New Billoard - 2011

New Billoard - 2011
Bracebridge is a centre for Post-Secondary Education

Friday, December 4, 2009

Looking for Tourism Statistics for Your Business Plan

The Ministry of Tourism's Research division monitors and compiles various types of research data - ranging from expenditures to regional economic impact. Additionally the group releases information about future "outlooks" for tourism. Link here for more information


Doing Business with the Government of Canada: Introductory Supplier Seminar
Delivered by: The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) - Public Works and Government Services Canada

Learn the fundamentals of selling goods and services to the Government of Canada, with respect to the upcoming 2010 G8 Summit.

Topics to be covered:· What you need to do to become a supplier· Registering your company· Searching for opportunities· Marketing your product or service· Security Clearance Requirements
Please plan to join us for this FREE informative seminar onTuesday, December 8, 2009. Algonquin Theatre, downtown Huntsville, 7 pm - 9 pm

Please RSVP to Amy Back, Site Agent at 705-787-3740 or via e-mail at


The Muskoka Small Business Centre has announced their date for their Annual Bridges to Better Business Event - January 28, 2010. Follow their website for more details

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lakeland Power Usage Reduction Program

Local businesses throughout Bracebridge have participating in this program - even small retailers in the downtown core.

Lakeland Power; Customer Information: "Power Savings Blitz
The Power Savings Blitz Program is available to qualifying small businesses. The program offers a free electricity usage assessment and the free installation of up to $1,000 in energy efficiency products. Licensed electricians will install up to $1,000 of the recommended upgrades as well as any additional items the business decides to purchase.

By making simple changes energy efficiency goes up and electricity costs go down.

Customers can apply for the program by calling 1-877-66-BLITZ (25489) or by emailing"


Have you changed the way you do business to protect the environment? Have you implemented new processes or purchased environmentally responsible supplies/raw materials? Has your business undertaken any recognized certification processes that show your commitment to protecting the environment?

As part of CONVERGENCE: Community Adjustment Plan, the community is interested in compiling a database of our local companies that have changed what they are doing in order to protect the environment. Additionally we would like to showcase those businesses on our website and in our promotional materials.

Contact the Town's Community Adjustment Coordinator if you are have undertaken green initiatives in your company,


Are you a Bracebridge business in the "green sector"?

As part of our CONVERGENCE: Community Adjustment Plan, the community is focussed on growing the green sector in the community.

Part of that process involves talking to local businesses operating in the sector, then detemining what needs to be done within the area to grow the sector/create a better business environment.

Contact the Town's Community Adjustment Coordinator, Scott Ovell, Email:


"Congratulations to all the people and businesses who were nominated for Outstanding Business Achievement Awards!

The award presentations and luncheon will take place on Wed. Oct. 21, 2009 (During Ontario Small Business Week) beginning at 12:00noon and ending at 2:00pm at the Rotary Centre for Youth.

Catering by Riverwalk Fine Dining and Special Guest Speaker Mayor Don Coates. Call to reserve your table of eight or individual tickets. $45.00/person.

For more information visit the Chamber's website


A promotional firm working for the Canadian Tourism Commission was in Bracebridge yesterday filming footage to help promote the area to the world-wide media that will be making their way here during the G8 Summit.

The firm was welcomed by a number of local business in the downtown core, and in the surrounding area. Video was taken of waterfalls, trail, lakeside resort, artists, restaurants and retail/commerce in the downtown core.

The staff from the Town's Economic Development Department worked with Muskoka Tourism to show this group around Bracebridge.

Thanks to all those businesses for their cooperation.


"Please note that the 'G8 Summit and Your Business Forum' that was advertised in the October Newsletter will be taking place at the Gravenhurst Opera House on Thursday, November 5th from 7:00 - 9:00pm instead of on Wed. Oct. 28th.

This event is sponsored by TD Canada Trust.

An evening of discussion and questions that will help you get ready for and benefit from a premiere, Canadian-hosted event.

Representatatives from the Summit Management Office and the G8 Integrated Secuity Unity will present the latest information, advice and answer your questions. Come prepared, be specific and find out the facts.

Hosted by the Chambers of Commerce of South Muskoka: Gravenhurst 687-4432; Muskoka Lakes 762-5663; and Bracebridge 645-5231.

Free admission. RSVP to your Chamber to no later than Nov. 3"

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



With the opening of another school year brings
another group of medical students to Town to study at our Muskoka hospitals for the next 8 months.

A community BBQ and welcome was held at Kerr Park earlier today.

The business community throught the BIA and the Chamber supported gift bags for the incoming students. The Mayor is shown here with the students after receiving their gifts.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


On August 27, 2009, Minister Clement announced that the 2010 Ontario Youth Winter Games to be hosted in Muskoka in March 2010 will benefit from $200,000 in funding from the federal Community Adjustment Fund.

Link to FEDNOR's Media Release

Link to the Ontario Winter Games Media Release


Earlier this week the Town of Bracebridge and Nipissing University learned of their successful grant application under the Community Adjustment Fund/FEDNOR/Industry Canada. This will allow Nipissing to create a student residence to support the new campus building that was opened in 2008 in Bracebridge. Additionally the Nipissing is working on design elements that will allow the housing to be used for events and conferences, researchers and summer worker housing.

Link to FEDNOR Media Release, August, 24, 2009, August 27, 2009

Link to Nipissing's Media Release, August 24, 2009

Link to the Town of Bracebridge's Media Release, Aug. 28, 2009


The Ontario Youth Winter Games coming to Muskoka in 2010 issued an RFQ for Merchandise on August 15, 2009. Closing date, October 1st. Link to their website:

Click here to take you to the RFQ.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


The Ontario Tourism Education Council is partnering with McMaster University in four 90-minute sessions that focus on different aspects of Walt Disney World® Resorts’ successful customer-focused culture.

Date: September 22nd 2009

Purpose: To take a look inside “the Business behind the Magic” from Walt Disney.

Who: The Disney Institute with McMaster & OTEC.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

G8 Integrated Security Unit Website

"The following information has been provided by the Community Relations Group of the G8 Integrated Security Unit.

The Integrated Security Unit has launched its website in preparation for next year's G8 summit in Huntsville.

The site will provide residents, visitors and others, with accurate information on ISU activities, events and security measures. It will help dispel rumours and address concerns expressed by the public.

Please visit the site regularly for updated information.

New program gives incentive to hire students - Haliburton Echo - Ontario, CA

This was posted by the Haliburton Echo in early July,

New program gives incentive to hire students - Haliburton Echo - Ontario, CA: "A new federal program will help small- and medium-sized enterprises grow in the knowledge economy and help students get jobs in the field of information and communications technologies (ICT).

Industry Canada’s Small Business Internship Program will assist Canadian small businesses to hire a total of 400 student interns annually nationwide to help with ICT projects, improving their productivity and competitiveness.

SBIP will allow Canadian small businesses to submit an application to directly hire a qualified student intern for a 12-week period to help them with e-commerce ICT projects. The program will reimburse up to 75 percent of each participating intern’s eligible salary and benefit costs.
“It is vital in these times of economic instability that we do whatever we can to help small businesses, which account for so many jobs in the riding,” says local MP Barry Devolin. “As well, we need to ensure that Canada’s youth have the skills and experience to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise as the economy improves. The program will help to address these needs.”

For local businesses that would like to enquire about SBIP, please contact Technology Alliance Group of Kawartha Lakes, 705-878-9261.

For more information, including a complete list of delivery agencies, please visit"

A review of the delivery agencies shows that the closest to Bracebridge is Lindsay *number above.

Muskoka Featured on Global TV - for family getaways...

Global TV Featured Muskoka a few weeks ago on a TV spot. You'll see Santa's Village, Patterson Kaye Lodge, our very own Kelvin Grove Park diving platform along with the magnificent Silver Bridge in the background.

This was an effort coordinated by Muskoka Tourism - a great job!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Here is some information about an upcoming workshop (this week - July 16th) presented by Paradigm Events (Muskoka Lakes/Toronto)

Determine your Marketability, Accountability & Accessibility
July 16, 2009
Tickets: $35.00

Regatta Steak House, Gravenhurst Wharf

At this session you will learn:
-Why are Canadians the most engaged Internet users of the world?
-Understand the essentials of social media
-How to be found when your customers are looking for you on a search engine
-Blogging tips from a local journalist
-Turn web traffic into profit
-Increase your web presence
-Make your website a destination and four tools that can help you accomplish
-Become a part of the hyper connected marketplace
-How to use online marketing tools
-Viral Marketin; making it work for your business
-The right tools and techniques for you to market your business more efficiently
Registration is at a special rate of $35.00/per person for this event and
includes light appetizers and a cocktail.

Contact Renee Gouveia at 1-877-760-0360 or

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Here is a link to the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce newsletter

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Muskoka Summerfest - Schedule of Events

The complete schedule of events for Muskoka Summerfest is availabe on their listing at These two files include the complete line-up for the bands, the dock dog competition schedule and identifies where to find all the activities.

As well you can download an e-coupon for a break at the gate.

Also listed on the program is a complete list of the Downtown BIA's Member-businesses that have extended their hours for our visitors during this important weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009


The Art in the Heart website has been updated recently to outline who will be showcasing and selling their work during the program that showcases on Saturdays and Sundays from July 11 to August 16.

Here is link to our artists

Here is link to our map - you can download and print this as a guiding tool to your visit to downtown Bracebridge


Tracy Larkman, the BIA Administrative Coordinator has completed the circulation of the newsletter for the month of July - here is a link to their website

There is alot of great information in the newsletter about new businesses, relocations and expansions of businesses in our downtown core. Although this blog is factual in nature *i.e. typically not opinionated, it is WORTH THE TRIP to visit our array of great businesses.

Many new things are happening in downtown Bracebridge - learn about them through the newletter, then visit... you will be pleased.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2010 Ontario Youth Winter Games - Muskoka

The website for this event is now live... everything you want to know about the Winter Games - 3000 athletes, coaches & officials will arrive - March 4-7, 2010.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A group of Bracebridge Festival organizers have come together - to promote Bracebridge as a Festival destination and to share information.

Follow this link to the Media Release.

Follow this link to the website.


Muskoka Futures is hosting a seminar to help local businesses become savy in selling their goods and services to the Federal Government. It is expected that most of the services and goods required for the G8 Summit will be bought through a public purchasing process. Follow this link - the Town has posted the flyer on its Economic Development webpage.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bracebridge BIA to host car show, June 21

The BIA is hosting its 2nd annual car show - this year being hosted on Father's Day. It will be a great day in Bracebridge and a fabulous opportunity to see some great cars and visit the many restaurants and shops in downtown Bracebridge.

The BIA recently released information on the day on their website


A new group was formed in the past few weeks to promote Festivals in Bracebridge during July and August. The groups include Muskoka Summerfest, Muskoka Arts & Crafts, Bracebridge BIA, Bracebridge Highland Games, Cottage Country Comedy Festival, Muskoka Pioneer Power, Muskoka Beerfest and Art in the Heart.

Look for the website, and, look for a new promotion coming out this weekend, in the Toronto Sun.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


In a presentation to the Bracebridge Rotary Club, on Friday May 28th, Dr. Ella Kokotsis (G8 Research Group, University of Toronto) reported that Muskoka Futures is planning to host a workshop to help local businesses benefit from the upcoming G8 Summit. Although nothing is yet posted on their website, here is a link to their site.


Monarch Conservatories is located next to Crabby Joe's in the plaza on Highway 118 West. The name is a little deceiving - this company does not just build conservatories (or what Canadian's might think as greenhouses or sunrooms) BUT anything glass.

The company is family owned and operated with their products manufactured in Europe. A really neat product is available - a moveable wall system that can allow you to open up your home directly to the lakeside.

Their website locally is The local contact is George Mei, Director of North American. Drop in and say hi to George and Anna, the on-site designer.


Here is the contact and address for those firms and contractors interested in providing services to the upcoming 2010 G-8 Summit.

Public Works and Government Services Canada will serve as the office of Prime Interest for all federal contracts.

The Ontario Region OSME office contact information is as follows:

Chief, SME Stakeholder Engagement Chef, Engagement des intervenants des PMEOffice of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) Bureau des petites et moyennes entreprises (BPME)Public Works and Government Services Canada Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada2nd Floor, 4900 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M2N 6A6 2e ├ętage, 4900, rue Yonge, Toronto ON M2N 6A6Tel: (416) 512-5577 or 1-800-668-5378

Saturday, May 30, 2009


The Town of Huntsville is collecting informaiton from local businesses in order to maximize the local economic impact of the construction of the proposed G8 Centre. The Town has posted this information on their website. Follow this link to the Town's website.

To see the ad that the Town has placed in the local paper click here. Any questions should be forwarded directly to the Town of Huntsville Economic Development Office.

The Muskoka Small Business Centre has prepared an outline of "how to prepare a business profile" which is requested in the advertisement from the Town. See directions below.

How to make a “Business Profile”

The main purpose for making a good business profile is to approach your potential customer with your company’s strength in terms of capacity, quality, and experience. The idea behind it is to convince your potential customer to rely on you by giving him relevant information so he can evaluate your offer. The business profile increases your value compared to your competitors by creating a really good, positive impression.

The content of your business profile should include or contain introduction, company data, structure (sole proprietor, partnership or incorporation and infrastructure. Most importantly you need to clearly and professionally present your products/service, capacity, equipment, quality of service policy, experience and good references. It is also professional to present your company using a vision/mission statement if you have created one.

Presentation and size
As your “business profile” represents your company, it is absolutely essential to prepare it professionally. This includes a good layout, no typing errors, laser printing on quality paper and proper coloring and structuring. Of course it is entirely up to your imagination and creativity to add or delete subjects and give it its final form and outlook. However, including the contents mentioned above is crucial. In relation to the size of your profile, think about the time that your potential customer is willing to give to read your profile. Put yourself in the position of your potential customer and only include information that you think he would like to know to enable him to do the business with you. First catch the attention, then generate Interest and create desire to get him into action. Be informative and business like.

You can build this as several paragraphs or you can create headings – your choice, the following steps are suggestions. Creation of this profile is defined by the project you are applying for only include what is relevant to that project. Keep the profile brief but informative.

Step 1
Assemble the contact information. This includes the name of the company, physical and mailing addresses, and the main telephone/fax number for the business. The contact information should also include the web site address if the company has an online presence.

Define the core business of the company and how it is conducted. This can include such factors as noting the number of equipment/facilities owned and operated by the company, the major products or services provided by the business and the experience of the company - you can briefly reference previous relevant, jobs that were successfully completed.

Provide background on the history of the business if it shows relevance to the project. Start with the founding of the company and move on through any periods of expansion in facilities, growth into new consumer markets, and the creation and marketing of innovative products or services. Include data on any event that was of key importance to helping the company achieve its current status.

Build basic profiles of key figures in the business. This would include information about such figures as the Owner, Managers and Financial Officer if applicable. An overview of their educational credentials/ trade tickets/licenses etc. and business experience is often included, with an emphasis on their achievements since the beginning of their association with the company. Elaborating a bit on the education, training, credentials or experience of personnel interests customers and helps them identify the company that fits their own beliefs and criteria. Resumes could be attached if they support your application. Your customer needs to know you have the experience and qualifications to do the job.

If appropriate, include projections of the future performance of the business. This can include such factors as proposed expansion into new markets, development of new products to meet emerging consumer demands, and any reorganization projects that are anticipated to allow the company to efficiently achieve its future goals.

Arrange the data into a simple format that easily transitions from one section to another. Always include the contact information at the beginning of the profile. The rest of the document can be arranged by determining the level of importance of the other steps based on the intended purpose of the business profile. Try to include some personality in your writing, giving some sense of the business' culture. Adding information about the company's purpose, community support or vision can add human personality to a profile, thus creating interest for the reader.

Prepared by Muskoka Small Business Centre – for more information call (705) 646-9021 or email: or

Friday, May 8, 2009


A recent investigation of campaigns around in how to convince customers to shop local, have revealed some really examples throughout the world. Check out the many links below to discover reasons why to shop local.

From High Peak, UK , Ideas to Get New Customers (from High Peak, UK) , Keep Customers Coming Back

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Small Projects Enabling Accessibility Program

For your information: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada have a program that may be of interest to small municipalities, First Nations; small businesses and not-for-profit organizations called the Small Projects Enabling Accessibility Program. The program provides grants of up to $50,000 for projects to renovate buildings, modify vehicles, and/or make information and communication more accessible.

Link here for more information


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bracebridge's Town Crier 2008 Report

Bracebridge's Town Crier recently outlined his activities and events for the last year. A website for the Town Crier will be available soon at

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Let's Talk Exports - Export Development Canada

This information was recently forwarded by staff at FEDNOR. If you are an exporter or thinking about exporting it may be of interest to you.

Let’s Talk Exports
presented by EDC and Northern Ontario Business

Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Time: 7:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Place: Holiday Inn
1696 Regent Street

Cost: $25

Join EDC’s Peter Hall, Vice President and Chief Economist, as well as an impressive cross-section of business professionals at this year’s Let’s Talk Exports event and find out:

  • where the risks and opportunities are for businesses in 2009-2010
  • what the export outlook is for your industry
  • which provinces will fare better in the current environment
  • how you can succeed in the global marketplace

To register follow this link

Ontario Real Estate Association - Position on HST

The following message was received from the local real estate community about the proposed Harmonized Sales Tax (i.e. combination of the GST and PST) in Ontario

Call for Action

Harmonization of Sales Tax

On March 26th, 2009, the McGuinty government announced its intention to harmonize the goods and services tax with the provincial sales tax.

As a result of this change, provincial sales tax will now be levied on legal fees, appraisals, real estate commissions, home inspection fees and other services related to a real estate transaction.

OREA believes that this tax grab will severely hurt the resale housing market and reduce affordability for Ontarians trying to buy a home.

We encourage all OREA members and their clients to write their MPP to express their outrage at these new taxes and to tell them how badly they will hurt the real estate market in your area.

For more information visit OREA's website (look under media section)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Resources and Funding for Energy Efficiency

Here is a great resource to locate Resources and Funding for Energy Efficiency

It is dated February 2009 and published by the Ontario Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure.

SMART Program Session April 2nd, Bracebridge

There were about 35 people at the session today at the Riverside Inn including businesses from Bracebridge, Gravenhurst, Huntsville and Port Carling. There were a number of local agencies represented as well including Muskoka Small Business Centre and Muskoka Futures. Of course the Town of Bracebridge Economic Development Department was the host organization.

Many aspects of the SMART program was discussed. Here is a brief overview from the notes.

  1. "Fundable" Projects include those that are Productivity Improvements; Information Technology, Green/Energy Efficiency
  2. Two types of Projects - Implementation & Feasibility Studies
  3. You can also do an assessment of your business/process/facility to determine what projects you should should undertake. An on-line assessment tool is available and you can also get an on-site assessment. The online assessment will give you report card for how "lean" your processes are or your energy efficiency.
  4. Assessment funding is up to $6000 *(50% funding)
  5. Project funding is up to $50,000 *(50% funding)
  6. You don't need to do an assessment to get project funding - you could apply straight to/for project funding.
  7. Turn around time - up to 45 days. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis until May 31, 2009.

Here are some application tips -

Make sure you have a reference organization - check out the website - if you don't have a referee, your application will be rejected

  1. Ensure that your project will start within 60 days of approval
  2. Ensure that your project will be completed within 4 to 6 months
  3. Not more than 50% of the project can be completed at the time of application
  4. The project cannot be started more than 60 days prior to application date

Here is the link the Smart Program website

Here is a link to the Yves Landry Foundation - another program for manufacturers - this one helps with training.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Are you concerned about how a change in school year could impact your business?

Trillium Lakelands District School Board will be reconsidering the decision made a few weeks ago to have school return on September 1st. Trustee Beatty has brought a Notice of Motion to Reconsider and that motion will be voted on at the April 14th meeting.

According to school trustees, our neighboring boards, with the exception of Prince Edward/Hastings (Bancroft area) are going back Sept 8 (including Toronto to the further south).

Here is the backgrounder:

Here is an Elementary school calendar showing students going back Sept 1

The Committee of the Whole Meeting will be held in Bracebridge on April 14. All are welcome to attend and there is room for public comment. You can request a delegation as some organizations have inquired about. According to Trustees this will be the last opportunity to be heard.

Attached is a letter from Minister Wynne posted at this public site regarding the calendar matter. Just scroll down the March memos.

The Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce has launched a survey to gather input from the business community - follow this link to take part

Monday, March 23, 2009


We are hosting a workshop in Bracebridge on April 2nd to talk about the SMART program.

What is the SMART program?

Thanks to funding provided by the Government of Ontario, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has created the SMART Program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in Ontario improve their manufacturing productivity to enable them to compete more effectively in the global economy.

What projects qualify for the SMART program?

We're looking for manufacturing productivity improvement projects that include lean manufacturing, quality improvement, energy efficiency, IT best practices, and environmental impact reduction. Funds being asked for any capital equipment must be going into the facility that has made the application. We'll support the best projects proposed to us, only available up to 50% of project costs or $50,000, whichever is less.

Link here to register for the workshop to be held in the morning of April 2nd.

Link to media release - March 27, 2009

Bracebridge's New Promotional Video

The Town's new community video is now available on the website ( - follow this link directly to view the video.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TIAO calls for letter writing campaign to oppose early return to school

Bill Allen from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) has indicated that the Minister of Education is not convinced that having kids return to school one week early will be detrimental to the tourism businesses in Ontario. TIAO has called for a letter writing campaign to the Minister to demonstrate the seriousness of this issue. Here is the

"Unless there is a very compelling reason against the early start, the requests will likely be approved. The Minister is aware of the industry concerns but has not seen a groundswell oF support."

Here is what was sent from TIAO - send your own letter to demonstrate this impact on YOUR business.

March 5, 2009

Hon Kathleen Wynne
Minister of Education
Mowat Block22nd Flr.900 Bay St.Toronto, ON
M7A 1L2

Dear Minister,

I am writing on behalf of the Ontario tourism industry to express serious concern with the decision by many of the province’s school boards to begin the 2009-10 school year one week earlier than the normal post Labour Day opening. There are two significant impacts this policy change will have on individual tourism businesses.

First, tourism is the one industry that employs the largest number of summer students. Most tourism operators rely on these students to remain in their employ until after the Labour Day long weekend. With school beginning a week earlier, businesses will have to scramble to find staff for the one week period to cover until after Labour Day. Traditionally business drops off after Labour Day with the resulting staffing reduction.Second and a more significant concern is the economic impact that will occur because families who traditionally vacation in the last week of the summer and/or over Labour Day weekend may not reschedule. We already have reports from resorts, attractions and summer camps of cancellations occurring due to the anticipated early start to the school year. The tourism businesses are concerned that the shorter summer season for a significant number of Ontarians will negatively impact their business in a year that is shaping up to be an extremely challenging one.

Minister, we ask you to consider the impact the earlier school year start will have on the Ontario tourism industry before you approve the School Boards’ requests. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

W.R. (Bill) Allen
c. Minister Monique Smith

SMART Program Session April 2nd, Bracebridge


Thanks to funding provided by the Government of Ontario, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has created the SMART Program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers in Ontario improve their productivity so they can compete more effectively in the global economy.

An information Session will be hosted in Bracebridge on April 2nd at the Muskoka Riverside Inn.

For more information visit their website

To register, Click Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The Ministry of Energy & Infrastructure (provincial) has developed a page-full of energy saving tips for small business


Have you read the Town's new strategic plan? go to