My Main Street Local Business Accelerator

The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator Program, led by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), has been designed to help drive business and restore vibrancy to local communities across southern Ontario in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will support the revitalization of 65 main street communities by providing each with a dedicated Main Street Ambassador, customized marketing research, data analysis and non-repayable funding contributions for small businesses. Over the 2022 year, the City of Orillia will be participating in this program to help grow existing businesses and bring new entrepreneurs to the Business Improvement Area (Downtown Orillia). 

Photo of Amber Elliott, Main Street Ambassador

Amber Elliott will be working closely with over 200 businesses in Downtown Orillia to provide hands-on business advisory support and resources to help each business grow and bring consumers back to the downtown core. Amber will also use market research and data analysis to aid in creating a healthy retail mix downtown by helping new entrepreneurs come to the Orillia area.

If you would like to receive updates and information or a free consultation related to the My Main Street program, please email aelliott@orillia.ca.

 

 

Through the My Main Street program, each community will be given access to the following resources:
 Community Market Profile
  • The Main Street Ambassador will be reaching out to all businesses in Orillia’s Downtown Business Improvement Area to create a detailed Community Market Profile. Amber will be surveying the community to better understand what types of products and services are offered by each business.
  • This will be paired with secondary market research to understand the community’s demographics, how residents spend their money, how they consume media, the community’s trade area, and more.
  • Both the primary and secondary research will be used to target opportunities for rebuilding the Main Street.
 Wrap-Around Business Support
  • The Main Street Ambassador will focus on providing wrap-around community economic development support for both new and existing businesses.
  • This will include business planning, marketing and financial templates, detailed market research, business opportunity identification, and more.
 Main Street Business Training
  • Local businesses can access a range of on-demand and in-person virtual training sessions to support their operations.
  • More information on business training will be coming soon.
 Local Business Non-Repayable Contributions
  • Over the course of the program, the businesses within the Downtown Orillia Business Improvement Area will receive up to ten $10,000 non-repayable contributions to support local businesses. Five non-repayable contributions are available for exiting businesses, while five non-repayable contributions are available for new businesses.
  • Applicants for these non-repayable contributions will be required to participate in training and regular meetings with the My Main Street Ambassador Network.
  • For more information on eligibility, visit the My Main Street website.

News & Updates

My Main Street Success Stories Series

As part of the City of Orillia’s My Main Street Local Business Accelerator Program, the My Main Street Success Story series highlights businesses in the City of Orillia Business Improvement Area that have achieved success through new and innovative business practices and partnerships.

 Lone Wolf Cafe - Creating a Unique Night Life Experience in Downtown Orillia

May 2, 2022

The most recent addition to Orillia’s nightlife is not found at your typical bar, but rather a café turned late-night lounge. The Lone Wolf Café is a specialty coffee shop by day and transforms into the After Dark Cocktail Lounge by night. Owned and operated by Max Lamontagne, this specialty bar can be found at 10 Matchedash St. S. in the heart of downtown Orillia.

 Owner of Lone Wolf Cafe, Max Lamontagne

Lamontagne moved from Ottawa to Orillia about eight years ago, citing Orillia’s charm as his primary reason for relocating to the City.

 

“I really liked Orillia as a town, and I could see myself living here for the rest of my life. It is close enough to the city to go for a weekend if you needed and the downtown is lively all summer. The community is very supportive of their downtown businesses which was a big draw for me,” said Lamontagne. “Orillia has a small-town charm you only really get outside of the cities. As I got more involved in the community, I realized there was a void to be filled and space for a specialty coffee shop.”

 

Lamontagne was impressed with the foot traffic and volume of visitors in the downtown, especially during the spring and summer seasons. Lamontagne opened the Lone Wolf Café in July of 2020 and it’s been a staple for downtown professionals ever since.

 

As time went on, Lamontagne saw the need for a mature adult nightlife in downtown Orillia. After working late in the café, Lamontagne noticed that there was a nice “speakeasy” atmosphere throughout the shop at night, which sparked the idea of the After Dark Cocktail Lounge.

 Espresso Drink from Lone Wolf Cafe

“I wanted to create a nightlife experience where you could bring your parents, where everyone would feel comfortable,” Lamontagne said. “It is a space I wanted to create for everyone.”

 

The After Dark Cocktail Lounge has been a big success with the lounge fully packed most Friday and Saturday nights. The menu features an entire section of various espresso martinis as well as the classics, wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails created specifically for their lounge that will continuously change with the seasons. The lounge attracts an audience of young professionals, students, and entrepreneurs. After a few short months Lamontagne has already expanded hours of operation to keep up with the growing demand. As the weather gets nicer, the After Dark Cocktail Lounge will expand to being open five nights a week, Wednesday through Sunday.

 

In addition to expanding hours, Lamontagne is exploring several partnerships with other entrepreneurs. A recent partnership with Provenance Commissary, a new wine bar that is slated to open in downtown Orillia this spring, will allow patrons to attend wine-tasting events at the After Dark Cocktail Lounge. Lamontagne noted that partnerships with like-minded entrepreneurs like Doug Cooper, owner of Provenance Commissary, have allowed him to collaborate and strengthen his business.

 

“Coffee shops are a very social business, and this experience has allowed me to meet so many great people,” said Lamontagne. “These relationships are mutually beneficial. In the case of Provenance [Commissary], Doug has taught me a great deal about wine and in return I’m able to offer him a unique venue for his wine-tasting events – the first of which sold out in six hours!”

Wine tasting event with Provenance Commissary

With so much interest in the first wine-tasting event, the two are planning to host more throughout the spring.

 

The Lone Wolf Café is looking forward to partnering with more Orillia businesses in the future. He supplies his coffee to The Common Stove and PICNIC, and Eclectic Café supplies Lone Wolf with local baked goods.

 

“Doing business in Orillia is great. I’ve met so many nice business owners,” said Lamontagne. “Even though we are competing, it’s a friendly competition where we support one another and partner together to make everyone better and better.”

 

To learn more about Lone Wolf Café and the After Dark Cocktail Lounge visit their website, thelonewolfcafe.ca.

 

To learn more about investment and business opportunities in Orillia, visit the City of Orillia Business Development website at businessinorillia.ca or contact the City’s Business Development Office at 705-325-4900 or edc@orillia.ca.

 

The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator Program, led by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), has been designed to help drive business and restore vibrancy to local communities across southern Ontario in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the 2022 year, the City of Orillia is participating in this program to help grow existing businesses and bring new entrepreneurs to the Business Improvement Area (Downtown Orillia) through a dedicated Main Street Ambassador, a customized market research, data analysis, and non-repayable funding contributions for new and existing small businesses. To learn more about the My Main Street program, visit orillia.ca/mymainstreet.

 

My Main Street Business Accelerator Program News & Updates

 Click here to complete the My Main Street Business Accelerator Community Inventory Survey.

Visit the Invest in Orillia Webpage


 

My Main Street logo   Economic Developers Council of Ontario logo

Funded by Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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