In late 2021, the Orillia Area CDC ‘s Community Capacity Building Fund approved $26,500 in grants to support local projects that improve opportunities for growth and/or success within an organization/business.

Of the 42 applications submitted, 12 businesses rose to the top. Proposals showcased projects that are collaborative, innovative, and address local needs and priorities, resulting in long term benefits including job creation, economic diversification, and enhanced business competitiveness. Many of these projects are in now progress or have already been completed.

One of the recipients is Quayle’s Brewery, a young local brewery located in Oro-Medonte that offers food and farm fresh beer, using hops from their own farm. The brewery resides in a re-creation of a 19th century local landmark, the Musical Barn, and provides guests with indoor seating and a large outdoor patio. Owner, Catherine Pearson, was looking to expand by extending the outdoor season. “The CDC grant has helped subsidize a new 60’ tubular heater we installed in our outdoor event space in our Beer Garden. In 2022, this heater will help keep our guests warm, especially during the cooler shoulder months in the spring and fall,” said Pearson.

Another recipient, Orillia Foot Clinic and Wellness Centre will invest their grant in equipment to expand the services they offer to include an innovative treatment not currently available in Orillia and area.

Humdinger Bicycle Tours was also awarded funding to create all-new bike packing trips that will allow cyclers to get more off the beaten track, combining camping and cycle touring. These types of activities will support and enhance the local tourism economy.

Another example of support includes a grant to Nuscape Landscaping in Washago, to expand their business using digital technology and the development of a new greenhouse where plants are grown and sold on-site.

“Through our review of the applications, we witnessed a great amount of creativity and drive from local entrepreneurs. We see the same enthusiasm through our free business coaching and business loan programs. It was difficult to narrow down the recipients,” said Wendy Timpano, General Manager of the CDC.