SADC’s AGM: investing in the Pontiac

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SADC staff, from left to right: Lise Lagarde, Brittany Morin, Amy Taylor, Sarah Adam, Rhonda Perry, Sarah Graveline, Andrea Lagarde and Tracy Francoeur.

Cheryl Dolan

QUYON – Master of Ceremonies, Remi Bertrand, owner of Café Downtown in Fort Coulonge hosted the Annual General Meeting of SADC Pontiac, June 6 at the Homegrown Garden Centre, located just outside Quyon. SADC staff presented the year’s investments and achievements showing Pontiac businesses invested $7.4 million in various economic sectors.

During the past year, $360,000 in business loans were issued with an additional $411,000 approved but not yet dispersed. As well, $263,000 in loans under the Youth Strategy were issued this past fiscal year. SADC Pontiac also gave financial support of $20,000 to 30 local businesses for COVID-19 relief and recovery in 2021–2022. The Structured Technical Assistance Program dispersed $97,470 of non-refundable contributions.

Other exciting initiatives supported and funded were: Shop Le Pontiac by the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce, for the launch of a digital marketing campaign to attract new consumers to the region; Lake2Plate, a promotional video series about Pontiac fishing experiences paired with local food and beverages in conjunction with Pontiac Tourism and other partners; and the Tap & Cork Route, which was initiated by SADC Pontiac in partnership with the Ottawa Valley Tourism Association and MRC Pontiac.

It is a self-guided route promoting local beer, wine and cider makers.

After the election of the board members, a video of Farmers of the Pontiac (episode 6) was launched.

Then, Trefor Munn-Venn from Rhapsody Strategies/Leystone Farms gave the keynote speech. He was very inspirational and spoke about rural resilience. “At the heart of it, regardless of your circumstances, if your vision is clear about what you are trying to accomplish, vision will always find a way. The rest is about your capacity to adapt and change over time,” he stated.