(Originally published in the North Grenville Times, September, 2013)
They say a person is known by the company they keep. Personally, I find the friends I have are people who share my interests and values. What can we say about Old Town Kemptville? Who are the friends of downtown ? Well, put simply, they are a close-knit group of businesspeople, service club volunteers and residents with a strong sense of community and a history of working together to make the downtown a special place in North Grenville.
The first friends of downtown Kemptville that come to mind are the local media. Old Town Kemptville enjoys the support of Juice FM 97.5, The Kemptville Advance/EMC and the North Grenville Times; all faithfully cover our events downtown. The North Grenville Times has been a true friend indeed by arranging a featured BIA page, so we can have a voice in the greater community of North Grenville once a month.
Partners in almost every initiative to retain and attract business downtown are the Municipality’s Economic Development Department and the North Grenville Chamber of Commerce. Every BIA should have friends like these. Old Town Kemptville also works closely with the Kemptville Farmers’ Market, the Kemptville Youth Centre, the North Grenville Historical Society and the North Grenville Public Library; we support each others programs.
Organizers of entertainment and sports events at Riverside Park, such as the Dandelion Festival or the Ontario Little League Minor Division Championships continue to reach out to the merchants downtown and make sure their visitors know where to shop and dine when they attend their events. We even count as friends the community minded businesses in Colonnade who promote the events that the BIA sponsors in Old Town.
Last but not least, we’re we’re truly thankful to count as friends our loyal customers, many of whom are known on a first name basis. It’s these friends that stuck by the merchants when it became difficult to navigate the construction on Clothier Street or take the long detour around the bridge construction County Road 44. The BIA hopes to see as many of those friends of downtown at our Customer Appreciation BBQ (free hotdogs and hamburgers), September 26th (2013) in Rotary Park (noon to 2pm). Don’t forget to circle the date. What do we know about Old Town Kemptville ? It has loyal supportive friends that value having a walkable, family-friendly cultural and business centre in their community.