Leeds Grenville
Economic Development eNews | September 22, 2015
Business Profile
Westport's Jake by the Lake designed 
Oh Canada t-shirt for Life is Good line
Jake by the Lake (Life is Good Shoppe) is an independently owned retail outlet in the heart of downtown Westport. "Jake" is the iconic character in the Life is Good Shoppe and is seen on a full line of Life is Good t-shirts and products.
When Cynthia and John Pringle opened the store in April 2008, they thought "Jake by the Lake" was a perfect name as Westport is located between Sand and Upper Rideau Lake on the historic Rideau Canal. Their shop is the first Canadian Life is Good store and is famous for its "Oh Canada" t-shirt designed by the Westport staff.
The Pringles and their staff are also very active in the community. Their first event was the Pumpkin Festival, which ran for five years and became known as the Random Act of Pumpkins. They have sponsored events such as the McCartney Years Concert, Watermelon for Wishes and the MUSIC Westport Festival. The community involvement reflects the "Life is Good" motto.

"I call customers my Life is Good family and they continue to inspire the commitment to the company's philosophy each and every day," Cynthia says. The colourful shop attracts locals, seasonal and regional fans and shipping is available across Canada.

Jake by the Lake is located at 14 Bedford Street.  For more information, visit their website.

The Pringles also own The Cottage Coffee House at 15 Church Street in Westport. The shop opened in 2003 and features homemade ice cream, soups and sandwiches, teas and of course coffee. It's known for baked treats, including Cynthia's cupcakes.

To learn more about The Cottage Coffee House and their services visit their website.

Top feature photo from left: Cynthia Pringle, Maggie Coyne and Carly Scott.  Photo above: "Oh Canada" t-shirt.

Life is Good co-founder John Jacobs with the Pringles and staff member Donna Owen at the book signing of Life is Good: The Book. 

John Pringle behind the counter at The Cottage Coffee House.

Austin Bank is shown on a job site in British Columbia. There is a lot of interest in energy efficient solutions and management planning.

Brandon Popkie, of Popkie Lawn Care, and Madelyn Piehl, of Eternal Care Cremation, have experienced increased business calls.

Tanya Trombetta is owner and creative director of The Creative Nest. 
Young business entrepreneurs 
should check out Starter Company
The Leeds and Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre has announced a third round for more participants in the Starter Company. It provides mentoring, training and capital funding for youth 18 to 29 years of age to start, grow or buy a business. The objective is for young people to build strong, local businesses.

There are 11 spots for young entrepreneurs interested in entering the program with grants of up to $5,000.

"My long-term vision wouldn't have been realized (without the program)," says Austin Bank, owner of AB Energy Systems, a company providing energy efficient solutions and energy management services. The Elizabethtown-Kitley-based business is attracting customers, including a B.C resort. 

"They (Starter Company) helped me realize the potential of this," adds Austin. The business offers complete automotion systems and alternatives to the utility grid. "People are amazed when I show them the technology," he says.

Madelyn Piehl, a licensed funeral director with a Class-1 Transfer Service license, is owner of Eternal Care Cremation. Also in Elizabethtown-Kitley, Eternal Care provides simple funeral service alternatives where the focus is on the celebration of life. Services include transportation of loved ones to and from the crematorium, after care and estate closure.

"I've personally experienced a spike in service calls. The Starter Company networking aspect is amazing" says Madelyn.
Brandon Popkie, owner of Popkie Lawn Care in Mallorytown agrees. "They've helped with the implementation and they've increased my chances of success. I had a fantastic idea but I needed to get it out there."

Tanya Trombetta owns Gananoque's The Creative Nest, a video marketing agency. She has joined Starter Company to help expand her business.

Learn more about these four businesses and how to contact them.  For Starter Company program details visit the website.  Applications are accepted quarterly with the next intake deadline in late November for a January start.
Funding Opportunities
Info sessions for Celebrate Ontario are back

Festivals and event operators can once again join in a series of online information sessions delivered via webinars to assist them in applying for Celebrate Ontario 2016 program funding. Five sessions are available in English or French.

It is recommended participants look at the Celebrate Ontario Application Guide prior to the webinars. People are asked to register for their preferred date and time for one or more of the Celebrate Ontario Sessions.  Webinars are at various times today, September 22, Wednesday, September 23, followed by sessions Monday, October 5 to Wednesday, October 7.
Upcoming events

Augusta Township Business of the Year
The Economic Development & Tourism Committee will be announcing the Business of the Year Award at the luncheon on Friday, October 2, at the Roebuck Community Hall. Nominees are: Cedarwood Farm, Wood Effects, Prescott Animal Hospital, Elmer's Construction and Brockville Tractor-Trailer. 

The keynote speaker is Doug Hayes of Semex -Genetics for Life. The company recently built a new facility on County Road 26. 

To register call 613-342-8772, ext. 470, or email. The deadline is September 29 at 4 pm. The cost to attend is $15.
Elizabethtown-Kitley luncheon will feature successful new businesses in township
The Economic Development Committee is hosting its Business Luncheon with the theme "Rookie Business of the Year" on Thursday, October 8, at the Cedar Valley Golf and Country Club, 4071 County Road 29. All Elizabethtown-Kitley business owners are invited. Advanced registration is required.

Networking begins at 11:30 a.m. followed by lunch at 12 noon.

To register call 613-345-7480 or 1-800-492-3175 or email by this Friday, September 25.

Geoff Carter is one of two keynote speakers at the event.
BR+E Alliance hosting annual reception
The fifth annual BR+E Alliance Business Reception is being hosted on Wednesday, October 14, from 6-8:30 p.m., North Grenville Municipal Centre.

Keynote speakers include Geoff Carter, an employee benefits specialist and financial security advisor with O'Farrell Financial Services, and Forbes Symon, director of planning and development with the Municipality of North Grenville. 

The BR+E Alliance will be announcing its 2015-16 Seminar Series. The theme this year is "All About Marketing." Sessions provide networking opportunities.

Learn more and register on the North Grenville website.
Workshops and Seminars
Fall Workshops at Small Business Advisory Centre, Smiths Falls

Dealing with Difficult and Demanding People: 
Thursday, September 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. 
The cost is $10. 
Relationship Marketing:
Thursday, October 1, from 9:30 a.m. to noon
Speaker: Jennifer DeBruin, Creative Marketing
The cost is $10
Introduction to Workplace Safety and Insurance:
Tuesday, October 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Speaker: Allen Cramm, Ministry of Labour
No cost 

Workshop location: Small Business Centre, 91 Cornelia Street West, Entrance B, Smiths Falls. To learn more about the three seminars listed above on our  Workshops and Seminars webpage