful, or funky, but where the ### is the navigation? And then, when you are about to move the page in frustration you move your mouse overtop of the page, and see the hidden navigation. Navigation should look like navigation, and

3. Clear labelling – The menu items should say something to the user – in their language. So if you are trying to be funny, cool or mysterious…your visitors will likely leave. People can’t find their way around if they don’t know what it is that you’re talking about, of if they are not patient enough to find out. Use simple terms, and often it is OK to be boring. There is nothing funky about a link called “About Us”, but everybody DOES know what you mean. Overly fancy word use in the content of your site is also not recommended; people searching for certain things in the search engines or on your site will not use these phrases, and therefore will not use your site. 4. Banner blindness – Don’t place your navigation close to something that looks like a banner, or make your navigation itself look like a banner. People have taught themselves to tune these overly commercial areas out, so they will not see your navigation even though you put it there. And the best advice of all, of course, is to have someone look over your old site, and your new site, to give you a fresh perspective – your visitors’ perspective. For more information: contact Nardo Kuitert at or 519-787-7612.

Planning electrical retrofits for your building? Plan on

ERIP Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program For great rebates, pass this to the person handling your facility’s upgrades. ARE YOU MAKING CHANGES to the lighting, HVAC system, motors and over-all electrical system of your commercial or industrial building? To save you money on electricity costs and help out the environment, plan on the ELECTRICITY RETROFIT INCENTIVE PROGRAM. It’s a program that provides incentives for changes that save on electricity. The bottom line is electrical efficiency goes straight to your bottom line.

Application forms are available on the web:

Or call us: 519.846.8464

CENTRE WELLINGTON HYDRO and ELORA ENVIRONMENT CENTRE Partners in bringing you this incentive program

For more information, visit our website today A program offered by the Ontario Power Authority and Centre Wellington Hydro.* CM An official mark of the Ontario Power Authority. * Trademark of Centre Wellington Hydro

June 09 | PAGE 13

NATIONAL HUNGER MONTH NATIONAL HUNGER MONTH AND THE KRAFT HUNGER CHALLENGE Centre Wellington Food Bank is requesting your support and financial donations. Thus far in 2009, the Food Bank has experienced a 30% increase in the number of clients. Traditionally, during the summer months, donations decrease. Support is needed more than ever during the current economic climate. FRED ALEKSANDROWICZ There are changes at the Centre Wellington Food Bank as a new interim manager - Fred Aleksandrowicz - is replacing Mike Councell as manager, effective June 1st. Mike, who has developed positive relationships locally with service groups and businesses has accepted a interim position in British Columbia. Fred is no stranger to the Centre Wellington Food Bank, as he has been an active volunteer for a number of years. Best Wishes, Fred and Mike.

June 2 is National Hunger Awareness Day and June 2 to 12 is the Kraft Hunger Challenge. In the past five years the Kraft Hunger Challenge has raised more than $2.5-million for food banks across Canada. This year’s national goal is to surpass the more than $500,000 raised in 2008. Monies raised in Ontario stay in Ontario.

Cheques received should indicate, Centre Wellington Food Bank, dated between June 2-12 and the memo line include Kraft Hunger Challenge. A tax receipt will be provided for donations over $10. Donations may be mailed to: The Centre Wellington Food Bank, P.O. Box 279, Fergus, N1M 2W8, or delivered to the Food Bank, 170 St. Andrew St. East, Fergus. For additional information please call the Centre Wellington Food Bank at 519.787.1401. By Sherry Clarke

The Centre Wellington Food Bank regularly buys fresh produce, dairy and meat products, and personal care items for their clients. In order to buy the required items the Food Bank requires financial donations. To encourage financial donations to Centre Wellington Food Bank, Kraft will also provide a financial donation.


BUSINESS Sherry Clarke DISPLAY AD SALES call to reserve your ad space!

519.843.5410 905 Gartshore St., Fergus PAGE 14 | June 09


the Food Bank in delivering our service.

JUNE 2 - National Hunger Awareness Day

Kraft Hunger Challenge - June 2 to 12 Donation$ to our food bank are encouraged. for more information call 519-787-1401 or visit 170 St. Andrew St. E. Fergus N1M 2W8 519-787-1401 email:

CONTACT LISTING Ministry of Labour WCB - 1.800.387.0774 Employment Standards 1.800.531.5551

Waterloo-Wellington M.P.P. 519.787.5247 Ted Arnott

Ontario Government

Wellington - Halton Hills M.P. 519.843.7344 1-866-878-5556 Michael Chong

Revenue Canada Service Canada

The Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce Phone: 519.843.5140 E-mail:

Township of Centre Wellington 519.846.9691

BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) 519.571.6680 Don Cubbidge

WCB 1.800.387.0774

Elora BIA 519.846.2563 Fergus BIA 519-787-1384 Centre Wellington Economic Development 519.846.0971 Dave Rushton Minding Our Business The Wellington Advertiser Box 252, Fergus, Ontario N1M 2W8 519-843-5410


Total Computing Solutions


519-843-1365 (bus) 519-766-6384 (cell) 519-843-2202 (fax) 888-268-2268 (toll free)


Call 787-4700 (519)

820 Gartshore Street, Unit 5, Fergus

840 Tower Street South Fergus, Ontario N1M 2R3

Outdoor Advertising Promotional Items Printed Material

Paul Kelly

Marketing Coordinator

Mobile: 519-766-5922

Graphic design We b D e s i g n

Promote your business or service in the Business Card Directory for just $28/month June 09 | PAGE 15

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Minding Our Business June 09  

business, marketing magazine