Stay up to date on the latest local, regional, provincial & federal business supports, news, stories, and more!

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CDC General Manager to Step Down after 14 Years

It was announced today that the Orillia Area CDC’s General Manager, Wendy Timpano, will be moving on to a new career challenge after 14 years with the community organization. On behalf of the Board of Directors, President Sheri Tornosky expressed both gratitude and optimism. “We will definitely miss Wendy’s dedication and commitment to the CDC…


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New owner of downtown Washago pharmacy is a familiar face

Don’t let the new name fool you. Ownership of the downtown Washago pharmacy has changed hands, but the face, dedication, and personal small-town service live on. Pharmacist Leah Beers and her husband, Matt, are proud to call Washago their home and are thrilled to be the new owners of the rechristened Beers Family Pharmacy. Located…


The CDC’s Report to Community

The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) has released its annual report to the community and it showcases the invaluable and unconventional resources that local business owners, entrepreneurs and the community can access.   With financial support from the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Orillia…


Cards and Coasters

Pathways to Employment: Cards and Coasters

We cant say enough positive about the Pathways to Employment program. The ease of applying and receiving the benefits was unmatched compared to other programs we have participated in.   The assistance and guidance this program gave us couldn’t have come at a better time. When we applied for this program we had just opened…



Pathways to Employment Youth Spotlight: Fabstyle

I moved to Orillia in 2022. After being at my old job for 4 years, I was very nervous about starting at a new place of employment.   After living in Orillia for 8 months, I finally found a salon that was everything I had been looking for. I have been a hairstylist with Fabstyle…


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Low Carb #1 Stop

Two female entrepreneurs are working hard to make sure residents of the Orillia area who live with dietary restrictions have somewhere to purchase a variety of delicious foods that they can eat. Janet Paquin Watson and her daughter Jessica own Low Carb #1 Stop on Rama Road. The bright, inviting space stocks a wide variety…


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CDC Offers Business Loans at Prime Rate

While there is much less talk these days about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Development Corp. (CDC) recognizes that many businesses continue to feel the effects and, in some cases, are still trying to catch up. CDC also recognizes the challenge that rising interest rates are causing. That is why CDC has…



Business Loans: Formac Fabrication

A loan from the Orillia CDC enabled Formac Fabrication to access cash for their day to day operating needs. Need a business loan for your current, short-term operating expenses? Don’t miss this opportunity to get a Business Loan up to $50,000 at PRIME Interest Rate! These loans are tailored for the Tourism, Retail, Service, and…



CDC Now Accepting Grant Applications!

The Community Development Corp. (CDC) is now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund. The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The intent of the funding is to strengthen our communities by…



Business Loans: Cocoon Orillia

A loan from the Orillia CDC enabled Candy Potter (registered psychotherapist) and Steve Caston (graphic designer) to create Cocoon Orillia – beautiful turnkey offices for psychotherapists, social workers and other independent health and wellness practitioners in the Orillia Area. “The CDC understood our vision, and gave us the support, guidance, and financial backing to make…


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Local BizLink Program Recognized with Provincial Award Community Futures Ontario recognizes the BizLink Program as the Community Economic Development (CED) Project of the year. BizLink, a regional Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) program, connects new entrepreneurs with retiring business owners and supports them through successful business transitions, simultaneously developing successful entrepreneurs who create employment, maintain valuable goods and service offerings, and…



Regional Event: Your Entrepreneurial Journey – Don’t Travel Alone On April 5, 2023, BizLink and its four regional Community Futures offices hosted the event: Your Entrepreneurial Journey – Don’t Travel Alone. At this event, attendees learned how to build the right team of people, both within and outside their organization, to enhance their success. The event Included: Networking Adventure Sarah-Jane VandenBerg, Author, Speaker…



Pathways to Employment Youth Spotlight: Lakehead University

“The Pathways to Employment program has served as a wonderful opportunity for me. Recently graduating from the University of Guelph, I was unsure what my next steps would be – something almost every graduate struggles with. I was grateful to work alongside the CDC team to find a job that would suit my skills and…


New owners of Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping, Timm and Megan McLean

Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping Some business owners can’t get enough of businesses in Orillia and area, and Timm McLean is definitely one of them. McLean has owned a number of businesses in Orillia, including Extreme Rockstar Clothing which was active from 2008-2014. He is now the CEO of WLTH on Coldwater St. East.   When McLean decided he…


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New Life for The Death Industry: Canadians AWAKE to a Simple, Sustainable & Spiritual Afterlife Alternative

These two Ontario-ordained Ministers and entrepreneurs don’t shy away from conversations about death, even if most of us do. Instead, they educate Canadians on a simple, eco-friendly and innovative alternative to traditional funeral and burial options. Amanda Kelly and Lauren Andrew are the founders of AWAKE, an ashes-to-earth eco-solution company offering Canada’s only carbon-neutral cremation…



Orillia CDC provided lifeline to local businesses amid pandemic

The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) issued 75 loans in the first year of the pandemic, providing over $2.5 million in COVID-19 relief funding to 59 area businesses through a federal program. Orillia CDC general manager Wendy Timpano gave city council an overview of the organization’s economic development work at this week’s meeting. “We provide business…



Orillia’s Floor Fashion With the help of the BizLink program, Orillia’s Floor Fashion has successfully transitioned owners from Dean Beer to previous store manager Nicole Smith.   BizLink connects business buyers and sellers to help entrepreneurs confidently move forward in the transition process.



Sunshine Windows & Doors With the help of the BizLink program, Tyler Stata and Troy Thompson successfully took over the business Sunshine Windows and Doors.   BizLink is a proven transition program and tool that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a business. Bizlink is the only program that offers a business matching service as well…


New owners of Windmill Garden Centre and Landscaping, Timm and Megan McLean

New ownership of local company blossoms from CDC program

Some business owners can’t get enough of businesses in Orillia and area, and Timm McLean is definitely one of them. McLean has owned a number of businesses in Orillia, including Extreme Rockstar Clothing which was active from 2008-2014. He is now the CEO of WLTH on Coldwater St. East. When McLean decided he wanted to…



The UPS Store Meet the new owner of The UPS Store, Kevin Le, who moved to Canada and got connected in Orillia.   BizLink is a proven transition program and tool that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a business. Bizlink is the only program that offers a business matching service as well as wrap-around…


Paul and Pat Sheridan recently sold their business with the help of the Orillia Area CDC BizLink program

Sheridan Seating gets new owners with help of CDC

Apparently, Paul Sheridan needs lots of time to work on his golf game. Luckily, thanks to the Orillia Area CDC’s BizLink program, Sheridan will soon have lots of time to do just that. A few years ago, with the help of the BizLink Program, Sheridan started trying to sell his business, Sheridan Seating, in earnest.…


Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre former owner, Dean Beers. and new owner, Nicole Smith

New owner takes the helm at Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre

Dean and Roseanne Beers are retired and loving it. The long-time owners of Orillia’s Floor Fashion Centre handed over the keys to the kingdom to former store manager, Nicole Smith, on January 1, 2022. With the help of the Orillia Area CDC, the transition has been seamless and practically painless. “My wife and I were…


Orillia DryWall-Mario

Pathways to Employment: Orillia Drywall

Mario was recently hired by Orillia Drywall as a new comer to Orillia, and to Canada. Pathways to Employment has provided both essential equipment and training support for Mario to begin a new career in his new country of choice in the Drywall industry. Since Maurice Purkiss brought the drywall trade to Orillia in the…


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Orillia Area CDC Provides $26,500.00 to Strengthen Local Businesses

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…


Matt Spencer, owner of CrossFit Orillia, holds a Level 3 trainer certification, something that less than 1% of all CrossFit trainers have attained

Strong support helped CrossFit Orillia weather pandemic

“I was teetering on the edge but wasn’t ready to fail. What we’re doing here is too important; we’re helping to keep people sane, giving them an outlet, and helping them take care of their health.” This is how Matt Spencer, owner of CrossFit Orillia, located at 7 Progress Drive, described his situation when faced…


Changing of the Garnet

Pathways to Employment: Changing of the Garnet

Changing of the Garnet is owned and operated by Susie Maurice. She currently employs 2 youth from the Pathways to Employment Program. Susie has a passion for educating like-minded stylists and training young individuals with an interest in hairdressing.   Susie has struggled with anxiety and depression since she was 9 years old. She understands the hurdles…


1) Welcome to Vettä Nordic Spa

Vettä Nordic Spa

Vettä Nordic Spa Founder and President Eric Harkonen has a passion for Finland, his Finnish heritage, and the Finnish lifestyle. So much so, that he has brought a big piece of that experience to Horseshoe Valley, for everyone to enjoy. Vettä Nordic Spa offers thermal therapy and an authentic Finnish experience with its impressive hot…


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Pathways to Employment: DWN Craft Chocolatier

“DWN Craft Chocolatier is a new business and in order to grow, I needed some help. Participating in the Youth Employment Program has allowed me to pass along my production duties so that I could focus on building the business. It has also allowed me to teach the craft of being a chocolatier.   Traditional…



Timeline to lift all COVID-19 measures in Ontario

The provincial government has announced a timeline for removing all public health restrictions, including mask mandates. Effective March 14:  Mandatory vaccination policy for employees in long-term care homes is lifted Unvaccinated workers in hospitals and other high-risk healthcare settings will no longer have to partake in regular rapid testing Effective March 21:  Masking requirements will…


ShamPooch Dog Grooming triped its business within six months of moving to their Downtown Orillia location

Downtown Orillia business aims to ‘make dogs feel better’

ShamPooch Dog Grooming is located Downtown Orillia, and its storefront location in the city’s Arts District at 19 Peter St. S. has been a boon for business, says ShamPooch owner Dianne Wall. “Within six months of moving from a location along the highway north of Orillia, my business tripled,” explained Wall. “There’s so much traffic…



Ontario Temporarily Moving to Modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen

Time-limited measures needed to preserve hospital capacity as province continues to accelerate booster dose rollout TORONTO — In response to recent trends that show an alarming increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is temporarily moving the province into Step Two of its Roadmap to Reopen…



Ontario Further Strengthening Response to Omicron

Additional measures to slow the spread as province accelerates booster dose rollout TORONTO — In response to the rapidly-spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is applying additional public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity and social gathering limits. These measures will help…


Dan Landry, Client Services Officer, Orillia Area CDC – Char Van Am Photography_crop

CDC Hires New Client Services Officer

The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is pleased to announce the selection of Dan Landry as the new Client Services Officer of the Orillia Area CDC.  Dan is an experienced business operator, and community economic developer, with strong marketing & communications skills and a passion for business development. In his 12-year role as Manager…


Skate deck paint workshop with BONES featuring the projector & screen purchased through the CDC’s Community Capacity Building Fund grant

Otter Art Club inspired by and thankful for community

For Travis Shilling, acclaimed Ojibwe artist, and Naomi Woodman, professional photographer, art is not a subject, but a way of understanding who we are. As founders of the Otter Art Club, this belief forms the basis of the community initiative they created in 2018. “The whole idea is to give youth the opportunity to explore…



Ontario Releasing Guidance to Support Proof of Vaccination Policy

As the province continues to respond to the fourth wave of the pandemic driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the government is further protecting Ontarians through continued actions that encourage every eligible person to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Today the government released the regulations and guidance for businesses and organizations to support them…


Mike Mather (left) with his wife Trish Burke (right)

CDC helps local man move from employee to entrepreneur

Mike Mather had a successful career in the automotive service industry, but something was missing. He really wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, and feel the satisfaction that comes from doing something you believe in. “I’ve been fortunate enough to recognize that no matter your chosen occupation, it really is all about people.…


Owners, Laurie (left) and Chris (right) Orser, invite you to enjoy your summer or fall event on their timeless property.

CDC helped Northbrook Farm find ‘silver lining’ amid pandemic

Many businesses have been affected by the global pandemic over the past couple of years, but especially those that are in the business of hosting or providing venues for “large gatherings,” such as weddings. The cancellation and postponement of wedding celebrations has been a huge disappointment, not only to couples planning to celebrate their marriage,…



Government of Canada launches Jobs and Growth Fund

The Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) provides assistance to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. Valued at $700 million nationally over three years, JGF is being delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) to help job creators to future-proof, build resiliency and prepare for growth by adopting clean technology, increasing diversity,…



Tourism Relief Fund (TRF)

The Tourism Relief Fund supports tourism businesses and organizations to adapt their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate their future growth. With a budget of $500 million over two years, including $50 million specifically dedicated to Indigenous tourism initiatives, this Fund will position Canada to be a…


Kelsey Beesley, owner of My Moon Collective, located downtown Orillia, has creatively weathered the pandemic and is open and ready for business

CDC support helps business cater to modern-day mystics

Kelsey Beesley has recently joined an exciting group of young entrepreneurs who are adding to the character and energy of Orillia’s downtown. Beesley’s new shop, My Moon Collective, joins a growing collection of cafes, restaurants and specialty shops that have opened recently by a new generation of business leaders. Beesley describes her shop, located at…



Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF)

The Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) aims to help communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a national investment of $500 million over two years, the Fund will support not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and other community groups, as well as Indigenous communities…


The Bike Stop of Orillia

Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards

Applications are now open for WSIB’s 2021 awards Small business owners and operators work hard to keep their employees healthy and safe – WSIB understands that, and that’s why they give out their Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards. Each year they recognize the health and safety achievements of independently owned and operated businesses…



CFDC RRRF Extension

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies, provides liquidity support to businesses and not-for-profit organizations affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. As key partners to FedDev Ontario, southern Ontario CFDCs are delivering over $90 million…


Design By Bobbi co-owners, Bobbi Leppington and Steve Rossiter with remote staff

Design By Bobbi

“Expanding your business is not stress-free,” admits Bobbi Leppington, but it’s something the co-owner of Design By Bobbi, an Orillia-based custom architectural design firm, has done twice over the past decade – all in an effort to actually reduce stress.   Leppington started her business out of a passion for custom architectural design and a…


Botree Inc.

Pathways to Employment: Botree

At Botree, we were looking to get some additional talent on our team. We felt very passionately about hiring locally. We also, at our core, believe in taking on newer graduates to support mentorship, growth, and innovation with our brand. After several successful hires through the CDC, we were eager to participate in the Pathways…



5 Steps To Prepare You For Outdoor Dining

The City of Orillia Economic Recovery Task Force (consisting of City of Orillia Council members, and staff representatives from the City of Orillia Business Development, Culture and Tourism Department, Orillia Area CDC, Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Orillia Management Board, and Orillia & Lake Country Tourism) are continuing to develop initiatives to support the…



Ontario Releases Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen the Province

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to…


CDC We’re Hiring

Job Posting: Client Services Officer

APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED The CLIENT SERVICES OFFICER (CSO) will provide counselling services to local businesses and social enterprises, including start-up, growth & innovation planning, with a particular emphasis on financial analysis & projections.  They will also assist the CDC’s Loans Officer with loan administration, client relations, loan renewals; and, maintain strong community connections.


Bill Ecklund, President of the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, shows one of the new rapid screening tests it is making available to small- and medium-sized businesses in Orillia and area.

Chamber offering free rapid COVID tests for local businesses

Today, the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario and Canadian governments, launched the COVID-19 Rapid Screening Initiative. Through this initiative, the Orillia District Chamber will roll out free rapid tests for small- and medium-sized businesses in Orillia and across Lake Country. “Chambers of Commerce and Boards…


Sarah Delaronde radio tracking

Pathways to Employment: Scales Nature Park

“The CDC’s Pathways to Employment program allowed us to hire two youth for the fall and winter.   They helped with our conservation projects and built their off-season skills such as data analysis and project management.   It’s been great to have the extra help, and the CDC has been a wonderful partner to work…


Coffee shop entrepreneur

The key to getting your business back to normal

How does Canada decide which vaccines are safe? Safe and effective vaccines are critical to mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and restoring our economy. Health Canada’s independent drug authorization process is recognized around the world for its high standards and rigorous review. Decisions are based only on scientific and medical evidence. How can a vaccine…



Funding will help BizLink play match maker in Orillia and beyond

A group of local Community Futures organizations have joined forces to assist business buyers and sellers to connect and confidently move forward in the business transition process. The program, now known as BizLink, has proven to provide business buyers and sellers with tools that offer confidentiality and anonymity in buying or selling a local business.…


Shanaly Aitchison

Pathways to Employment: COPPERSMITHWEAR

Pathways to Employment couldn’t have come at a better time for Shanaly Aitchison. The Orillia Area CDC’s youth wage subsidy program allowed her to get ahead in life amidst one of the most challenging times that we’ve seen in decades. After leaving her former place of work due to a business relocation, she was able…


Matt Spencer CrossFit Orillia

Orillia businesses pivot operations to survive

Matt Spencer’s CrossFit facility in Orillia has seen the ups and downs of any business struggling to power through the pandemic, and the gym owner says he’s holding strong by pivoting his focus. “I’ve reinvented what we’re doing with the help of business coaches and the community that supports us, and now we’re able to…


Megan Kavanagh

Pathways to Employment: Big Brothers Big Sisters

“This year, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been able to bring on two new staff through the CDC’s Pathways to Employment Program. We are so grateful to the CDC for enabling us to build a mutually beneficial employment relationship with these youth during a year that has been challenging for so many.   We have…


Laurie Thompson previous owner of Chelsea Chocolates (002)

CDC helps Chelsea Chocolates find sweet new owners

John and Laurie Thompson bought Chelsea Chocolates in 2010, located in Craighurst, Oro-Medonte. Becoming small business owners was a steep learning curve for the couple, but one filled with excitement and joy as they expanded and improved Chelsea Chocolates over the years. “We had a wonderful adventure in owning and growing the business,” enthuses Laurie.…


Connor McNeilly

Pathways to Employment: KnightVision Media

When COVID first emerged in March 2020, the entire entertainment industry in Toronto shut down. This, unfortunately, put Connor McNeilly out of work while the industry tried to figure itself out. During this time, Connor was introduced to Tyler Knight, owner of KnightVision Media, and thanks to the Pathways to Employment program, a successful working…



Ontario Small Business Support Grant Doubles

The Ontario government is providing additional support to eligible small businesses to help with the ongoing costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal to the amount of their first payment, for minimum total support of $20,000 up to a maximum…



Achievement Incentive and Group Sponsorship Grant

Ontario’s employer supports Employers who train apprentices may be eligible for grants to help mitigate the cost of training. The Achievement Incentive and Group Sponsorship Grant will help more employers take on apprentices to build Ontario’s apprenticeship and skilled trades pipeline. Achievement Incentive The Achievement Incentive is a grant program that: helps employers train apprentices…


Connor Campbell – Caredove

Pathways to Employment: Caredove

Connor Campbell was hired in July of 2020 as a Full-Stack Developer for Caredove, an e-referral platform that aims to provide quick and easy access to home care and community services. In the 6 months he worked there he collaborated with the other programmers and team members on a number of different projects including database…


2020 OCC Biz Awards

Orillia Chamber virtually celebrates best in business from 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, local business owners, event organizers, and politicians were still able to gather (virtually) this year to celebrate the achievements of Orillia’s business community. The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC) held its annual Business Achievement Awards Thursday night where 90 locally owned businesses and organizations from Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Ramara, Severn Townships, and Rama…



Local entrepreneur is cleaning up — and loving it

After nearly 11 years of doing business, Andrew Meades, owner of Meades Restoration in Orillia, considers himself more of an applied chemist than pressure washer. Having around 50 different products used to clean up various surface staining, be it organic matter, grease or oil, chewing gum litter, efflorescence, graffiti, etc., Meades has the experience cleaning…



Pathways to Employment: Happy at Home Support Services

“We’re incredibly thankful for the CDC’s consideration and support during the last year. As we all know, the pandemic made it difficult for new grads and youth to secure full-time employment.   Happy at Home was excited to participate in the Pathways to Employment Program. We interviewed many candidates for our new Finance Admin role…



Pathways to Employment: WLTH

At WLTH we’re always looking for ways to innovate and grow. We’ve always understood the need to be technology focused and aware. But, often that comes at a large cost. After a large investment into our website and our WLTH Blog, we knew it made sense to keep moving forward with our online marketing.…


15-Min Grant Challenge

15-Minute Grant Challenge

RESULTS: The 15-Minute Grant Challenge issued by the City of Orillia’s Economic Recovery Task Force was a great success. Aimed at encouraging local businesses to apply for the Province’s Ontario Small Business Support Grant, 61 local businesses took the challenge and applied for the grant, resulting in an estimated $915,000 in grant funding flowing into…


JamesFoy – CDC

CDC helps local business owner put his passion to work

Everyone should enjoy their properties stress free. That’s why James Foy started his Orillia-based business, All in Home and Yard. He provides interior and exterior property maintenance, such as landscaping, window and eaves trough cleaning, and junk removal. Foy says, this way, his clients — businesses, busy families, or seniors — can skip the hassle.…



Relief Within Reach

Businesses and entrepreneurs across Simcoe North have made extraordinary sacrifices throughout these unprecedented times. This website was designed specifically to help easily access all the financial support available. My office is here to help. Jill Dunlop, MPP Simcoe North ENTER SITE



Pathways to Employment: VicLyn Industries

Sam Gillett has learned so much during his time at COPPERSMITHWEAR and VicLyn Industries. Thanks to the expertise of the management team, he’s had the chance to develop hard and soft skills, and was encouraged to be creative and ambitious.  It’s been a chance to find new experiences & great opportunities in what’s been a…



Free Tech Solutions for Simcoe County

Is your business experiencing operational challenges during COVID-19, with issues such as: E-commerce platform setup and marketing Outdoor heating for restaurants and patios, or; Local retail and food distribution   ventureLAB has sourced three local tech startups who have responded to the challenge, and their solutions are available free of charge until mid-March as part…



Ontario Small Business Support Grant

Get COVID-19 relief funding for your business Ontario is helping businesses recover costs for personal protective equipment and providing extra support for businesses required to close or significantly restrict services as a result of provincial public health measures. Overview of available funding Your business can apply online for funding from one or more of the…



Ontario Supporting Home-Based Food Businesses During COVID-19

The Ontario government is supporting home-based food businesses by providing a guide on how to start a home-based food business, which includes an overview of public health requirements that need to be followed as a food operator. To further support these entrepreneurs, the government has also made regulatory changes to allow more flexibility to sell…


2020-12-03 Aiesha Aggarwal at Grant’s Woods

Pathways to Employment: Couchiching Conservancy

Aiesha Aggarwal was hired as a Conservation Researcher and Analyst by the Couchiching Conservancy in October 2020. In her role, she gets to create maps to support their Citizen Science program and is putting together a report on a 12-year running bird survey. “It’s been a joy working alongside like-minded individuals who are passionate about…



Orillia Area CDC helps business flow smoothly

“Dirty hands equal clean money.” says Paul Bosse. With over 18 years in the plumbing business, he ought to know. Bosse owns Poly-B Plumbing with his wife Jody. He opened the company with the aim of offering the Orillia area professional, affordable services that run the gamut. From unclogging drains and fixing leaky pipes, to… …



Ontario Announces Provincewide Shutdown

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a Provincewide Shutdown. Additional restrictions will be put into place and reinforce that Ontarians should stay at home as much as possible to minimize transmission of the virus…


Business Community

2020 Business Achievement Awards

Orillia Chamber of Commerce Virtual Event is Scheduled for March 4, 2021 Deadline for Nominations is January 7, 2021 To Nominate a business (including your own business), please go to and fill out the online nomination form. You will need to provide contact information for both yourself and your nominee, and the reasons for…


Sharing Place Donation

CDC Board donates holiday funds to local food centre

Given our current world circumstances, we are unable to host our traditional volunteer holiday gathering this year, so our Board of Directors decided to donate $1,000 to assist with the costs of The Sharing Place Food Centre’s Holiday Hamper program this holiday season. “A big thanks to the entire board at the CDC. We distribute…


Simcoe County: Rural Innovation Challenge

WHAT IS THE RURAL INNOVATION CHALLENGE? Join us for the Rural Innovation Challenge December 2 – December 11, 2020. The Challenge is hosted by ventureLAB, the County of Simcoe, and Digital Main Street to explore, source, and pilot novel solutions that support Main Street business continuity in Simcoe County amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Our partners…



2020 Readers’ Choice Awards

2020 has been a difficult and trying year for all of us. We’re thankful our services remained essential and that we could pivot & continue providing our business communities through these challenging times. Our complimentary business consulting services & professional development workshops transitioned to phone & virtual meetings, and we were so fortunate to be…


Michael Fredson, Manticore Books_web

CDC has helped Manticore Books enter new chapter of success

Michael Fredson hopes people visiting his main street bookstore enter alone but leave with a book for a life-long friend. It’s this personal connection and more that Manticore Books, an independent community bookstore located at 103 Mississaga St, E. Downtown Orillia, aims to create for its clients. Michael says this emulates what the Orillia Area…



Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords. If you are eligible for the base…



CDC has $1M available from feds to help support local businesses

Today, the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) announced that businesses in Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara and Rama may be eligible to benefit from additional relief funding through the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. This additional funding has been made available because of a $1 million investment by the Government of Canada in…



Ontario Supporting Small Businesses with Financial Advice and Training

The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.   When included alongside the 2020 Ontario Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover and the Main Street…


Supply Ontario

Ontario Launching New Agency to Centralize Government Procurement

The Ontario government announced the establishment of Supply Ontario, a new centralized procurement agency that will enable a whole-of-government approach to purchasing goods and services, saving taxpayers money. Supply Ontario will ensure that schools, hospitals, and the entire public sector always have the critical supplies and equipment they need to keep individuals and families safe,…


Functional Fitness Owner, Crystal Cabural

Flexibility helps Functional Fitness stride into success

Crystal Cabural believes healthy people make healthy communities, and that exercising should be enjoyable. As the owner of Functional Fitness, located at 190 Memorial Ave. in Orillia, she’s strived for this since 2015. Crystal, who has a background in physiotherapy assistance, started her business to provide exercise services to those who have been affected by…



Local innovation hub concept seeks stakeholder input

A unique partnership between Lakehead University, the City of Orillia, and the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) is looking at how Orillia and surrounding area can contribute to the innovation economy. A team from Lakehead, the CDC and the City’s Business Development and Communications Department have been working on the creation of an innovation…


Resilient Communities Fund

The Resilient Communities Fund supports the non-profit sector recover and rebuild from the impacts emerging from COVID-19 so they can effectively meet the needs of communities across Ontario.  OTF is investing in projects of eligible non-profit organizations to aid their medium to longer-term recovery efforts, help with their stabilization and build their capacity and resiliency…


UPDATED Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA)

CEBA requirements and deadlines have changed As of October 26, 2020, eligible Canadian businesses that are currently operating through a personal bank account will be able to apply for CEBA. All applicants now have until December 31, 2020, to apply for CEBA. *COMING SOON* CEBA support is being expanded from $40K to $60K. This expansion will…



Targeted Rural Economic Development program

Learn about targeted funding for short-term projects that help create jobs and boost growth in your rural community. APPLICATION INTAKE: September 21 – October 9, 2020 These guidelines are for the targeted RED intake. Read carefully as the criteria is not the same as the regular RED program. Note: all costs must be incurred on or before March 31, 2021. Projects will not be…


Farm View

CDC helps entrepreneur cultivate sale of family business

John and Jill Beischer’s business was like family to them. After all, it had been part of the clan for 43 years. So, when they set about selling Farm View Newspaper last year, John wanted to keep the paper close to home. Last year, the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) advertised its newly implemented…



What can the Orillia Area CDC do for you?

Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) Communication Assistant, Allison Davies catches up with Wendy Timpano, General Manager at the Orillia Area Community Development Corp., about the resources, grants and supports available to local businesses and start-ups, during COVID-19 and beyond.


Ontario Extends Support for Employers and Employees

The Ontario government is helping protect jobs and businesses by extending protection to prevent temporary layoffs from automatically becoming permanent job losses. Although Ontario is now in Phase 3 of reopening, this extension will give businesses more time to reopen and return to full operations. This extension will last until January 2, 2021.  Under Ontario…


Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

Canada United Small Business Relief Fund

CANADA UNITED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF FUND About #CanadaUnited The #CanadaUnited campaign is a nationwide small and local business campaign encouraging Canadians to buy local. Royal Bank of Canada, ‘Corporate Canada’, Business Associations and Major Media Partners have teamed up to start a movement, Canada United™, where everyday Canadians and large businesses come together in support of…



Seven Rules of Zoom Meeting Etiquette From the Pros

Video-meeting apps have grown up—now customers have to, too. Zoom noticed member numbers soared to a peak of 300 million within the newest quarter, up from 10 million before the pandemic. So, it’s time to get serious about video conferences. No extra canine and cats; no extra avatar stand-ins. It’s time to enter as if…



City seeks feedback about “See You on the Patio” program

Orillia’s Economic Recovery Task Force is looking for feedback from residents, visitors, and local businesses on its initiative to promote bar and restaurant patios throughout the city this summer.   Two surveys have been launched to gather information from both patrons and business owners on the “See You On The Patio” program: Visitor Survey:…



Lakehead’s Work-Integrated Learning Program

Lakehead University has developed a relationship with Magnet, a delivery partner for the federal SWPP (Student Worker Placement Program).  Magnet is providing dedicated funding for employers to hire Lakehead University students into positions related to their field of study, either part time or full time.   Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) at Lakehead has reserved 60 wage rebates…


Community Capacity Building Fund Grant

We’re now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund! We have $40,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The intent of the funding is to strengthen our communities by supporting projects that improve opportunities for growth and/or success…


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Ontario Implements Additional Measures at Bars & Restaurants

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, has amended orders O. Reg 364/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 3 and O. Reg. 263/20: Rules for Areas in Stage 2, under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, implementing additional measures for restaurants, bars, and other food or drink establishments, as…



Canada United

Canada United™ is a movement that brings fellow Canadians together to show their support for local businesses. Essential to our economy and communities, these businesses need our help now more than ever. So, join the movement and show local some love. Watch the videos online Like the posts on social media Use #CanadaUnited on Twitter…



Four local businesses receive $20,000 in grants from city

Four Orillia businesses are receiving more than $20,000 in funding over two intake periods thanks to the City of Orillia Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) Grant Program.   “We are thrilled to be able to support local businesses through the Downtown Tomorrow CIP grant program, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.…


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CDC helps ensure success adds up for local accounting firm

Catherine Bristow knows businesses aren’t just spreadsheets — there are people behind the numbers. That’s why she positioned her business to be more interactive. Before launching Cat May CPA Professional Corporation, which now operates remotely, she only intended to serve clients as their year-end accountant. “It is a great advantage for business owners to have…



RE3: Rebuild, Reopen, Revive

RE3 is a government funded program that provides non-repayable performance based contributions up to $5,000 to assist Southern Ontario women-led SMEs to rebuild, reopen and revive their businesses   With the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and Northumberland CFDC are working collaboratively within our regional entrepreneurial ecosystems to…



Province Launches “Ontario Made” Program

As the province safely and gradually reopens, Ontario is starting down the road to growth, renewal and economic recovery. That’s why the Ontario government is proud to support the launch of the Ontario Made program from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). This new program will promote the many world-class goods that are made across the…


Ontario Stage 3

Nearly All Businesses & Public Spaces to Reopen in Stage 3

The Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place. As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions on which regions will enter Stage 3 and when will be made in consultation…



Masks Mandatory in Simcoe Muskoka

Effective July 13, 2020, owners or operators of all businesses, organizations and public transit services in Simcoe and Muskoka must have policies in place to restrict people from entering if they are not wearing a non-medical mask or face covering. Best efforts shall be made to only allow entry to customers wearing a face covering. The face…



Lakehead University Mitacs Business Strategy Internships

In collaboration with Mitacs, Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration is pleased to offer six Business Strategy Internships to returning Lakehead students, for Fall-Winter 2020-21.  Awards are in the amount of $10,000 for students to undertake a strategic project with a small or medium-sized company (SME) or not-for-profit organization. The partner organization and the Faculty of…


The Bike Stop Photo

CDC support gets the wheels rolling for The Bike Stop of Orillia

Whether your bike is your main form of transportation or you ride it recreationally, Paul Belanger and Thomas Hulton, the new co-owners of The Bike Stop of Orillia, want to help you get the most out of your cycling experience. “The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) was instrumental in introducing this opportunity and helping…



Local businesses ‘very grateful’ for donation of face shields

An Oro-Medonte company handed out about 2,000 free face shields to local businesses and organizations on Friday, June 26. Molded Precision Components (MPC) invited representatives to pick up the Shield-U face shields early in the afternoon in the Royal Canadian Legion parking lot on Mississaga Street or, later, in front of St. Louis Bar and…



Council OKs more than $50K to help businesses expand patios

Downtown Orillia business owners wanting to create patios or expand into parking spots will get some financial relief from the city. At a special council meeting Thursday, a motion from the Economic Recovery Task Force was passed that will see more than $50,000 put toward helping businesses expand into the public realm. To offset the…



Enabling Accessibility Fund

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) provides funding for projects that make Canadian communities and workplaces more accessible for persons with disabilities. EAF aims to create more opportunities for persons with disabilities to take part in community activities, programs and services, or to access employment. To receive funding, your organization must be a: not-for-profit organization business…



Ontario Permits More Businesses and Services to Reopen

On June 8, the Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province. In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and local health officials, the government is easing restrictions in communities…



Digital Innovation & Transformation Loan Fund

ACCESS MONEY FOR DIGITAL INNOVATION & TRANSFORMATION Adopting digital technology in your business can help you stay competitive! Business Loans up to $10,000 Digital Marketing projects Website Software purchases Digital Training Hardware purchases 0% interest & no payments for initial 6 months Flexible repayment terms No legal fees No early pay out fees Simple application…


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Funding aimed at helping local businesses with digital needs

In response to challenges facing area businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the County of Simcoe is providing $60,000 in funding towards a unique program to help local businesses adapt their sales models to meet the needs of the ever-changing online consumer world. The funding will cover portions of the costs for a…



Zero-interest loans offered to aid local small businesses

Businesses in Orillia and Lake Country unable to access existing federal relief measures can now apply for zero percent interest loans under new initiative Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and many are vital to this community. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in uncertainty and anxiety for businesses. In an effort to…



Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines

UPDATE Ontario Further Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction During COVID-19 As early as Friday, May 8, the Ontario government is allowing all retail stores with a street entrance to provide curbside pickup and delivery, as well as in-store payment and purchases at garden centres, nurseries, hardware stores and safety supply stores. LEARN…



Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province

Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery April 27, 2020 1:30 P.M. Office of the Premier TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the…



Agri-Food Open for E-Business

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership The Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership) is a five-year federal- provincial-territorial initiative to strengthen the agriculture, agri-food and agri- products sectors, and increase their competitiveness, prosperity and sustainability. Agri-Food Open for E-Business – Targeted Intake A programming initiative under the Partnership Overview The Governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting the…



Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

The Ontario Government is committing $241 million to partner with the federal government and deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through a new program, the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). The OCECRA will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls…


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Government support for Indigenous businesses

Indigenous businesses provide jobs, goods, and services to communities, and are an important part of the Canadian economy. Right now, they are facing challenges and economic hardships due to COVID-19. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to make sure that Indigenous business owners have access to the support they need to…



Get funds to help fight COVID-19

Innovative Solutions Canada has dedicated funding to help combat current and future outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and other similar threats. Their program will help support the Government of Canada’s fight against COVID-19 by funding R&D and testing prototypes in real-life settings that can help protect Canadians. Sign-up to their news feed to get a…


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Orillia establishes COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force

The City of Orillia has formed an Economic Recovery Task Force to work with local businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and to plan and develop measures to help the local economy recover moving forward. “The health and safety of our residents and their families remains the City’s top priority,” said Mayor Steve Clarke. “But we…



Canada Emergency Response Benefit

What is the Canada Emergency Response Benefit If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.  



Province halts most construction projects

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the closure of 30 more types of workplaces in an effort to further flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus. During a news conference Friday afternoon, Ford addressed additional restrictions to operational businesses.  “Lives are on the line and we must take this action now. Effective Saturday, April 4 at 11:59 p.m., we…



Ontario launches hotline for business support during pandemic

 The province launched a toll-free line at 1-888-444-3659 to provide support for Ontario businesses who have questions regarding the recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We are in an unprecedented situation at this time, causing much uncertainty in many areas of daily life. This naturally…



Ontario Adopts Temporary Measures to Support Bars, Restaurants and Alcohol Retailers During the COVID-19 Situation

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is announcing a number of temporary measures to support Ontarians and businesses that have been significantly impacted by the spread of COVID-19. Effective immediately, licensed restaurants and bars in Ontario may sell alcohol with food takeout and delivery orders between the hours of 9:00 am and 11:00 pm.…



County and area partners launch survey to support regional businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Midhurst/March 23, 2020 – The County of Simcoe Economic Development Office (EDO), in collaboration with its member municipalities and partners, is actively and collectively working to support our business community during these unprecedented times. The County’s EDO department is committed to helping our local business community receive the most accurate and up-to-date information related to the…



Ontario: List of Essential Workplaces

For the purposes of this order, businesses include any-for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein. This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. Note that teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.…



Ontario Urges Businesses to Join the Fight Against COVID-19

New Government Website Removes Barriers for Companies to Provide Essential Goods and Services March 21, 2020 1:00 P.M. Office of the Premier TORONTO — The Ontario Government is launching Ontario Together, a new website that will help businesses and their employees work with the province to meet the challenges of COVID-19. This initiative will remove barriers…



COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness Toolkit for Ontario Businesses

COVID-19 PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS TOOLKIT FOR ONTARIO BUSINESSES As the situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve, it is critical that businesses are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources to respond to protect public health and ensure the continued essential operations of their organizations. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce team, in collaboration with Hicks Morley, have…



Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

If you are a business able to supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), please complete this form. Please follow the link below to a form that the Federal Government is asking companies to fill out if the companies offer products or services that could support Canada’s response to…


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How is COVID-19 (Coronoavirus) Impacting your Business?

At the CDC, we are looking to monitor the impact and progression of the Coronavirus on local businesses. The better informed we are, the better we will be able to advocate for supports and services to assist you through this difficult time. Please click below to complete our brief survey. We very much appreciate your…



Orillia chamber celebrates best in business

They serve you food, sell you cars, provide shelter to those in need and promote the area to tourists, and on Wednesday night, they were in the spotlight. The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Achievement Awards at the Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club, where 14 honours were handed out. “This…



Multiculturalism in our community? It starts with you!

In recognition of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21, the County of Simcoe has once again proclaimed March as #ITSTARTS Month. The annual #ITSTARTS campaign promotes inclusion, acceptance, and equity within the vibrant, diverse and growing communities that make up Simcoe County. #ITSTARTS aims to raise awareness about the value…


Matchedash Lofts Orillia

Change in the air in downtown Orillia

To quote a classic bit of 1960’s folk rock, something’s happening here. Investment in Orillia’s historic core is occurring with new-found intensity as developers, lured by the downtown’s historic charm and relative affordability, set the stage for the future. According to Lisa Thomson-Roop, of the Downtown Orillia Management Board, the degree of development underway surpasses…



TEDxOrillia: Call for Speakers & Sponsors

TEDxOrillia is gearing up for a second successful event and is now accepting sponsorships and applications to speak at the event. The 2020 event will focus on the theme of “insight” and will take place on Oct. 4, 2020, at The Orillia Opera House. “Last year’s event was a tremendous success. We were fortunate to…


Leadercast Live 2020

This is the one Leadership Development Event you don’t want to miss! Be a part of an extraordinary event that will make you a better leader. Leadercast Live is the largest, one-day leadership event in the world, broadcast live each year from Atlanta to hundreds of Host Sites around the globe. This career-changing leadership event…



Canada Summer Jobs

Objectives of the Canada Summer Jobs Program Canada Summer Jobs is an initiative of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy, which aims to provide flexible and holistic services to support all young Canadians develop the skills and gain paid work experience to successfully transition in the labour market. The Canada Summer Jobs program objectives align…



Local ‘artrepreneurs’ brush up on the business of art

For many artists, their work is, above all else, a labour of love. That doesn’t mean they can’t turn that passion into a viable business. Fifteen local artists took part in Artrepreneur, a 13-week program that culminated in an expo Thursday night at the Orillia Opera House. “A lot of people think arts and culture…



41st Annual Central Ontario Agricultural Conference

New for 2020 – a single day event! The planning committee has put together another great line-up of speakers in a new, single day format featuring programs for crop, sheep, dairy, organic, and backyard farmers. Friday, February 28 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Georgian College Barrie Campus. A keynote address by Michael…



Rural Economic Development Program

Funding to help create jobs and boost growth in your rural community. The RED program is now open and accepting applications. This intake will close on February 24, 2020. How it works Ontario’s Rural Economic Development (RED) program provides cost-share funding to support activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario, and opens doors to rural economic…


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Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant Application

The objective of the County of Simcoe Tourism, Culture and Sport Grant Program is to support and enhance Tourism, Culture and Sport in Simcoe County through: Investing in tourism, culture and sport activities that promote awareness, access, participation and appreciation of the distinct, diverse offerings within the County of Simcoe; Building organizational capacity in existing…


Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant

Grants that support projects at the idea or conceptual stage to achieve a Priority Outcome Activities funded include: Conducting new research or feasibility studies Testing new approaches Hosting discussions about emerging issues or new opportunities Developing a new idea Launching a new event Convening people together   AMOUNT: From $5,000 to $75,000 TERM: Up to…



Investment Readiness Program

The Investment Readiness Program. We all want communities where everyone can belong and thrive. The Investment Readiness Program (IRP) supports new and innovative ways of getting us there. It is designed to help social purpose organizations explore, grow and flourish across Canada, contributing to solving pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. Organizations can apply for…



Canada-Ontario Job Grant

Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG) provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to invest in their workforce, with help from the government. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a…



Making Buying and Selling Businesses Less Stressful

When Jack Johnson applied for a job at a local wellness studio, he was asked one critical question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” “I responded, ‘I see myself in your shoes,” recalls Jack. Little did he know that his response was just what the owner, Amanda, was looking for. Within a few…



Celebrate Ontario 2020

Celebrate Ontario 2020 The 2020 Celebrate Ontario program is now receiving applications via the Transfer Payment Ontario System. The deadline to apply for Celebrate Ontario is Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). Ontario offers the world in one province. Festivals and events bring people together, showcase authentic Ontario experiences, and support…


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Strength of CDC helps Peak Performance flex its muscles

  Starting a business in an already crowded industry can be daunting for some. For Brandon Peacock, it was an exciting opportunity to carve out his niche and break away from the crowd. Unlike most gyms, Peak Performance is a studio focused on functional fitness, quality movement, and elite personal training. Being a former employee…


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Ontario Launches Regional Program to Help Create Jobs

First Step Announced in Government’s Transformation of Business Supports Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade The Ontario government is launching the first part of its commitment to transform business supports to deliver value for money for taxpayers and create sustainable opportunities for businesses and communities in eastern and southwestern Ontario. Today, Vic Fedeli,…


CONTEST! November 1 – 15

ENTER TO WIN! Head over to our Facebook page for your chance to win a 1 hour massage at Discover Wellness OR a Say Cheese gift basket! Watch our short video on Discover Wellness’ Business Transition experience, and complete the following steps to qualify: 1. LIKE our Facebook page 2. TAG someone who owns a…


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Buying a Dream

Tiffany Denena never though she’d be a business owner, but after 13 years of working at MasterLube Rust Check in Orillia, she took ownership – all with the help of the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC)  


Owners, Allie Fry and Tyler Knight

Refillery District a step forward for Orillia and planet

The planet called and two entrepreneurs answered. Tyler Knight and Allie Fry knew Orillia needed a zero-waste store, and that’s what gave birth to the Refillery District. “We felt we could make a difference in our community, and eventually the planet,” said Tyler. “We wanted to make it accessible for everybody so it would catch…


Refillery District

It’s not too late to freshen up your facade with this grant

The City of Orillia Economic Development Department is hosting a workshop to outline funds available through their Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) Grant Program program on Thursday, September 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Orillia City Centre in the Brooks Boardroom. The final deadline to apply for 2019 is October 31, 2019. …



Community Capacity Building Fund Grant NOW OPEN!

The Community Development Corp. (CDC) is now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund! The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The intent of the funding is to strengthen our communities by…


Area businesses could get help from Georgian Angel Network

NEWS RELEASE GEORGIAN ANGEL NETWORK ************************* Georgian Angel Network (GAN) has launched the GAN Xcelerate Fund (GXF) which is looking for start-ups ready to grow their business. GXF will provide $30,000 to 10 Ontario-based businesses with a preference to those located in the Barrie, Simcoe and Grey Counties, South Georgian Bay, Orangeville, and Muskoka regions…


Local Organizations Light Up CDC’s Annual Lunch n’ Learn

We’re excited to announce the 7 local organizations selected to take part in the Ignite Speaker Series during our annual Lunch n’ Learn at Casino Rama Resort on October 3: Rebecca Bolden – The Holding Space Jody & Paul Bosse – Poly-B Plumbing Adam Burton – IPC Securities Corp. – The Burton Team Jenna Clarke – Rustica Pizza Vino Rob…


Inside The Shop

Community support has been a gem for downtown jewelry shop

Some might say it’s serendipity that had led Sarah Anne Moleme on her entrepreneurial journey, but ask her and she will tell you it is her community that made Sarahannedipity possible. Sarahannedipity is a jewelry store located at 161 Mississaga St E. in Orillia, which opened in the fall of 2017. Each piece of simple,…


Metro teams up with The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair to shine spotlight on local producers

Partnership with Metro and their Locally Sourced program offers food competition participants increased exposure, opportunities and incentives The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair announced today a new incentive for food competition entrants at this year’s Fair. Through a partnership with Metro Ontario grocery stores, all 2019 competitors will have the exciting opportunity to be evaluated by…


Joanna Crichton Photography

Jenna and Sean take over Georgian Chocolate Co.

A passion for art and years of experience in the hospitality business came together in the form of Georgian Chocolate Co. for Jenna Green and Sean Carter. The couple was in the market looking for a local business that would fit their vision of supporting local, and that’s when they met the previous owner of…


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Personal touch at Home Comfort Care is a key to their success

Everyone has their struggles, yet Bonnie Smith and her team at Home Comfort Care have put their own struggles aside to serve and care for the Muskoka community. With three Home Comfort Care shops in Bracebridge, Gravenhurst and Huntsville, Bonnie and her team provide rehabilitation and health care equipment from sports braces to hospital beds.…


CDC hires Client Services Officer

The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is pleased to announce the selection of John Sloan as the new Client Services Officer of the CDC.  John has held senior positions in operations, business development and human resources. Through his own consulting company, he has helped clients with business planning, operations due diligence, post-merger integration project…


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Orillia wins international attention for business retention work

NEWS RELEASE COUNTY OF SIMCOE ************************* Area partners, including the County of Simcoe, the cities of Barrie and Orillia, Grey County, Bruce County, Georgian College, Nottawasaga Futures Community Development Corporation and South Georgian Bay Small Business Enterprise Centre, have been recognized by Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI) as the 2019 winner of the Multi-Community…


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Second generation of family keeping bustling business afloat

Have you been dreaming of your perfect lakefront retreat, a vision of perfectly reflective waters, and rocky shores? Now you just need the perfect dock so you can go explore that perfect picture, and that’s where On the Water Designs saw an opportunity. On the Water Designs started 18 years ago with a vision to…


CFOA Spring Grant Applications Available!

Spring Grant Applications Available from the Community Foundation of Orillia & Area If you are a registered charitable organization serving Orillia and/or the surrounding area, you may be eligible for funding from the Community Foundation of Orillia and Area.  The Foundation is accepting grant applications until Thursday April 18, 2019 at 3:00 pm for the…


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Orillia’s female entrepreneurs at the forefront of change

Orillia is ahead of the pack as Canada looks to foster female entrepreneurs. As part of budget 2018, the federal government created the $20 million Women Entrepreneurship Fund, providing non-repayable contribution funding to female entrepreneurs. Across the country, women own fewer than 16 per cent of businesses, states Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. That…



Local businesses celebrated by chamber of commerce

Local businesses & individuals that go the extra mile were recognized for their accomplishments Thursday. The annual Orillia District Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards were handed out at the Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. While 30 awards were presented, chamber president Dean Beers gave a shout-out to all businesses that contribute to the…


FedDev Ontario Announces New Funding and Dedicated Rural Support for a Stronger Southern Ontario

News release Over $1 billion to fuel economic growth in urban and rural areas of Canada’s most populous region February 27, 2019 – Vars, Ontario                 Canada’s ability to remain competitive in the fast-paced and increasingly global economy is closely tied to the strength of southern Ontario’s economy. The Government of Canada is ensuring businesses, organizations and communities…


5th Annual Explore the Trades Event

The OMA and ODCA, in a continued response to help build the local skilled trades’ workforce have partnered with Orillia Area Secondary Schools to organize the 5th Annual Explore the Trades Event. The trade show style event is being held on March 19, 2019 at Twin Lakes Secondary School. This event provides an opportunity for…



Flowers and Creativity Have Deep Roots in the Collie Family

Katelyn Collie’s story began by attending the Barrie Farmers’ Market on a regular basis in 2013. From there, the business expanded to a home-based floral business in Sugarbush with a focus on weddings, special occasions and special events. When her business grew to a point where more space was required, the CDC provided financing enabling…



Orillia is growing thanks to millennials, investors and entrepreneurs

The heart of our city — Orillia’s historic downtown and waterfront — is growing thanks to millennials with on-trend ideas, big city investors, and long-standing entrepreneurs. It’s a multi-layer approach to building our economy that gives Orillia a strong chance to be successful, said Laura Thompson, the city’s manager of real estate and commercial development.…



  Head over to our Facebook Page for your chance to win a night’s stay in a yurt at Black River Wilderness Park and 2 tickets to Huronia Cultural Campus’ Cottagers and Indians  on February 1! Contest runs DECEMBER 3 – DECEMBER 14 Full details at:


Funding will help owners buy and sell businesses

When owners are looking to sell their businesses, confidentiality is often key. If word gets out ahead of time, staff might leave and other problems could arise. Realizing these risks, the County of Simcoe has made a commitment to keep funding a pilot project that helps business owners with that transition and succession process. During…


New Legal Requirements for Health Unit Inspected Premises

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is sharing with you the new legal requirements under the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) that came into effect July 1, 2018. These new requirements mean that all businesses in the health unit’s region operating an inspected premise under the HPPA are now required to notify the…


SENCO Series

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REVIEW: The RBC Work Integrated Learning Program

The RBC Work-Integrated Learning Program is aimed at bridging the gap between the classroom and the work world. The program combines classroom learning with practical application in the workplace, relevant to a student’s program or career goals. This helps Lakehead University students gain technical, entrepreneurial, and social skills and equip them with the resources and…


GRANT: 2018 Community Capacity Building Fund

The Community Development Corp. (CDC) is now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund. The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The maximum amount of funding that may be requested from one…


The impact of Bill 148 on Ontario business

The Ontario Chamber Network is collecting grassroots data on the impact of Bill 148 (the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act) to advise the government on the experience of businesses in Ontario. How has your organization been impacted financially, administratively, and/or legally by the changes contained within Bill 148? The more detail – particularly financial examples…


CDC Lunch n’ Learn

Conquer the peaks of business performance with Allan Mallory‘s secrets of the trade. The international speaker, author and performance coach, who is passionate about leadership, will be the keynote speaker at the Community Development Corp. (CDC)’s Lunch n’ Learn event on October 4. Mallory’s desire to go higher clearly shows in his achievements over the…


25th Annual CF Ontario’s Member’s Choice Award

HELP US win the 25th Annual CF Ontario Member’s Choice Award! The award celebrates the hard work and successes of CFDCs across the province. Click here to view the list of nominees and why we’ve been recognized (Psst.. we’re #8) Deadline to vote is August 10, 2018 at 4:00PM [maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”VOTE” ]


Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) Workshops & Webinars

This summer, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) team has organized workshops across the province to help you strengthen your Capital Grant Application so you can avoid common mistakes and boost your chances of successfully making a positive impact in your community.   In addition to these workshops, OTF has put together a series of webinars…


2019 Community Survey – CDC

We value input from our community! The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is beginning to develop a long-term Corporate Strategic Plan, and we would like your feedback.  As an individual/organization that has had some involvement with the CDC, we hope you will take a few moments to complete the following survey. Your input will help…


CDC to Host Orillia Chamber BA5

Orillia District Chamber of Commerce members are invited to attend the monthly Business After 5 networking event on Wednesday, April 18th from 5pm-7pm Non-Members wishing to attend should contact the Chamber office at [email protected] to arrange an invitation. DONATIONS TO The Sharing Place Food Bank WILL BE GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED Please confirm your attendance by registering in order to provide…



Chamber recognizes local businesses

The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce recognized the best in business Thursday night at its annual Business Achievement Awards ceremony at the Geneva Event Centre. The event also served as the chamber’s annual general meeting. Mayor Steve Clarke told the packed house it’s a good time to be in business in Orillia, noting the city…


Doug Downey’s Community Insights: CDC

Doug Downey’s Community Insights, a ROGERS TV Orillia communication, came by our office late January 2018 to chat with General Manager, Wendy Timpano about the impact & support the CDC brings to businesses/organizations throughout Ontario’s Lake Country.

CDC to host Oro-Medonte BA5!

Please join us on Tuesday, February 13th from 5pm-7pm for the Oro-Medonte Chamber of Commerce BA5 networking event. Remember to bring your business cards! Parking is available on the street in front of the CDC or behind Mariposa Market in the Green P Parking lot. [maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”REGISTER” ]


Help us help you!

If you believe the CF program has value in our community, please take a minute to sign the Community Futures Ontario petition to modernize, expand & help us do more for you! [maxbutton id=”1″ url=”” text=”Sign Petition” ]  


Are you a business in Downtown Orillia?

Annual Downtown Orillia Business Survey This month, the City of Orillia Economic Development Department will undertake the annual Downtown Business Survey. This five minute survey is an important tool used by the City or Orillia and Downtown Orillia Management Board to track progress, guide programming and encourage more people to work and live in the downtown core.…


Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC) Information Session

       Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) would like to hold an information session about the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC) and the upcoming Problem Areas seeking Innovative Solutions to specific challenges at a proposed information event in Orillia. In an effort to give companies across Central Ontario access to information about SBIC, this is a…


Manufacturing Labour Market Study – Survey Launch

The County of Simcoe, Georgian College, and community partners are keen to support our local manufacturing sector. They’ve heard from manufacturers that labour issues are the top priority. Now they need your help to develop practical support solutions. Please let them know what can be done to help with your labour concerns! • This survey…


Orillia Floor Fashion Centre

Giving both youths and businesses a leg up

Owner Dean Beers (left), with staff Jessica Wiles (centre), and Wes Bennett (right).   Many youth hunting for a job find themselves in a vicious circle: An employer wants to hire someone with experience, but many are wary of providing a youth with that valuable experience. “We have heard this message loud and clear from…


Digital concerns demystified

Establishing a bigger social media presence can be intimidating for some smaller businesses. But that doesn’t have to be the case, according to digital content creator Marc Smith. “On the surface, it’s very simple really,” said Smith, the founder of 30 Day Adventures, who served as a keynote speaker during a lunch and learn symposium…


Complete Concrete Forming

Built to succeed

Ryan Crolly, left, and Trevor Lamondin joined forces to create Complete Concrete Forming. With the help of a loan from the CDC, the duo started from scratch and have built a business with a rock-solid foundation that is growing at a rapid pace.   Building a business is a little like building a house: without…


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CDC offers kick-start

For a motorcyclist, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road on a finely-tuned hot rod. Scott Smith loves that freedom so much, he’s turned his passion for bikes into a business that puts him in the driver’s seat – in more ways than one. Four years ago, husband and wife team Scott Smith and…


CONTEST! August 2 – 9

Enter our Facebook contest and qualify to win 2 tickets to The Big Feastival on August 19! Visit our Facebook page and follow the following steps to qualify: Step 1: WATCH our 2016/17 Activity Review video Step 2. PRIVATE MESSAGE us the ANSWER to the following question: How many youth wage subsidies were we able…



Knight expands business

For Tyler Knight, the road to entrepreneurial success has taken some unexpected twists and turns. Originally, he thought his creative flair and eye for detail would be qualities that would help him become a first-rate cabinet maker. But after learning the trade, he realized it wasn’t for him. So, he took a job at Kahuna…


Up & Out

CDC helps entrepreneur get business up and running

Inspired by healthy living and nature, Robb MacDonald has successfully taken his passions and turned them into an influential, multifaceted business. Originally a marketing and communications consultant, Robb used his social marketing skills and a multi-disciplinary approach to educate communities about healthy eating, and living a more active lifestyle. His focus on behaviour change pushed…


CDC Success Story: Harold + Ferne

Meet young entrepreneur Olivia Neal, owner of Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. and CDC Success Story! After receiving a BA in Political Science, Olivia returned to her hometown of Orillia, and it wasn’t long before the artist in her saw a need to display the area’s ever growing community of makers and artisans.…


Vacancy Rebate Program Information Session

PROPERTY TAX VACANCY REBATE PROGRAM Information Session   The City of Orillia is looking for feedback on possible changes to the Vacancy Rebate Program for Commercial and Industrial properties.  The Province is providing municipalities flexibility for 2017 and future years; allowing municipalities to tailor the Vacant Rebate program to reflect community needs and circumstances, while…


CDC Success Story: EarthTreks

Meet Alison Braun, founder of EarthTreks. Alison combined her love of travel in search of the world’s abundance of natural and cultural treasures, with her personal commitment to effect positive social and environmental change to form the vision of EarthTreks. Her business was shortlisted and selected as one of Western Ontario Community Futures most recent…


Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co.

The art of small business

After receiving a BA in Political Science, Olivia Neal returned to her hometown of Orillia, and it wasn’t long before the artist in her saw a need to display the area’s ever growing community of makers and artisans. Named after her beloved great grandparents, her business Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. was born…


Chamber hands out business awards

The Orillia Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses Thursday night during its annual Business Achievement Awards. Several businesses and a couple of non-profits received awards during the ceremony at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. Award winners are as follows: Entrepreneurial Initiative Momma Mari’s Harold + Ferne: The Local Goods Co. Driverseat Orillia Rustica Pizza…


Loans can help businesses go green

Business owners looking for energy savings can find support in local organizations. Through Orillia Power’s Save on Energy program, business owners can apply for up to 70% in financial incentives to go toward energy-efficient lighting, heating, cooling and other initiatives. “At times, businesses are unable to afford the remaining cost, putting a stop to their…


Canada 150 Grants now open for applications!

New Community Fund for Canada’s 150th builds community, inspires understanding, and encourages participation for the sesquicentennial! A collaboration for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation is bringing people and places together to build community and activate a groundswell of local initiatives, activities and events. The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is an effort led by Community…


FREE 2017 Chamber membership for Young Entrepreneurs!

The Orillia District Chamber of Commerce is offering important support for young entrepreneurs in our local economy! At this stage, the program is a work in progress. But …already they have committed to offering FREE 2017 Chamber memberships to all new business owners under the age of 30. They will match young entrepreneurs with more…



Uke-a-Ladies work to bring music to kids

The moment Sherry McKinnon and Gayle Wells met they knew they would be friends—but they never imagined they would begin Hummin’ & Strummin’ Music Company together. Gayle, in search of a new career, had just moved to Orillia with her family after 20 years in corporate sales. With a strong background in music she was…


Activity Review Video CONTEST!

Casino Rama Resort SPA GIVEAWAY CONTEST!! December 12 – 22 SHARE our Activity Review video & LIKE OUR PAGE to qualify! (Applies to Facebook only) PRIZE PACK INCLUDES: Mini Manicure Enjoy a detail oriented treat for your hands that includes soak, shape and cuticle clean up with a hand lotion and polish application. Mini…


The Kitchen Garden Farm is the brainchild of Greg Simms, pictured here with his family.

CDC Success Story: Finding peace through organic farming

After nine years of dedication, Greg Simms’ career as a professional firefighter began to exact its toll on his health. Greg found a sanctuary in his small garden while facing his health challenges, and that’s where he found peace and healing and discovered his passion for organic farming. “I love to work with my hands…


CDC a federally-funded non-profit organization

RELEASED: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 Many of us are familiar with at least some of the organizations in our city that focus on helping those in need. Whether it is housing, mental health, employment, education or any other necessity, Orillia has a strong network of resources and people willing to improve life and vibrancy in…


CDC Grant DEADLINE October 20

The Community Development Corporation (CDC) is accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund. The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The intent of the funding is to strengthen communities by supporting projects…


Jockeying for success is an art form

Up-and-coming businesses hoping to garner words of wisdom from already-established enterprises and a famed Canadian jockey hit Casino Rama Thursday. “It’s all about finding your success strategy,” said Wendy Timpano, general manager of the Community Development Corporation, which held the day-long session geared towards helping businesses reach a higher level. “This gives an opportunity for…


Impression House

Succession planning another specialty of local CDC

Celebrating her 15th year in the printing industry, Carey Frantz is ready to take over the business her father first purchased in 2001. Impression House, located at 44 Mississaga St. W., takes care of all of your graphic design, binding, copying, printing, and promotional needs. As owner Bob Frantz nears his retirement, Carey decided to…


CDC accepting grant applications

The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) is accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund. The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations/social enterprises. The intent of the funding is to strengthen communities by…



Positive impressions

RELEASED: June 24, 2016 Businesses throughout the region have created 444 new jobs over the past three years, with plans to hire another 236 over the next 18 months, a new survey suggests. Completed earlier this year by the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) along with several regional partners, the retention and expansion study…


Orillia CDC survey finds hundreds of new jobs created

RELEASED: June 17, 2016 The region’s business climate is generally positive with some sectors reporting growth, according to a survey focusing on business retention and expansion. Within the 160 businesses surveyed by the Orillia Community Development Corporation and regional partners, 444 new jobs have been created in Ontario’s Lake Country in the last three years.…


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Driverseat hits the road in Orillia

Andy Moore, an entrepreneur at heart weary of working for someone else, decided to put himself in the driver’s seat. Literally. With financial assistance from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC), the local resident recently opened a Driverseat franchise. “It’s a great concept,” Moore said of Driverseat. “You’re helping people and you’re keeping the…


Canada 150: Community Infrastructure Program

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is now accepting applications through Intake Two of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) in southern Ontario. In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, CIP 150 supports the renovation, expansion or improvement of existing community infrastructure, including projects that support the Government’s…



Business one to watch for 20 years

Located at 106 Mississaga St. E. in a beautiful old building built in 1881, Perfect Timing transports you back to yesteryear with its brick walls, fireplace, wing-back chairs, and countless antiques – mainly clocks. Kind and approachable shop owners Rick and Aime Brownbill welcomed me in, and showed me what they were currently working on.…



ATTENTION EMPLOYERS Please take 3-5 minutes to fill out this online survey from The Restigouche Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) who are working to increase the employment rate for persons with disabilities in small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in rural Canada. Once completed you can enter a draw for a trip (of your choice)…


Tourism Asset Mapping Project Surveys

The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC), in partnership with Ontario’s Lake Country, the Regional Tourism Organization 7, Tourism Simcoe County, the Townships of Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara, the City of Orillia, and the Chippewas of Rama First Nations is undertaking a Tourism Asset Mapping (TAM) Project. The TAM project will identify positive tourism assets available…



Strengthening Tourism Sector through Research

Released: March 11, 2016 ORILLIA – In an effort to strengthen the Orillia and area tourism sector, a new research project is compiling an inventory of positive tourism assets available for development and promotion in Ontario’s Lake Country. The study, which will be completed by June, will also identify tourism opportunities in the region for…


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Bolen sets up shop in Orillia with CDC’s help

RELEASED: Thursday, February 25, 2016   For almost a decade, Amanda Bolen has been working her way to the top of her field in massage therapy and all its modalities. As a young and driven female entrepreneur, she has always dreamed of owning and operating her own clinic, and when her client base began to…


2016 Dragon’s Den Auditions

Dragon’s Den is holding open auditions in Barrie on Saturday, Feb. 27, looking for the next big thing for the CBC television series. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of wealthy Canadian business moguls – the Dragons. Successful pitches will earn a chance for real investment –…


Downtown Stores of Winter

The CDC is Downtown Orillia Management Board‘s featured business for the week of February 15, 2016! Downtown Stores of Winter Community Development Corp. – CDC 22 Peter Street South Orillia, Ontario 705-325-4903 General Manager – Wendy Timpano What has 269 offices, 1360 staff, 3415 volunteers, has assisted in the creation of over 495,800 jobs…


Survey says Hurry

RELEASED: Thursday, February 4, 2016   The final deadline for local businesses qualifying for the Business Retention and Expansion survey ticket draw is closing in. Feb. 26 will be the last day to qualify for a draw to win a pair of passes to attend Lonestar or ZZ Top concerts, courtesy of Casino Rama. “Our…


Pet project in memory of Knapp

RELEASED: Wednesday, January 27, 2016   Two Orillia women hope to open a downtown pet store as a salute to a fellow animal lover and business owner. Lindy Scully and Amanda Mack both worked at J&K Pets on Mississaga Street until the store’s owner, Dave Knapp, died suddenly in October. “I worked there for four…



Client Testimonial: KnightVision Video Productions

Several months ago, I applied to the Community Devel opment Corp. – CDC for their Community Capacity Building Fund grant. I was privileged to receive a grant from the CDC 2 years ago to upgrade my computer system to handle 4K video and applied this year to help fund a full frame camera for weddings.…


Survey pays off

RELEASED: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 There are two new prize winners in the regional Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) survey project. Event tickets donated by Casino Rama are going to Sandra Fecht, of Sandra Fecht Consulting in Oro-Medonte Township, and Mark Downing, of Fern Resort in Ramara Township. “This survey is an opportunity for business…


Early bird gets the entertainment worm

RELEASED: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 Getting involved paid off for Todd Shivers, owner of Lake Country Auto. Shivers was one of 92 business owners who volunteered early to be a part of the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation’s (CDC) Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) survey. A draw was held among the early-bird participants for a…


A lifeline to local business

By Randy Lucenti The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) has been an integral part of the business landscape in Simcoe County for the past 31 years, assisting more than 40,000 businesses. The CDC is a federally (Industry Canada) supported not-for-profit organization, working with community partners to develop and sustain the local economy through business…


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Community support sets Orillia apart for new business owner

RELEASED: Monday, November 16, 2015   Brandon Peacock wants to help Orillians ‘reach their peak’ by helping them improve their overall health. Peacock, owner of the new Peak Performance gym located at 408 Laclie Street, says he went to school knowing that he wanted to someday start a business in Orillia. “When I went to…


Passport to Nature was a wild journey

Over the past seven months, the Couchiching Conservancy has been inviting people to visit our properties on guided hikes, bike rides, water events and walks. The seasons have changed, friendships were made a nd somehow the months have pleasantly flown by with the Passport to Nature series. It has now completed for the year, and…


Orillia CDC launches business study

Orillia’s Community Development Corp. has launched a study on the local economy, with interviews planned for about 200 business owners/managers. “Over the next few months, almost 200 community businesses will be provided the opportunity to voice their opinions about the local economy through a regional Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) Research Project,” the CDC noted…


Operate a Business Locally? What’s Your Opinion?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 20, 2015 Over the next few months, almost 200 community businesses will be provided the opportunity to voice their opinions about the local economy through a regional Business Retention + Expansion (BR+E) Research Project, led by the Orillia Area CDC. After a successful BR+E study was completed by the City of…



The Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) would like to open their office walls to Orillia & area artists, and invite them to display selected works of art. The CDC office is located in the heart of the Peter Street Arts District and is home to multiple organizations: Ontario’s Lake Country, Orillia Sport Council, Skills…


Orillia CDC hosting provincial conference

RELEASED: September 10, 2015 The Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations will hold its 22nd annual provincial conference Sept. 14 to 16 at Casino Rama. Hosting this year’s conference is the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC). “We are delighted to be working with Wendy Timpano and the staff and board at the Orillia…


Grant Application Available from the CDC

  MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, August 26th 2015 Grant Application Available from the CDC The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund. The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in…


Go Green. Grow Strong.

  Skills for the Green Economy  has developed a green business newsletter to share resources to help businesses go green, and showcase organizations that have. In this inaugural issue, the Go Green. Grow Strong. newsletter explains the business case for energy efficiency, and gives information on incentive programs for retrofits and upgrades. We’ve also provided who…


Sprout Ideas Camp

Big ideas sprout at Simcoe County camp

RELEASED: July 23, 2015 The inaugural Simcoe County Sprout Ideas Camp was held recently at Bear Creek Secondary School in Barrie. Offered through TakingITGlobal, the week-long social innovation camp enabled local high-school students to learn about social issues and create social enterprises to help alleviate them. Throughout the week, Georgian College’s Centre for Social Entrepreneurship,…


REGISTER TODAY! 2015 Lunch n’ Learn

FREE EVENT! Located in Casino Rama’s Silvernightingale Ballroom. 9:00 am – 10:00 am Registration & Networking 10:00 am – 2:30 pm Ignite Session A fun opportunity for you to watch local organizations compete to showcase something unique & interesting that they have succeeded in. This involves using 20 slides, and only 20 seconds per slide,…


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Agency Helps Company Get Its Feet Wet

RELEASED: May 31, 2015 For almost 15 years, On the Water Designs, just north of Orillia, has been making waves in the custom-dock market. The company works in dock manufacturing, sales, accessories and installation. “We manufacture innovative aluminum docks — everything from pole docks to floating docks and tower docks,” said company general manager Brandon…


FedDev Ontario Accepting Applications!

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is now accepting applications for the new Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. The program supports the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion of existing community infrastructure, with the aim of creating a lasting legacy for the future as Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary. More than $44 million…


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CDC Helps Get Company Off The Ground

RELEASED: May 8, 2015 James Foy loves to work with his hands and, even when he was busy with the demands of work, found time to dabble in landscaping. Recently, he decided to marry that passion with his long-held desire to start his own business. With financial help from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation…


Partnership Focuses On Green Economy

RELEASED: Monday, March 30, 2015 Ever wonder what training, skills or experience is needed to install solar panels? Are you in construction and looking to diversify your skills to get into new, green building technologies or energy efficiency retrofits? Skills for a Green Economy, a partnership between four Community Futures Development Corporations in Simcoe County…


CDC Year In Review – Celebrating 30 Years!

November 18, 2014 – November 18, 2014 30 Peter St. S. Map and Directions | Register Description: Please join us! We are celebrating 30 years of helping businesses succeed in our community! A light breakfast will be provided. Join us to learn about: CDC Accomplishments and Goals Hear from our clients Meet our Board of…



Orillia Area CDC Hires New Client Services Officer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Orillia Area CDC Hires New Client Services Officer Orillia Ontario, October 27, 2014 – The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is pleased to announce the selection of Brendan Mulholland as the new Client Services Officer of the CDC. Having started, owned and operated two highly successful businesses in the UK, Brendan…



Award Winning Pumpkin Business Gets Help From Local CDC

Simon Southwell is a successful businessman. He can rhyme off the financials related to his growing enterprise like a pro; his dynamic sales pitch has wowed judges and got him inside the corridors of power. And he’s just 12 years old. “I guess you could say I’m on the ball,” Simon, who has autism, says…


GRANT APPLICATIONS Available! Community Capacity Building Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, September 15th 2014 Grants Applications Available from the CDC The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is now accepting grant applications for the Community Capacity Building Fund (CCBF). The CDC has $20,000 to invest in projects and would like to maximize impact by funding a variety of projects in both for-profit…


Achieving Success at Tradeshows Workshop

August 29, 2014, Orillia, ON – Small businesses looking to learn how to prepare for and exhibit at trade and consumer shows are invited to sign up for a free training opportunity scheduled for September 9th. ‘Achieving Success at Trade Shows’ is a unique seminar hosted by the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) and…


CDC Loan Fund to Support New Doctors

Orillia, ON  July 31, 2014 -The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is pleased to announce the launch of a new program that will provide newly recruited physicians with access to business start up coaching and financing to assist them with setting up their medical practice in our local communities of Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Severn, Ramara…


Working together to help young people gain work experience

Orillia, Ontario, July 21, 2014 – Ontario’s Youth Employment Fund is helping local young people find jobs, get training, and gain valuable work experience. Here in the Orillia area, the CDC has been working with Northern Lights Employment Centre and the Georgian College Career Centre to ensure that local employers know about the fund and…


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CDC helps businesses succeed

Orillia Packet & Times, Progress Edition 2014 – The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) offers much-needed financing and equally critical training and resources in an effort to help local businesses succeed. Providing business loans is a “very important part of what we do,” said Wendy Timpano, the CDC’s general manager. “We work closely with…


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CDC Provides Business Training

Orillia Today, Progress Edition 2014 – The Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) wants local businesses to succeed. And the federally-funded organization is doing something about it. Relying on input from the recent business retention and expansion survey and extensive feedback from its broad range of clients, the CDC has developed a comprehensive professional development…


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Community Capacity Building Fund Opens Doors

January 31, 2014, Orillia, ON – There is a lot of talk these days about how hard it is for young adults to find jobs. Many are considering  self employment for the first time and looking for ways to creatively monetize their unique skill set and passion. Tyler Knight, owner of District Media & Design…


CDC Brings Valuable WSIB Info to Community Businesses

January 8, 2014, Orillia, ON – Do you know if/how your business is impacted by Bill 119?….offenders could face substantial fines beginning January 1, 2014 and the CDC is doing everything possible to assist their business communities understand what they must do to prevent being impacted. Mandatory WSIB coverage under Bill 119 came into effect…


Getting Results for Your Marketing Efforts

August 2013, Orillia, ON – Our focus at the Orillia Area Community Development Corp. (CDC) is on supporting our local businesses and the economy. Because of this, I always make a point of speaking to small business owners when I am out in the community to find out what they feel they need for their…


White Lions Tea House

White Lion’s Tea House

Turning a dream into a reality requires hard work, blood, sweat, tears – and money. Laurie Neill was armed with all those critical qualities as she diligently worked to transform the former El Castel Steak House into the quaint tea room she had long envisioned. But the renovations were much more onerous, extensive and expensive…


Saturday Afternoons

Saturday Afternoons

When the chance to purchase Saturday Afternoons Home Store presented itself, Michelle Madden jumped at the opportunity. “I definitely have a flair for anything related to the home and interior design, so Saturday Afternoons is a great fit for me,” said Madden, who said being downtown was critical. “To me, downtown is the heart and…



Orillia Woodworking

Martin Stannus, an experienced general contractor, purchased Orillia Woodworking Inc. this summer. He said the well-respected company’s competent staff, coupled with its strong core business attracted his interest. And, with the help of a loan from the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (OACDC), he was able to complete the purchase in June. “We are grateful…


Lake Country Grill

Lake Country Grill

Banks rarely line up to offer new businesses financing. And if it’s a new restaurant on the menu, they are even less likely to ante up cash. That’s why the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC) was so critical to Diana Roman and Rob Frost when they decided to open a new eatery in Orillia.…



Going with Gibb

When Brian Gibb lost his job at Casino Rama – alongside dozens of other employees – he found himself at a crossroads. Like most people, he polished his resume and applied for 292 jobs before attending a job fair at Orillia Square mall – it was a decision that would dramatically alter his path. “The…


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Carthew Bay General Store

A bike ride with his children changed the course of Senti Rasa’s life – and altered the destiny of the general store that is the heart of Carthew Bay. “I have a cottage on Line 12 and me and the kids decided to bike to the Carthew Bay Store for ice cream,” recalled Rasa, who…