The 2019 annual fee for the Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) was going to double and in some cases triple this year and many small and rural businesses said they would have to remove their highway signs. The PCs have announced that they have frozen increases for 2019 and will phase them in beginning in 2020, which gives small businesses time to budget and plan.
The signs are key for these small and rural businesses to advertise on highways. Villages, like Westport, feel the benefit of these signs as it draws tourists into the municipality who might have passed us by.
Thanks for listening and acting Ontario government!
Here is the media release from MPP Clark.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2018
ONTARIO FREEZING TOURISM SIGN PROGRAM RATES FOR 2019: CLARK
(BROCKVILLE) – Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark says Ontario’s Government for the People is making life more affordable by bringing relief to tourism operators who rely on the province’s Tourism-Oriented Directional Signing Program (TODS) to generate a positive economic in the riding and across Ontario.
In April 2018, the Liberal government signed a contract with Canadian TODS Limited towards the end of their administration. The people of Ontario have expressed their concerns about this contract, and the significant fee increases being placed on small business owners across the province.
“I’m proud that our government has listened to small business owners and tourism operators, including those in Leeds and Grenville, who have expressed their concerns,” said Clark. “We have worked with Canadian TODS Limited – the third party responsible for the delivery and maintenance of the TODS program – to freeze all price increases for 2019.”
“Our Government for the People has heard clearly from tourism operators across the province about their concerns regarding the fee increases associated with the TODS program. The Liberal government deliberately froze prices for 10 years, ignoring the cost of inflation and completely failed to communicate with TODS customers,” said Michael Tibollo, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “We are taking real action to ensure businesses and customers have time to adjust to the increased prices, and we look forward to continuing to work with Canadian TODS Limited over the coming year to look for ways we can help mitigate this price increase.”
The TODS program is designed to provide motorists with signage on provincial highways to direct visitors to tourist attractions, operations and services.
“Our Government for the People was elected on June 7 with a clear mandate to respect the taxpayers of this province and to restore trust and accountability in the province’s finances,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation. “We heard loud and clear from small business owners across Ontario, and have fixed a problem that the previous government created. Today we’re providing relief to small business owners, as we do our part in promoting and strengthening tourism in Ontario.”
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Please join Council and staff, friends, family and neighbours on January 1 at Town Hall. This year we have some amazing entertainment for you. The Edge, a fabulous trio of singers with Ann Savage featuring as the soprano. Okay – sometimes alto!!!
We have added some hot appetizers to the bounty this year and extended it an hour so we have more time to visit.
Please bring your neighbours, particularly those who might not get out much in the winter.
Great news for Westport businesses!!!! Thanks to the Province of Ontario and the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street is offering two types of grants to help small main street businesses across Ontario strengthen their digital and online capabilities. LIMITED NUMBER OF GRANTS AVAILABLE SO APPLY EARLY!.
Digital Transformation Grant Program
The Digital Transformation grant provides $2,500 to each qualifying small main street Ontario business to purchase and adopt digital tools and technologies. There are ONLY 2000 grants available until March 2020, so apply EARLY. To start the process to apply for a Digital Transformation Grant as a main street business.
Digital Service Squad Grant Program
The Digital Service Squad Grant provides $10,000 to qualifying municipal and business associations to set up Digital Service Squads to provide one-on-one assistance to small main street businesses in communities across Ontario. Squads will provide training, consulting and advisory services. There are 300 Digital Service Squad Grants available until March 2020.
Here is the link to learn more and to apply:
Bell ringing, xylophones, piano solos, choirs, performers, original scores and break dancing – the kids (and their amazing teachers and volunteers) packed a lot of talent and fun into 90 minutes tonight. The gym was packed with proud parents, grandparents and other family members who all preened with pride when their child was on stage. Thank you Mr Campbell – opportunities like this are great community builders.
Rideau Vista Choir