Regional incentives for new Iroquois-area ventures

IROQUOIS – Two Iroquois businesses are among seven applicants to the SDG Counties Regional Incentives Program who will receive funding this spring, once approved by council. The program’s approvals committee met March 27.

One business, Violet’s Vault, is a new business that will open later this year in the former Bank of Montreal branch in the Iroquois Village Plaza. Owned by South Stormont resident Louise Leclerc, Violet’s Vault will house a café, candy shoppe, and arcade. Leclerc was a candidate for South Stormont municipal council in October 2022.

“What’s unique is the business will have the candy in the old bank vault,” said Tara Kirkpatrick, manager of economic development with SDG Counties.

Renovations to the property are underway and Kirkpatrick said the funds, once approved, will go towards the commercial kitchen, barrier free washroom, and commercial signage for the business.

Violet’s Vault will receive $11,375 from the SDG Counties’ RIP program once renovations are complete.

Doran Bay Resort east of Iroquois on County Road 2 will receive the maximum available under the program – $50,000 – towards a planned four-story event centre, spa, and new home for the business’ model ship museum.

Kirkpatrick said the 38 foot by 68 foot building will be constructed using reclaimed shipping containers on the existing resort property. No time-line for construction was given. “We’re really excited for this project,” Kirkpatrick said.

Five other businesses, three in South Glengarry and two in South Stormont were also recommended for approval. These include: Bishop’s House – Glengarry Fencibles Trust, Bray Heights Animal Sanctuary, Holly Hill Farm in South Glengarry, Harbers Greenhouses and Forestry, and Turquoise Compass Wellness. Combined with the South Dundas projects, a total of $168,844.44 was recommended for funding by the committee for council’s final approval.

Kirkpatrick explained that while there is a remaining $81K for a later round of RIP applications this year, more money will be returning to the fund – increasing the total to over $120K.

“There is $44,000 that will go back into the fund,” she said. Previous applicants who cannot complete or go ahead with an approved project sees the funds returned to the committee for new applicants. In this case, funding for Henderson Meats and Abattoir that was approved previously was returned.

“There was an ownership change and new direction,” Kirkpatrick said.

The businesses recommended through the RIP program will go before council for final approval at a meeting later this spring. SDG Counties council approved $250,000 in funding in this year’s budget for the program.

The next funding round for this program is already open, and has an application deadline of May 5.

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