by Paul Cormier, Secretary

In our last article we brought you up to date on the Annual General Meeting of the Old Town Kemptville Business Improvement Area. The support of our new Council, Nancy Peckford, Mayor-Elect and John Barclay and Doreen O’Sullivan, Councillors-Elect, did a lot to raise our spirits as we enter into a long list of end-of-year activities.

First on the list is the annual Kids’ Christmas Event. The event will run 10:30 am until 2:30 pm on December the 8, and will include horse drawn carriage rides from B&H to Exit Realty, with a stop at the Rotary Park. There is also the Elf List. This is where each participating business in the downtown will be provided an elf for the event. On December 8, children will drop by from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm with a list they have to fill out, i.e. what each elf at each business is doing as part of the business. Once the list is completed by visiting each business, they can submit their list for a chance to win a prize. Businesses can also put their elf out early, inside their store or at the window or door, for children and families to take photos with. These photos will then get posted in various social media. We are all looking forward to seeing the kids again this year; we have watched many grow up over the years.

Next, we are proceeding to the staffing of the BIA’s Executive Director Position, which was formerly occupied by John Barclay. As you are aware, John has been recognized by the community for the excellence of his community work by being elected to the North Grenville Council. So, we are now casting about to find someone who can support us in this important role. The Position Description has been posted to the CSE Consulting Website, so anyone interested in doing good works with us is invited to apply. If you have any questions about the position, you can always be in touch with Paul Cormier, the BIA Secretary, at [email protected].

Then, there is the election of our Executive Committee, which will take place on December 19, at the first meeting of the new Board of Management. We have a full agenda for that evening, related to getting ready for the new calendar and fiscal year of the BIA, which begins on January first. One important agenda item is the preparation of our Annual Business Plan and budget. This is done by the entire Board of Management in an annual work session where we determine what our strategic direction is, and how we will get there. The date for this meeting has been tentatively set for January 16, and will be confirmed at our December meeting. Once our Business Plan and budget are set, they go to Council for approval. Meanwhile, the annual municipal audit of the BIA’s finances will take place, to ensure that we have spent our money wisely in the past year.

In preparation for the Business Planning work session, the BIA will be circulating a short questionnaire that will ask the Businesses in our footprint what they believe the priorities of their organization to be. These will be collected and put together in a report that the Board of Management will be able to use to establish the plan for the year. Members will also receive a copy. We can’t emphasize enough how extremely important it is for the businesses in the footprint that they to contribute their ideas, particularly now that there is a new Council and a wind of change.

We of the BIA are looking forward to a highly productive year, aimed at continuing the improvement of the downtown started by previous Board and volunteer members. We wish everyone a festive season that is filled with good cheer. See you downtown!


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