Well, the fall has officially descended upon us. Cool nights, warm days and everything in between means you never know what to expect from one day to another. That’s kind of like what we’re trying to do with our Downtown events. Our Events Committee is attempting to mix things up a bit and trying different things in order to showcase the diversity of our Old Town Kemptville (OTK) BIA business community to a wider audience of people.
Case in point was “Not Just Ladies Night” that happened on Friday, September 13. It was the first of its kind and, by all accounts, was a smashing success! Over 125 visitors descended on Downtown and sipped and snacked their way through a wide range of shopping, creative and mystical experiences. It was a near perfect showcase for our special “Old Town” blend of extraordinary people, interesting places and uncommon things. It was such a big hit with visitors and businesses alike, that both groups are already asking when the next one will be.
Next up will be our Business Boot Camp Workshop Series in November, where we’ll show you how to create your own customized business plan, how to create a customized cash flow plan (both of which you’ll need to apply for private and government funding), and we’ll even give you a chance to pitch your ideas to a panel of potential funders. We’ll be partnering with the Leeds Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre and the facilitator will be Karen McDonald-Hurley of the Opportunity Group. Karen conducted the business plan workshop at the Rural Summit in April to rave reviews from attendees, so we’re excited to have someone of her calibre leading these workshops in November. If you pay for the two workshops ($250 for both or $150 for one), we’re including admission to the Funders Night for free! Watch for the link to sign up on our Facebook page very soon. If you’re an entrepreneur (or know one), you won’t want to miss this!
In late November, and into December, it will naturally be all about Christmas. We are excitedly looking forward to our annual Old Town Kemptville Christmas event, which will be happening on Saturday, November 30, this year. We’re also going to be trying something new this year during the month of December. Stay tuned for more information about that, as our Events Committee kicks into high gear!
We are truly excited to announce that our BIA Board of Directors voted unanimously to offer another contract to Megan McDonald to continue her work on the Digital Main Street (DMS) program helping our Downtown businesses to offer them advice and tips on how to improve their online presence. She can also help businesses qualify for the DMS grant of up to $2500. Megan helped generate $17,500 in grant funding during her first contract, so we’re excited about the potential for her helping more of our Downtown Kemptville family members to qualify for more grants. Help us welcome Megan back to Old Town! If you’re a member of our Old Town Kemptville family, you can learn more about Digital Main Street and how Megan can help you, by emailing her at [email protected].
Finally, we’ve got some old news that is new again! The Community Improvement Plan (CIP) has been renewed for another year. If you’re a property or business owner in the BIA footprint or the Rideau Sanders “Triangle”, you may be eligible for grant funding up to $5,000 for building facade, signage and landscape improvements. This is an excellent opportunity to help beautify the Downtown and add value to your business or property. This may be your last chance, so act today! The application deadline is October 31st. Email us at [email protected], and we can also help you get started!
We can NEVER thank all of our volunteers enough for all of the incredible work that they do for us in Downtown Kemptville! Our events would not be as much fun, or as impactful for our businesses, without the tireless work of our BIA Board of Directors, our Events Committee, and the rest of our Friends of Downtown. The countless hours of outreach, meetings, behind-the-scenes work and running around that our volunteers do for us is truly remarkable. For now, we’ll start by saying a great big “THANK YOU” for all that you do for the OTK BIA, the businesses, the property owners and our partners and stakeholders!