Smiths Falls’ council committee approves Small Business Assistance
On Monday evening, Smiths Falls’ committee of the whole discussed a presentation from the town’s manager of tourism and economic development, Jennifer Miller about offering financial aid to local small businesses. Mirroring an example created by North Grenville, Miller and the Mayor’s task force were suggesting using the town’s portion of an historic reserve from the Small Business Advisory Centre (SBAC) program to fund grants of up to $1500 each to help small businesses with unrecoverable costs related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Changes to the SBAC’s rules meant it could no longer carry a surplus reserve on the books.
The committee approved the project, a decision which will go to the next full council meeting for ratification. Then instructions and applications will be posted on the town’s website. Businesses of 20 employees or less within the town’s limits will be able to apply for recovery of costs going back as far as March 17 of this year. Miller’s office will be the approval authority for this program and the funds will be distributed through Valley Heartland CFDC.
Hotel Rideau Grand Entrance coming
Smiths Falls’ committee of the whole received an update on the historic Hotel Rideau restoration from senior planner Karl Gremke and Park View Homes’ Ken Shelley. Park View is the firm that purchased and has been recrafting the structure. The committee was requested to approve a heritage related bylaw to permit the construction of a grand three-level portico entrance on the hotel’s front face to replicate what was originally in place during the early days of the building. The finished product will match the original twin-column design and outer façade but its substructure will be made of steel. Shelley told committee members that one apartment in the building will have access to the upper levels of the portico as it did in the past. He hopes to have the first apartment ready for occupation at the end of September.
Council reps on the Municipal Heritage Committee praised Shelley for his work with their group and town staff as well as his attention to detail and dedication to restoring the glory of this treasured landmark. The committee approved the plans, subject to council ratification and Park View plans on starting the project in early October.