CORNWALL, Ontario – On Friday, May 28, FedDev Ontario announced a $750,000 investment in tourism in Eastern Ontario, with $250,000 going towards the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Cornwall and Counties CFDC, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, the City of Cornwall, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Economic Development and l’Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario. The remaining $500,000 will be invested in other Eastern Ontario municipalities including the Counties of Frontenac, Leeds-Grenville, the City of Brockville and more.
“Eastern Ontario’s tourism industry is a major contributor to the region’s economy. This FedDev Ontario investment is helping about 100 tourism-centred businesses in Eastern Ontario remain strong, rebuild and adapt their operations to keep future visitors safe and prepare for a more resilient future,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario and Official Languages), who made the announcement on Friday.
Locally, the money is expected to support 40 local businesses and help support 50 jobs.
“As business leaders, we are all painfully aware of the pandemic’s impact on all our businesses, but in particular, those in the tourism sector. The Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce is thrilled that the federal government has made funding available to help our tourism entrepreneurs and not-for-profits across Akwesasne, Cornwall and SDG,” said Shannon Lebrun, President of the Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce.
One of the businesses that has been supported through this announcement is Stonehouse Vineyard in Alexandria.
“We are a small, family-owned and operated tourism business. To continue to operate our winery and vineyard in 2020, we needed to renovate our patio to allow for physical distancing and offer a safe and welcoming space for guests. Not only did this grant help us with costs, but it also made us feel supported by the community,” said Joanne Pratt of Stonehouse Vineyard.
Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Greg Pietersma clarified that the announced funding had previously been allocated to the Chamber earlier in the year, and that nearly all of the funds had already been distributed to local businesses including the McIntosh Inn, Wood Bros. Brewing Company, and the Happy Popcorn Co.