Haldimand County welcomes My Main Street Ambassadors to provide on-the-ground support for local businesses and entrepreneurs

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism  Department is pleased to introduce Main Street Ambassadors Jenna Beemer and Jessica Easson as part of our community’s participation in the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program.

Through the Government of Canada’s My Main Street Local Business Accelerator, delivered by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), businesses and entrepreneurs in Haldimand County will have access to these dedicated Main Street Ambassadors who will offer insight and support to help revitalize the main street community. The Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), provided EDCO and the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) with a $23.25-million investment to deliver My Main Street support across southern Ontario.

“Our government is committed to supporting small businesses to drive economic growth in communities across Southern Ontario,” says the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “The My Main Street program invests in local small businesses and communities to keep our neighbourhoods vibrant, grow our economy and make sure Canadians have access to good jobs.”

“We have a great business community and passionate business owners, and we are looking forward to working with them to further improve the retail mix and increase the diversity of business offerings,” says Lidy Romanuk, Haldimand County’s Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.

In their roles, Jenna and Jessica, will be working over the next year to help grow existing businesses and welcome new entrepreneurs—and business ideas—to the area. As a part of the Local Business Accelerator program, Caledonia, Cayuga, Jarvis, Hagersville, Dunnville and Selkirk business owners will be eligible for detailed market research, data analysis, business support and more.

For more information, please contact Jenna Beemer at jbeemer@haldimandcounty.on.ca or Jessica Easson at jeasson@haldimandcounty.on.ca and visit the My Main Street website. For local program updates the Haldimand County website.


The Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) is delivering the My Main Street, Local Business Accelerator program stream, which is supporting the revitalization of main street communities and provides non-repayable contributions for more than 650 local businesses across southern Ontario. The program focuses on creating and maintaining vibrant and inclusive local main streets while providing residents, new entrepreneurs, and existing businesses with economic opportunities in our communities.

For more than 12 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Haldimand Logo, My Main St Logo, Government of Canada Logo

Haldimand County launches new online building permit and planning application portal

Haldimand County is pleased to announce the launch of its new, online building permit & planning application portal. Residents, contractors and developers can now submit applications, pay fees, schedule inspections and get status updates from one central location, 24/7.

The new online portal, powered by CityView, will allow registered users to access their own, customized dashboard of all past and present building, municipal enforcement and planning-related business activities. Users will also be able to submit by-law complaints and track their status through the portal.

“The introduction of CityView is one additional step the county has taken to enhance its services and improve customer experience,” said Mike Evers, Haldimand County’s General Manager of Community & Development Services.

“Not only does the portal make it easier for residents and builders to manage their construction and development-related projects, it streamlines the application intake process for staff to maximize efficiencies and save time,” Evers added.

Individuals who wish to utilize this new online portal can create an account at HaldimandCounty.ca/apply. Anyone with an upcoming building or planning-related project is encouraged to sign up and submit applications using the new system.

Individuals with questions about the new online portal are encouraged to read the Frequently Asked Questions or contact Building & Municipal Enforcement Services or Planning staff for further information.

Haldimand County announces revitalization of Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis and Selkirk through partnership with My Main Street

Today, Haldimand County is pleased to announce that Caledonia, Cayuga, Dunnville, Hagersville, Jarvis and Selkirk will be participating in the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program to help revitalize our main streets, providing a total of $115,000 in non-repayable contributions to support local businesses.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a $23.25-million investment to the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) to establish My Main Street — a two-year program to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets and local businesses in southern Ontario through two program streams.

EDCO is delivering the My Main Street Local Business Accelerator program stream, which supports the revitalization of 65 main street communities, and provides non-repayable contributions for more than 650 local businesses across southern Ontario. The program focuses on creating and maintaining vibrant and inclusive local downtowns while providing residents, new entrepreneurs, and existing businesses with economic opportunities in our communities.

Six communities in Haldimand County will be supported with two dedicated Main Street Ambassadors, customized market research, data analysis and non-repayable funding contributions for new and existing small businesses.


“The Government of Canada recognizes the challenges that main street businesses face due to the pandemic. To help small businesses recover and ensure that our local main streets remain vibrant, our government built the My Main Street program to offer critical funding and services for local businesses as they find ways to adapt and rebuild. We will continue to be there to support our local small businesses and the communities in which they operate, create jobs and drive resilient economic growth.”

  • The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Small business is the backbone of our economy and the keystone of our economic recovery. Haldimand County is grateful to receive funding that will support our main streets, businesses and entrepreneurs who have experienced some of the most challenging times we’ve seen in recent history.”

  • His Worship Ken Hewitt, Mayor of Haldimand County

About FedDev Ontario
For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.         

Hagersville Chamber of Commerce sells Community Centre, Chamber presents Haldimand County with $700,000 contribution towards the new Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre

The fund-raising committee for the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre took a big leap towards reaching its goal with the recent $700,000 contribution from the Hagersville Chamber of Commerce following its sale of the Hagersville Community Centre.

“We are so pleased to be able to make this contribution towards the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre project,” says Chamber President Rob Phillips. “The new building will be a beautiful, fully accessible and functional community space that will enhance the quality of life of our residents of all ages and abilities.”

“The Community Centre has served as a gathering place for our community for more than one hundred years, and it has served many service clubs and user groups well, but the times have changed and we need a building now that is more accessible and is able to accommodate many different types of programming, events and activities,” adds Phillips.

The Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre will be located in Grant Kett Park, adjacent to the town’s Arena, ball diamonds and outdoor amphitheatre.

Plans for the new, multi-purpose facility were introduced in early 2021 during capital budget deliberations and approved by Council for construction in 2024. As part of the project and preliminary public engagement, the community will have to raise approximately $2 million towards the co-located facility.

“Haldimand County is incredibly grateful to the Chamber of Commerce for its stewardship and financial management of the Community Centre for the past twenty years,” adds Ward 4 Councillor and Chair of the community fund-raising committee, Tony Dalimonte. “This has been a tremendous amount of work and responsibility for the Chamber, in particular volunteers John & Janice Luttjehuizen and Charlie & BJ Garvie, who managed the operations, maintenance and booking of the facility throughout that time.”

For background information, details and updates about the Hagersville Library + Active Living Centre project, please visit www.haldimandcounty.ca/hagersvilleALC/.

Pictured from left to right: Paul Diette (CEO, Haldimand County Public Library), Doug Miller (Community Fund-Raising Committee Member), Tony Dalimonte (Ward 4 Councillor and Chair of Community Fund-Raising Committee), Rob Phillips (President of Hagersville Chamber of Commerce), Ed McCarthy (Director of Hagersville Chamber of Commerce)

New program for Haldimand & Norfolk aims to “Spark” innovative tourism ideas with grants and mentorships

A new program aimed at sparking and supporting innovative tourism ideas for Haldimand & Norfolk was officially announced today. The “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program will match selected applicants from the region with a mentor and provide a $3,000 seed grant to help take their new tourism idea to the next level.

View the official announcement video here: https://youtu.be/WNSXZT1CMlE    

The “Spark” Program was first piloted in Windsor-Essex in 2018 by the Tourism Innovation Lab, and has now been delivered in over 16 regions across the province and British Columbia. Its goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits.

While there are no specific categories, program organizers are especially interested in new tourism ideas that connect with agritourism, cycling, waterfront, and the winter season.

Applications are encouraged from individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations based in Haldimand & Norfolk from November 23rd to January 14th, 2022. Following a juried review process, five finalists from Haldimand County and five finalists from Norfolk County will be invited to virtual Pitch Sessions where three winners will be selected from each.

The Haldimand & Norfolk “Spark” Program is being led by the Tourism Innovation Lab in collaboration and with support from Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation, Haldimand County, Norfolk County, Libro Credit Union, Grand Erie Business Centre and Venture Norfolk.

For more information on the Haldimand & Norfolk “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program visit www.tourisminnovation.ca/HaldimandNorfolk.


Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation
“Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation is excited to be partnering on the expansion of “Spark” Program into Haldimand and Norfolk counties. We’ve seen some amazing ideas translate into new tourism experiences for travellers across Ontario’s Southwest, and we’re eager to see what new ideas emerge from Haldimand and Norfolk!” said Joanne Wolnik, Executive Director of the Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation.

Haldimand County
“Our goal is to inspire Haldimand & Norfolk County residents and entrepreneurs to come forward with creative ideas that will generate new innovative tourism opportunities, experiences and partnerships in our communities.  We are excited to be working together along with our project partners to capture these great ideas, and define the actions needed to put these ideas to work.  Now more than ever, the tourism industry needs innovation and the “Spark” Program is a great opportunity to launch these tourism offerings and assist entrepreneurs in getting them to the next level” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager, Economic Development & Tourism, Haldimand County.

Norfolk County
Norfolk County is thrilled to be partnering with Haldimand County on this exciting Spark program, which will provide an opportunity for our many creative entrepreneurs to bring innovative tourism product ideas to market.  With the importance of tourism and entrepreneurship to our economy, we are delighted to be part of a project that both supports the creation and growth of small businesses, while simultaneously adding exciting new product offerings for our residents and visitors to enjoy when experiencing all that Norfolk County has to offer.  We are grateful to the Tourism Innovation Lab and wonderful sponsors (SWOTC, Libro Credit Union, Venture Norfolk, Grand Erie Business Centre) for helping to make this project a reality” said Zvi Lifshiz, Director, Strategic Innovation and Economic Development, Norfolk County.

Libro Credit Union
“At Libro Credit Union, we know that working together always makes people stronger, so we find partnerships like this so rewarding. The Spark program and everyone involved in it is a great example of partnership with people who share our values. At Libro, our financial coaches work with Owners – we call our customers Owners because they own part of the company – to set goals and work towards them, and there’s nothing we like more than an exciting idea like this!” said Scott Macleod, Regional Manager Haldimand & Norfolk, Libro Credit Union.

Grand Erie Business Centre
“The “Spark” Program has a history of success in helping to develop and foster new tourism businesses and entrepreneurs. We are happy to support this program and partner with everyone involved to encourage new tourism experiences to be developed and offered in our communities.” said Tauri Caputo, General Manager, Grand Erie Business Centre.

Tourism Innovation Lab
“We are very excited to be launching the “Spark” Program in Haldimand & Norfolk,” said Justin Lafontaine, Program Lead, Tourism Innovation Lab. “As we have seen through previous rounds in southwest Ontario, innovative tourism ideas brought forward by entrepreneurs, small businesses and organizations will inspire and elevate the tourism offerings and experiences in the region.”

Haldimand County’s Economic Development & Tourism Division Wins Provincial Tourism Award

Haldimand County’s Economic Development and Tourism division has won a provincial tourism award for initiatives completed in 2020 to support local businesses.

The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), in partnership with Attractions Ontario, The Culinary Tourism Alliance, Indigenous Tourism Ontario and OTEC presented the Ontario Tourism Resiliency Awards at an in-person and virtual awards gala on October 27.

Haldimand was presented with the Innovation Award in the Destination Marketing Organization category.

The award encompassed the Real. Local. strategy that was implemented to support local businesses and better position Haldimand’s tourism offerings.

Marketing projects included in the award were:

  • Development of ‘Real. Local.’ branded graphic
    • The ‘Real. Local.’ graphic is available to local business to incorporate in their marketing efforts. Since the launch, several businesses have incorporated it in print and social media advertising, as well as on packaging.
  • Local food campaign, retail & wellness campaign, Road Trip Haldimand Campaign
    • Advertising for these 3 campaigns saw a total reach of 5,200 in print, a reach of over 200,000 in social media and 6,295 clicks to learn more about the 75 business which were included in the promotions.
  • 2020 Haldimand Holiday Wish Book
    • The Holiday Wish Book campaign included 58 businesses. All businesses were featured in the online directory hosted on the Haldimand County website and 33 businesses were featured in the printed booklet. 22,498 booklets were mailed to every household in Haldimand. The social media campaign, which featured all participating businesses, reached 67,687 individuals and saw 2,615 clicks from people interested in learning more about local businesses.
  • Real. Haldimand. Marketplace
    • The Marketplace launched in late December 2020 with 24 vendors and has now grown to 43 local businesses selling products on the online e-commerce site. An extensive social media campaign saw over 3,000 clicks to view listings on the Marketplace. A local business indicated that their business traffic doubled when they were included in the Marketplace and corresponding promotional marketing campaigns.
  • Increased Digital Presence
    • A new Tourism Website and Tourism Instagram page were launched at the end of 2020 to generate further interest in Haldimand’s diverse offerings, along with an extensive social media campaign to support local businesses.

Haldimand’s Business Development and Planning Advisory Committee (BDAPAC) was instrumental in COVID-19 business recovery planning, along with staff, in the early days of the pandemic.

In June 2020, EDT received funding from Fed Dev Ontario to support tourism marketing initiatives and support the tourism sector locally.

Through the recommendation of BDAPAC, a Marketing Advisory Committee was formed and consulted, giving direction on how the funding would be used, to maximize opportunities to support and promote local businesses. Council was kept informed of the work of BDAPAC and of these marketing initiatives and have been very supportive of these efforts.

Haldimand County is honoured to be recognized for this award and appreciate the support of Council, BDAPAC and the Marketing Advisory Committee in helping achieve this success.

For more information on supports available for local business, visit BusinessHaldimand.ca.

Haldimand County Launches Outdoor Dining Campaign

With restrictions being lifted, and the summer season well underway,  Haldimand County is pleased to highlight all the amazing outdoor dining options available throughout the County via an upcoming social media campaign.

The campaign, taking place over the next several weeks, will promote the various outdoor dining options,  and can be found at tourismhaldimand.ca. This new landing page features an interactive map and highlights all the participating locations.

“The hospitality sector including restaurants have struggled throughout the pandemic . With the recent announcement of the Province moving into stage two, we believe that it is now more important than ever to remind local residents that all of their favorite dining experiences are opening up again” said Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism.

With over 30 patios, food trucks, and outdoor windows, serving ice cream made locally, Lake Erie perch, and everything in between, there is always a new experience around the corner.

To browse the featured outdoor dining listings and explore the interactive map, visit tourismhaldimand.ca. Stay updated with new additions on our Tourism Instagram and Facebook. For additional information, or if you want to add your business to the local directory,  contact opportunity@haldimandcounty.on.ca or 905-318-5932 ext. 6331.

When you are out enjoying these public spaces, please comply with current public health orders and maintain physical distancing at all times.

Haldimand County Receives AA Stable Credit Rating, Re-Affirms Financial Health

On May 13, 2021, Standard & Poor’s completed its annual update and review of Haldimand County’s financial credit rating. Based on their review and despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the County’s fiscal position, Standard and Poor’s has affirmed the County’s “AA Stable” credit rating.

Over the past years, the County’s credit rating has gone from a “low” of “A Negative” to the current “AA Stable” rating. This is very positive news and a testament to the sound financial policies and principles adopted by Council and managed by staff.

Several factors impact the credit rating of a municipal government. Standard and Poor’s Rating Service evaluates approximately 35 Canadian municipalities, 1 Territory and 9 Provinces, in addition to many international entities. Municipal ratings are based on six main categories: institutional framework; economy; financial management; budgetary performance; liquidity; and debt burden.

“Haldimand County’s financial health is an accomplishment that Council is proud of. Prudent fiscal management and investment decisions have a significant impact on the County’s ability to invest in community infrastructure and deliver quality services,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

“Today, Haldimand County is in an excellent financial position to provide quality public services while making strategic investments in infrastructure to not only maintain, but also enhance the quality of life for residents,” he added.

To learn more about Haldimand County’s financial health, visit HaldimandCounty.ca/financials.

Haldimand County logo. A yellow sun rising or setting atop green and blue waves. Haldimand County in black lettering below.

County-Wide Broadband Internet Project Moving Forward, Network Construction Timelines Announced

Since 2019, Haldimand County has been working to secure a vendor capable of delivering high-speed internet to all under-serviced areas within the community. In June 2020, KWIC Internet was announced as the successful proponent and network construction planning is currently underway.

In the months ahead, Haldimand County staff and KWIC project leaders will be working closely to coordinate the installation of necessary infrastructure, including fibre trenching. KWIC will also be facilitating community consultations to determine the best placement for fixed wireless towers. Public consultation notices will be delivered to initial project build areas throughout December 2020.

Fibre construction is expected to begin in mid-late January 2021 (weather permitting) and wireless tower construction in early February 2021 (also weather permitting). Based on these timeframes, it is anticipated that services for homes and businesses in the western part of Haldimand County will start becoming available during the first half of 2021.

As network construction progresses and the project moves forward, KWIC and Haldimand County will keep residents informed of more area-specific timelines. Over the project’s 5-year timeframe, broadband services will be made available to all of Haldimand County’s under-serviced areas (areas that do not have access to unlimited broadband internet with minimum download/upload speeds of 50/10 Mbps).

“We are very excited to see this project get off the ground and look forward to working with residents and stakeholders to deliver safe, efficient, industry-leading services that empower Haldimand County to connect like never before,” said Mark Rapley, KWIC Internet’s Director of Operations.

Bringing broadband internet to rural communities is one of Council’s top priorities for the 2018-2022 term. “Council is extremely pleased to see this critically important initiative move forward. It is especially welcome news given the rapid digital shift we’ve seen over the past few months and the increasing need for individuals, families and businesses to have reliable, affordable internet,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

All project-related information is available at HaldimandCounty.ca/broadband and updates will be posted here regularly.


Haldimand County Launching New Online E-Bidding System September 3

Haldimand County is making the switch to an online e-bidding system on September 3, 2019. The new system simplifies the procurement process for vendors and contractors and makes it easy to receive bid opportunities, addenda notifications, site meeting reminders, bid results & more.

The new system – called bids&tenders – provides vendors with a number of online, self-serve options. With the launch of the new system, tenders, proposals & prequalifications will be posted and available exclusively on bids&tenders free of charge. The bids&tenders system provides a custom vendor dashboard that displays all active and relevant opportunities.

At this time, there will be no change to the actual bid document submission process.

Haldimand County is offering two training sessions for vendors, with hands-on demonstrations and account setup assistance. Interested parties are asked to bring their own device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc). Vendors may choose from one of the following drop-in training sessions:

Date: Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Time: 1p.m. OR 6p.m.
Location: Haldimand County Fire Station 4 (11 Thorburn Street, Cayuga ON N0A 1E0)

The training sessions are optional and geared towards vendors who wish to learn more about bids&tenders features or require help setting up their account. There is no cost to attend and no RSVP is required. Anyone seeking further information about the bids&tenders system or Haldimand County procurement practices may e-mail purchasing@haldimandcounty.on.ca.