What’s New?

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your life?

The University of Guelph is working with Oxford County and more than 20 local partners to study how the pandemic has changed life for residents, including their health, well-being, social life, finances, and day-to-day living. Please complete the following survey to participate. https://speakup.oxfordcounty.ca/covid-19-survey

Norwich Feeds Country Store – A Family Affair

Jarrad Saarloos was working for an electrician in Norwich when he and his father, Wilf, decided to expand the family business empire.  They purchased two locations from Sinden Feed and Seed who kept their third location in Princeton. “The opportunity came up last year to purchase this location as well as one in Burford, so […]

University of Guelph Survey Will Contextualize Unique Mental Health Needs of Rural Communities and Their Residents

Leith Deacon, an associate professor at the University of Guelph, is leading a government-funded survey to collect data that contextualizes the unique mental health needs of rural communities and their residents. Deacon says the survey — hitting mailboxes in north Durham, Dufferin, Elgin, Middlesex, Oxford, Bruce and Grey counties after Labour Day — will collect […]

Ontario Investing $100 Million to Help Tourism Sector Rebound From COVID-19

Tourism Recovery Program will help protect jobs in communities across the province September 27, 2021 Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries  TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $100 million through the new Tourism Recovery Program to help stabilize the province’s tourism industry as it recovers from the impacts of COVID-19. The program will help […]

Taste the Difference Quality Makes at 15th Line Meats

Dave Alden has always been a protein lover, but it was what he perceived as a lack of quality that started his foray into the meat business. Butchering really is a skill and Dave said he just wasn’t impressed with some of the work he had seen. “We bought a calf and raised it ourselves. […]

A PTSD Diagnosis Leads to New Zorra Home-Based Business

Kaitlin Ackert has been a paramedic for 17 years, doing her part on the frontlines of health care. It was one of the dangers of the job that led to the creation of Kaitlin’s Closet. “I developed post-traumatic stress disorder from my job, and I was trying to heal from that and get rid of […]

Details on Ontario’s Enhanced COVID-19 Vaccine Certificate

Ontario to Require Proof of Vaccination in Select Settings Province to launch enhanced vaccine certificate and verification app to stop the spread of COVID-19 September 01, 2021 Office of the Premier TORONTO — To further protect Ontarians as the province continues to confront the Delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19, the government, in consultation with […]

Kintore Coffee – A Zorra Township Overnight Success Story

Todd Pearson owns what may be the fastest growing business in Oxford County. Kintore Coffee has gone from a hobby into a major player in the Ontario coffee scene in just a few years, despite having no intention of making a living off java. “I started off roasting beans in the barn and sharing it […]

Township of Norwich Chamber of Commerce

Chambers of Commerce across Ontario have always played an important role as the advocating voice of small businesses. The Township of Norwich version of the organization is a great example of what a chamber can do to help its membership succeed. Laura Barker is a realty broker by day but is also the Communications Director […]

Plaid Shirt Farms – Bringing Haskaps into the Mainstream

Odds are good most of us have no idea what a haskap is, but if one Oxford County farmer has her way the berry will be a household name at some point. Patricia Van Diepen started Plaid Shirt Farms in 2017 with the idea to try something different. “I grew up in the apple industry […]

Canadian Urban Institute and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario partner to launch My Main Street

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced a $23.25- million investment today, to establish My Main Street — a two-year program to support the recovery and revitalization of main streets and local businesses in southern Ontario. The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) and the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) are partnering […]

Digital Main Street’s Grant Programs Renews and Opens Up Grants to More business!

Have you heard the great news? The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation & Trade has renewed a $10 million investment into Digital Main Street- an Ontario-wide program that has been helping small brick-and-mortar businesses take advantage of the power of online marketing, sales and back-office operations.   There are two grant streams available:  The […]

Helping Ontario Food and Beverage Processors During COVID-19

New funding intake to support businesses adapting to pandemic Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs BLYTH — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $6 million in projects to help Ontario food and beverage processors improve their operations, increase their competitive edge and adapt to challenges as we move beyond the […]

High School Co-Op Students Could Help our Labour Shortage

Oxford County is not immune to a chronic labour shortage being seen in many areas of the province, but a co-op education program is hoping to close the gap. Community Employment Services Oxford (CES) is marketing its high school co-op education program to local employers in order to increase the numbers of available, local workers. […]

Norwich Business Park Development News Release

Harley, ON – June 17, 2021 – Stubbe’s Property Development is thrilled to announce the second building at 136 Main St West in Norwich, ON, Canada in Oxford County. It is to scheduled start late fall 2021. The second building is available as a light industrial space or warehouse with the option to have an […]

Historic Investment Plan Ensures Access to High-Speed Internet for All

Ontario Connects will achieve 100 percent connectivity by end of 2025 July 16, 2021 Infrastructure  TORONTO — Ontario is moving forward with its ambitious plan to bring high-speed internet to all communities across the province. Ontario announced in March its bold commitment of nearly $4 billion to connect every region to high-speed internet by the […]

StormFisher and Generate Launch Innovative Food Waste Recovery Facility in Drumbo

Operations expand in Ontario to satisfy the growing demand for sustainable food waste recycling solutions StormFisher, a leader in the circular economy and decarbonization solutions, announces the expansion of its operations with the addition of a $20 million resource recovery facility in Drumbo, Ontario. This project was built in partnership with Generate, a leading North […]

What’s Happening at the Tavistock Chamber of Commerce

The Tavistock Chamber of Commerce is looking for new members as the small but growing East Zorra-Tavistock town looks to add recreation and commercial options. President Andrew Raymer said there are many benefits to becoming a member. “The biggest advantage is to help improve our business community. We have networking events that we normally run […]

Ontario Moving to Step Three of Roadmap to Reopen on July 16

Continuing Improvements in Key Indicators Allowing Province to Safely Expand Indoor Settings and Capacity Limits Office of the Premier TORONTO — With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve and the provincewide vaccination rate surpassing the targets outlined in the province’s Roadmap to Reopen, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of […]

A Passion for Postpartum Care Leads to Zorra Township’s Tuki

When Kim Hemingway gave birth to her first daughter about three and a half years ago, she soon realized there was much to learn about postpartum care. So much in fact that she decided to start Tuki, a business geared to providing new mothers with products to help. “I found the experience challenging with my […]

Ontario Moving to Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen on June 30

News Release Ontario Moving to Step Two of Roadmap to Reopen on June 30 Continuing Improvements in Key Indicators Allowing Province to Ease Additional Public Health Measures June 24, 2021 Office of the Premier  TORONTO — With key public health and health care indicators continuing to improve, the province-wide vaccination rate now surpassing the targets […]

Report: Tourism Economic Recovery Ministerial Task Force

Top 10 Recommendations of the Task Force  1. Emphasize safety in everything we say and do Using the same energy and effort to tell Ontarians to “stay home” throughout the pandemic, the Ontario government and public health officials will need to communicate to Ontarians that it is “safe to travel”. When it is safe to […]

Entrepreneur’s Latest Undertaking Results in a Gluten-Free Bakery

Alayne Brisson has always been an entrepreneurial free spirit and her latest business effort is no different. Rosy’s kitchen is the direct result of the pandemic, and the health of Alayne, her husband, as well as their nine and 13-year-old daughters. “My family and I are all gluten free. Over the past 10 years, I […]

Udderly Ridiculous Ice Cream makers to open farm gates to visitors

After winning over ice cream lovers and food industry experts with their all-natural alternative to cow dairy, the makers of award-winning Udderly Ridiculous Goat’s Milk Ice Cream are inviting lockdown-weary Ontarians to unplug and recharge by experiencing a taste of farm life. Beginning July 9, Cheryl and Greg Haskett will welcome people to their third-generation […]

New Red Dragon Dairy Focusing on Producing Sheep Cheese

Ellis Morris and his family came to Canada from Wales in 2007. The family started milking sheep on the farm in 2008 with 200 dairy sheep. 400 milking goats were added in 2012. “I had a dairy herd in Wales, but we didn’t own the farm, we rented it. We weren’t in a position to […]

Ontario to Move to Step One of Roadmap to Reopen on June 11

News Release Improvements in Key Indicators Allowing Province to Begin the Safe and Gradual Lifting of Public Health Measures June 07, 2021 Office of the Premier TORONTO — Based on the provincewide vaccination rate and continuing improvements in key public health and health system indicators, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer […]

The Oxford Drive-In Planning a Big Summer!

Angila Peters and Adam Shaw purchased The Oxford Drive-In during the pandemic and have seen firsthand the ups and downs over the last year. But instead of just trying to stay afloat during the most recent lockdown they have been proactive and are implementing new strategies to increase business this summer. While drive-ins are known […]

More Communities in Oxford County to be Connected to Broadband

NEWS RELEASE More Communities in Oxford County to be Connected to Broadband The Township of Zorra will soon have access to fast, reliable internet May 31, 2021 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs OXFORD COUNTY – More than 320 homes and businesses in Oxford County are one step closer to fast, reliable internet service […]

The Shop in Princeton: An Artisan Market

Sandra Dekoning has always had a love of art and she has turned that passion into a unique artisan shop in Blandford-Blenheim Township. Sandra spent over 20 years as a cook making sure seniors at Caressant Care in Woodstock were well fed. It may seem like a stretch to retire from the kitchen then open […]

City Artist to Rural Flower Farmer

How does an artist turn into a flower farmer? Debra O’Connor said it was something her son said. “Suddenly, he said one day that he wanted to be a farmer when he grew up. We were living in Kitchener at the time and home-schooling our three kids. I looked at my husband and said well […]

The Oxford Shopping Channel – Rural Oxford Series!

The Oxford Shopping Channel – Rural Oxford Series is coming to a town near you! Oxford County communities have an abundance of shopping options for residents and Rural Oxford Economic Development is on a mission to highlight some of the #shoplocal stops across our rural towns. The pandemic led to a community collaboration that evolved […]

Province Launches New Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant

NEWS RELEASE Province Launches New Ontario Tourism and Travel Small Business Support Grant Applications open for eligible small businesses in the tourism and travel industries May 13, 2021 Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries TORONTO – The Ontario government is providing one‐time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to support eligible small tourism and […]

Ontario Supporting Agri-Food Sector with New Labour Strategy

NEWS RELEASE Ontario Supporting Agri-Food Sector with New Labour Strategy Long-Term Labour Strategy to Ensure Sector Remains Strong May 10, 2021 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs WOODSTOCK – The Ontario government is launching an agri-food labour strategy that will address sector labour challenges and ensure a stronger, more sustainable and innovative agri-food industry. […]

Goat Rescue Pushes Oxford County Couple to Open Good Nature Eco Farm

Jon and Vicki Siebring had a dream of owning their own farm, and something that happened in 2017 only sped up the process of creating Good Nature Eco Farm located just outside of Thamesford in Zorra Township. Jon, who grew up on a farm in Perth County, came across an unhealthy baby goat and brought […]

Ontario to Modernize and Streamline Apprenticeship Training

NEWS RELEASE Ontario to Modernize and Streamline Apprenticeship Training Proposed legislation will help apprentices prepare for in-demand jobs and complete their training faster May 06, 2021 Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development TORONTO – The Ontario government is introducing new measures to help tradespeople get their certification from one reliable, streamlined destination through a […]

Urban Wheel at Sundown Market and Boutique

Rebecca Visscher had been creating hand-made wreaths for years but when a few of the artisan shops she supplied closed down, she decided to open a business herself to showcase her products and those of other local artisans. “I thought ok, I can either find more places to sell my products or I could start […]

The Oxford County Cheese Trail

The tourism sector may be slumping because of the pandemic, but Tourism Oxford is taking a proactive approach by promoting its programs to county residents. One of the unique tourism attractions locally is the Oxford County Cheese Trail. The Cheese Trail has been an extremely successful product, winning two provincial tourism awards. “It is a […]

The Birdy Box subscription service for birds has launched

A chance meeting leads to a business partnership for two old friends ‘The Birdy Box’ subscription service for birds has launched Shannon VanDeByl and Stephanie Van De Ven grew up together in Otterville, but on a fateful January day, it had been over 20 years since they had seen each other. The pair have turned […]

Zorra Township Farm Turns Animal Rescues into Celebrations

There are many people with a genuine passion for animals, but for Zorra Township resident Jill Parkhill, her love for animals is at an altogether different level. Jill and her family operate Touchstone Farm near Embro and it is the fruition of a years long dream. “I’m from Mississauga and my husband grew up in […]

Ontario Enacts Provincial Emergency and Stay-at-Home Order

Additional measures needed to protect health system capacity and save lives during the third wave of COVID-19 April 7, 2021 TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is immediately declaring a third provincial emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA). These […]

Norwich Tropical Flower Company Shifts Operations to Cope with the Pandemic

One of Oxford County’s newest businesses is also one of its most unique. Spectrum Tropicals opened its new distribution centre in Norwich in January, just one of several changes required for the business to stay profitable during the pandemic. Spectrum Tropicals represent 18 different tropical flower farms in the Caribbean, Central and South America. Their […]

Toth trades in business suit for jeans and a hoe

Braemar Hills Farm adds CSA option for 2021 season By JEFF TRIBE, The Woodstock Local A shared family decision has shifted Jeremy Toth’s focus from MBA to CSA and altered his former practice of meeting clients in an immaculate business suit. “As opposed to covered in dirt in a field,” laughed the banker turned Embro-area produce […]

Ontario Implements Provincewide Emergency Brake

All 34 Public Health Unit Regions to Move into Shutdown April 1, 2021 TORONTO —The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is imposing a provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. The provincewide emergency break […]

Ontario Supports Tourism and Hospitality with $200 Million Commitment

Ontario Supports the Tourism and Hospitality Sectors during COVID-19 2021 Budget Commits $200 Million to Help Stabilize Tourism Industry and Protect Jobs March 29, 2021 NIAGARA FALLS — The Ontario government is providing an estimated $100 million for a new one-time Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant and $100 million for a new […]

Local artist is turning her passion into a tourist attraction

Aggie Armstrong is one of three Tourism Oxford grant recipients A local artist is hoping to use the winnings from an Oxford County contest to spread the word about art and artists in the area. Aggie Armstrong was recently awarded a three-thousand-dollar grant from Tourism Oxford as part of the “Spark” Mentorships and Grants Program. […]

Ontario’s Action Plan Doubles Ontario Small Business Support Grant

2021 Budget invests $1.7 billion in the second round of payments for eligible small businesses. TORONTO — The Ontario government is providing additional support to eligible small businesses to help with the ongoing costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed eligible recipients of the Ontario Small Business Support Grant will automatically receive a second payment equal […]

One of Oxford County’s most unique businesses has cornered the North American sedum market

The Magda family are third generation farmers who have turned 130 acres of land just outside of Princeton in Blandford-Blenheim Township, into the leading sedum operation in North America. A small contract from a family friend back in 2006 was the first step in making Sedum Master into a major company delivering their products to […]

Snyder’s Family Farm Wins Innovative Experience Award

BRIGHT – Snyder’s Family Farm was the winner of the 2020 Innovative Experience Award at the Southwest Ontario Tourism Conference by Heart FM. It’s being honoured for its Physically Distant and Socially Connected Campfires that were introduced last year. Co-owner Meghan Snyder says they have about 24 campfire sites spaced out across four acres for […]

From Dairy to Cash Crops to Hops – A Family-Run Farm in South-West Oxford is Hopeful for the Future

Chris Phillips is keeping his family farm going in South West Oxford, but it bears no resemblance to the dairy operation that once graced the property just south of the 401. South West Oxford Hops is the new agricultural operation on Rivers Road. “Back in the 80’s interest rates were a little crazy and we […]

Ontario Marks One Year Anniversary of COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, Premier Doug Ford issued the following statement to mark the significant milestones achieved since COVID-19 was declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020: “A year ago today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic marking the start of one of the grimmest chapters in modern health […]

Once a Family Business, always a Family Business – Ralph Moore and Sons Tradition Carries on 105 Years Later

Ralph Moore and Sons have been a family farm since 1916 when it produced dairy and vegetables. The location may have changed as well as the ownership but the same family values and feel remain today. The farm was purchased in 2010 by Paul and Annette Wilson who relocated the operation just north of Otterville […]

Entrepreneurs raise a glass to new podcast

By Emily Stewart, The Woodstock Local Two local business owners will be chatting over drinks with other entrepreneurs in their upcoming podcast. Bear and Fox Apparel owner Erica Marchand and Kintore Coffee Co. owner Todd Pearson are creating the Drinks With podcast. The podcast will feature small business owners and each guest will bring their […]

Important Update For Businesses – Orange Restrict Zone

Woodstock District Chamber of Commerce  447 Hunter Street, Woodstock 519-539-9411 SWPH Region Moves to Orange-Restrict Zone Media Release February 26, 2021 Southwestern Public Health moving into Orange-Restrict Zone of COVID-19 Response Framework New gathering limits set at 10 people indoors, 25 people outdoors; gradual easing of restrictions on businesses Today the Province announced it will move […]

GJ’s Harvest Centre kicks off 7500-square-foot expansion

By Jeff Tribe, The Woodstock Local There is a global pandemic going on. But people have to eat, and so farmers have to carry on with what arguably is ‘the’ essential service. “The most important,” said Gary Klyn of GJ’s Harvest Centre, south of Woodstock along Oxford Road 59. “No food, no life.” COVID-19 has […]

Stubbe’s Property Development to build 60K Sq. Ft. JD Dealership for Premier Equipment

Premier Equipment and Stubbe’s Team Up to Announce Construction of a New Dealership in Oxford County Premier Equipment and Stubbe’s Property Development are teaming up to build a 60 thousand plus square foot facility for the farm equipment dealer. The new John Deere dealership will be located just south of Norwich off highway 59 and […]

Tourism Oxford providing partnership opportunities for local businesses and organizations

Partnerships provide businesses with learning opportunities and resources to help grow their tourism business Tourism Oxford is offering a variety of partnership opportunities for local tourism businesses and organizations looking to increase their reach and engage audiences. Businesses that meet appropriate criteria, developed through research and consultation with the tourism industry, are eligible to participate […]

Chef Creates First of its Kind Book to Assist with Pandemic Cooking at Home

The first cookbook ever written on the topic of what to do with Preserves has been published by Chef Murray Zehr, of the 1909 Culinary Academy. The book will assist all levels of cooks to utilize preserves in the pantry for at-home cooking. Sunday Chef Zehr launched the book for sale online through Amazon. 19 […]

Southwestern Public Health moves into Red-Control Zone

I write you today to inform you that the Province of Ontario is moving several health unit regions back to the colour-coded COVID-19 Response Framework. On Tuesday, February 16 at 12:01 a.m., the Southwestern Public Health region will move into the “Red-Control” zone based on local data indicators and transmission risks. The decision to move […]

Starting a Home-based Food Business

The best small businesses are born out of a passion and a dream. When it comes to many home-based food businesses, they start with a love of food and a cherished family recipe. Whether passionate about making grandma’s coveted baked goods or a new take on homegrown pickles, jams and preserves, we are making it […]

Supporting Oxford Digital Marketing Campaign Report

March- December 2020 Supporting Oxford www.supportingoxford.ca Prepared by: Lindsay Wilson Community Futures Oxford About Supporting Oxford In March 2020, businesses began choosing to close in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Shortly after, non-essential businesses were mandated to close to the public. To serve their customers and remain viable, many businesses quickly adapted […]

Quehl’s of Tavistock – Celebrating 90 Years of Comfort

There are many words that come to mind when thinking about Quehl’s restaurant in Tavistock – home cooking, rich history, a meeting place for friends – but 90 years of comfort is perhaps what stands out most.

Ontario’s Stay-at-Home Order – Effective January 14th, 2021

Province Issues Stay-at-Home Order and Introduces Enhanced Enforcement Measures to Reduce Mobility TORONTO – In response to a doubling in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks, the real and looming threat of the collapse of the province’s hospital system and alarming risks posed to long-term care homes as a result of high COVID-19 transmission […]

We Grow Together Video Series – Fall Recap

We are proud of the many businesses that have grown and flourished in Rural Oxford. To celebrate a few of these success stories, we decided to develop the #WeGrowTogether video series campaign with a few of our community partners. Alongside Community Employment Services, Community Futures Oxford, Tourism Oxford and The Small Business Centre, we were […]

Yawning Cage Player Apparel – for the Serious Hockey Family

There are several clothing companies targeting hockey players, but Steve Neirinckx has purposely marketed his brand differently. Yawning Cage Player Apparel appeals to the serious hockey player and athlete along with his or her family members. The Thamesford resident works full time as a consultant in project management, but for him clothing and hockey have […]

Work in Oxford Virtual Job Fair

As a member of Oxford Connection, we’re excited to announce the Work in Oxford Virtual Job Fair coming up on February 16th, 2021. This Oxford County Job Fair is an opportunity to connect your company with 700+ Job Seekers from across Southwestern Ontario who are looking to explore opportunities and work in Oxford. The event […]

England and Wales join forces to open a delectable bakery near Mt. Elgin

There are plenty of small business good news stories to go around, but this one brings a smile to one’s face and a growl to one’s belly. The Rose and Daffodil Bakery, located near Mt. Elgin, bakes incredible fruit, meat, and vegetable pies along with favourites like lasagna, shepherds pie, cabbage rolls and soups. If […]

Natural Gas Now Available for Salford Residents and Businesses

Residents in the Oxford County community of Salford now have the option to tap into a natural gas line.  The option for local homeowners and businesses was made possible thanks to energy giant EPCOR and some help from the Township of South-West Oxford. The province assigns territories across Ontario to natural gas providers and Enbridge […]

Sweaburg Woman Opens Woodstock Store Featuring Local Artist and Artisan Products

Janet Pickard has an interesting and varied resume but the Sweaburg resident has brought many of her talents to a new store featuring many products from local artists and artisans.  She has lived in the small Oxford town since 1980, and her work history includes landscaping, retail, greenhouse merchandising and creating gift baskets, much of […]

Ontario Supporting Small Businesses with Financial Advice and Training

Investment to provide new online resources to help entrepreneurs during COVID-19 The Ontario government is investing over $2.2 million through the Ontario Together Fund to provide small businesses with free, tailored financial advice and online training to help them make informed financial decisions and navigate the unprecedented economic circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. When included […]

Community Safety and Well-Being Plan Survey

Safe & Well Oxford is a community engagement initiative, mandated by the Province of Ontario, to develop a Community Safety & Well-being Plan for municipalities across Oxford. The new Community Safety & Well-being Plan will address priority risks, such as mental and physical health, housing and addictions, with proactive, integrated strategies for children, youth, adults, […]

Terra Nova Therapy, Spa & Café

A Nordic Spa in Oxford County?  Terra Nova Therapy, Spa & Café near Hickson just might make it happen. Jodi Pendry has owned and operated a massage therapy clinic since 1993 and recently opened Terra Nova Spa Therapy in Oxford County.  Her next goal? A full Nordic Spa near Hickson, ON. “The closest Nordic Spa […]

Fleming Home Comfort

Matt Fleming has lived in Oxford County his entire life.  He has also spent 24 years working in the HVAC business in service, sales, management, and training, so it seems now the next logical thing to do is start his own company.  “I felt the next step in my adventure was to go out on […]

New Oxford County Golf Course Name Unveiled, Adds Top Chef

The Oxford Hills received its name from a crowdsourcing campaign that generated close to 2,300 submissions. The course, undergoing massive reinventions, aims to revitalize golf in Southwestern Ontario while becoming an entertainment hub for Oxford County. [Ingersoll, Oct. 30, 2020]— Extensive renovations of the course formerly known as The Mount Elgin Golfers Club (located just […]

Bright Country Market

Opening a new business of any kind in any market is a risky proposition.  Opening a small business in a small town is taking the risk to an entirely new level.  But that isn’t stopping Sandra Karges who is opening the Bright Country Market this fall. Sandra decided to make the move for two reasons.  […]

SWIFT to Bring High-Speed Internet to More Locations in Oxford County

SWIFT awards funding to support fibre-to-the-home projects in the Townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich, South-West Oxford and Zorra. In total Oxford County will receive $9.9 million in broadband upgrades to bring high-speed internet to 1,670 underserved premises. (Oxford County, ON) October 15, 2020 – Today Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) announced it has awarded […]

Morrow’s of Drumbo

October 15, 2020 Running a small business is a challenge at the best of times. Running a family-owned small business during a pandemic is certainly not easy but this Oxford County store is doing what it takes to survive and even grow. The original Morrow’s of Drumbo was a hardware store when it first opened […]

Name Your Course – Mt. Elgin

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to name a golf course and potentially win a free year’s membership.  But that is exactly the contest that partners Steve Bohner and Marco Muzzi are running for the former Mt. Elgin Golfers Club.  The online contest has already been an incredible success with over 600 entries.  […]

Ontario Supports Job Creation and Expansion in the Forestry Sector

Investment in state-of-the-art technology to boost productivity at Oxford Pallet NORWICH – The Ontario government is providing $2 million to the wood products company, Oxford Pallet, to expand its operations and introduce innovative robotic and vision equipment to boost productivity and create local jobs. Oxford Pallet is the first company to be approved for funding […]

RQC Supply

RQC Supply, formerly Ribbon Queen Canada, is your one stop shop for crafting supplies. Ribbon Queen Canada was born out of leftover supplies from an earlier crafting venture that Tammy Harris started in order to fulfill a need for reasonably priced, Canadian sourced baby accessories. When Harris decided to sell off her excess supplies to […]

Kintore Custom Hardwoods

Customize Your Experience Just North and West of the 4 corners in Kintore, at 155999 15th Line, you’ll find the showroom of Kintore Custom Hardwoods where you can have wood custom milled, buy ready-made items, or have custom pieces built from already milled lumber or ready to be sawn timber. Brent Houston along with his […]

Recap of COVID-19 Business Impact Surveys

In April and May, Rural Oxford EDC staff conducted two COVID-19 Business Impact Surveys. Summary data from Rural Oxford’s first survey was shared directly with the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus regional survey 1.0. The second survey was conducted as part of the local Oxford Connection group and summary data was shared collectively with the Western […]

Rombouts Pottery & Flowers

A place where people can inspire themselves If you walk into Rombouts Pottery & Flowers, you are welcomed with open arms by Ineke Rombouts and her beautifully handmade home décor. “If people come here it’s an experience. I want them to feel at home I want them to feel comfortable,” says Ineke. Located south of […]

See the Stars Under the Stars this Summer at the Oxford Drive-In

Do you remember those summer evenings curled up in the back of your vehicle with the family, popcorn in hand, watching classic movies beamed onto the giant screen in front of you? Well it’s back, right here in Rural Oxford! After being closed since 2015, the Oxford Drive-In, located on Highway 2, is back in […]

Woodstock Chamber & Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation launch a new COVID-19 recovery effort to help 100 local businesses

Woodstock Chamber & Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation launch a new COVID-19 recovery effort to help 100 local businesses The Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Rural Oxford Economic Development are announcing the launch of the SafeStarter kit program, a COVID-19 recovery effort designed to help businesses in Oxford County. The SafeStarter kit program will provide 100 […]

Leaping Deer Bakery & Coffee Shop

A farm experience for all – How Leaping Deer came to be In 2006, Julie and Don Budd opened Leaping Deer Bakery & Coffee Shop with the intent of creating a unique on-farm experience that offered wholesome local food and educated the general public about agriculture. Several years prior to the opening of the business, […]

Everything You Need to Know About Social Enterprises

Oxford County is seeing more and more social enterprises pop up within the region. At Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation (ROEDC), we continue to provide resources and support to social enterprises so that they can continue to better the community. If you are unfamiliar, you may be wondering “What does the term social enterprise mean? […]


A hat is born – Stacey Keller’s journey creating the Ponyback hat

FAQs about face coverings

Is it mandatory for businesses to require their staff and customers to wear face coverings? On July 30th, 2020 Southwestern Public Health issued a letter of instruction to businesses to implement mandatory face coverings (masks) in all enclosed public spaces in Oxford County, Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas. The letter of instruction comes into effect at 11:59 […]

Feedback wanted on proposed plan for intercommunity bus transit in northern Oxford County

Public transportation connects communities to each other and people to their work, family, medical services, education, and social and recreation activities. These connections are especially important in small urban/rural communities. This is why Oxford County, in partnership with the townships of Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra, are exploring the possibility of an intercommunity bus transit […]

The Future of Ontario Tourism

Tourism is a crucial sector of Ontario’s economy that essentially stopped cold when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now Ontario is beginning to reopen, and after being cooped up in their houses for months, Ontarians are beginning to explore their province again. How will the pandemic impact tourism in Ontario this year? The Southwest Ontario Tourism […]

Province Supports Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Launch of “Ontario Made” Program

VAUGHAN — As the province safely and gradually reopens, Ontario is starting down the road to growth, renewal and economic recovery. That’s why the Ontario government is proud to support the launch of the Ontario Made program from Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). This new program will promote the many world-class goods that are made […]

Southwestern Public Health MOH Issues Class Order to Protect Farm Workers from COVID-19 Infection

Order outlines 22 measures that must be followed by agricultural farms. July 8, 2020 Today, Dr. Joyce Lock, Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health, issued a Class Order under Section 22 of Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act . The Order is intended to reduce the high risk of COVID-19 spread within agricultural […]

We Grow Together Video Series: Spring Recap

We are proud of the many businesses that have grown and flourished in Rural Oxford. To celebrate a few of these success stories, we decided to develop the #WeGrowTogether video series campaign with a few of our community partners. Alongside Community Employment Services, Community Futures Oxford, Tourism Oxford and The Small Business Centre, we were […]

COVID-19: Local Business Support

Individuals, businesses, and communities continue to be impacted by COVID-19. In these challenging times, one of the best things we can do is come together as a community and help each other through the obstacles ahead. Below are some key programs in Oxford County who are here to support your business.   Support our small business […]

Kicking Your Business UP! To the Curb

Whether we want COVID-19’s feet on our coffee table or not, it’s here to stay for the time-being, so we might as well pour it a drink and get comfortable with it being in our space. As more business owners realize that the influence of COVID-19 has settled down to stay awhile, more and more […]

Ontario Extending Emergency Orders During COVID-19 Outbreak 

Public health and safety remain top priorities TORONTO — The Ontario government continues to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak by extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures […]

Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen

Additional seasonal, retail and household businesses must follow public health guidelines May 14, 2020 1:30 P.M. Office of the Premier TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., […]

Creating a Legacy of Sustainability in Oxford County

Sustainability and recycling aren’t just buzz words. They represent a large-scale shift in the way people think and act. Whether through transitioning to lean manufacturing, encouraging rideshare programs for employees, setting up a recycling program, or reusing formerly discarded materials, companies are taking the initiative to help reduce their environmental impact. Oxford County’s Future Oxford […]

Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program

You Could Be Eligible for the NEW Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program In response to the coronavirus effect on our economy, the Rural Oxford EDC has established the Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program to help business owners adapt and/or enhance their online sales process by incorporating a sustainable e-commerce solution into their business. Now more [...]

Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program

You Could Be Eligible for the NEW Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program In response to the coronavirus effect on our economy, the Rural Oxford EDC has established the Rural Oxford E-Business Grant Program to help business owners adapt and/or enhance their online sales process by incorporating a sustainable e-commerce solution into their business. Now more [...]

Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace

Resources to Prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace As more businesses begin to reopen, it’s important to ensure you have proper health and safety measures in place. The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has provided sector-specific guidance that will help businesses learn how to operate during this ‘new normal’. Sectors covered include construction, food […]

Reopening Ontario After COVID-19

Reopening Ontario After COVID-19 Ontario will be rolling out its reopening of the province in a staged approach. With each stage, measures will slowly be loosened and more workplace and public spaces will be opened. The results of these less strict measures will be carefully monitored and will help to determine whether the province is […]

Shop Local with SupportingOxford.ca

Support and find support for local businesses Most of us are finding ourselves jolted out of our routines during the COVID-19 pandemic. With most retailers, service providers and restaurants closed to normal business traffic, it can be a challenge to figure out where and how to buy the things we want and need. This is […]

Ontario Government: Frontline and business: help us support you during COVID-19

Learn how to request a temporary rule or regulation change to help your business respond to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Submit a Request Ontario is moving quickly to support the frontlines and businesses during the COVID-19. To help remove obstacles and streamline Ontario’s ability to respond to the outbreak and navigate through it, several temporary rules and [...]

Ontario Takes Steps to Keep Food on the Table during COVID-19

The new online portal connects employers with workers looking to make a difference. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs TORONTO – In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with […]

Prime Minister announces support for small businesses facing impacts of COVID‑19

Ottawa, Ontario The Government of Canada is focused on helping Canadians and businesses through this tough economic time. We will continue to protect the health and safety of Canadians while supporting families and businesses and keeping our economy strong in the face of uncertainty. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional new measures to […]

Prime Minister announces support for farmers and agri-food businesses under Canada’s response to COVID-19

Ottawa, Ontario Canadian farmers and food businesses work hard so Canadians have quality food on their grocery store shelves and kitchen tables. In these times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make sure that they are supported so they can continue providing the good, healthy food that nourishes our families. The Prime […]

COVID-19 Business Support and Resources

In these times of rapid change, with more businesses temporarily closing, reducing hours to permit daily sanitizing and re-stocking, or removing seating areas to accommodate government mandates, there are some things we should all be thinking about. We need to keep ourselves, our friends and families, their friends and families and so on, as safe […]

Prime Minister announces more support for workers and businesses through Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

March 18, 2020 Ottawa, Ontario The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect our economy, and the health, safety, and jobs of all Canadians during the global COVID-19 outbreak. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new set of economic measures to help stabilize the economy and help Canadians affected […]

Delivering High-Speed Internet to More People in Southwestern Ontario

Request for Proposals Issued to Expand Broadband Access in Oxford March 9, 2020 10:45 A.M. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs INGERSOLL – Today the Ontario government announced a major step in improving broadband access in Southwestern Ontario – moving forward with a combined $150 million investment to bring fast, reliable internet to thousands […]

Kintore Coffee – A Destination Experience

Kintore Coffee. It used to be just a brand that you could pick up at your local grocery store, but it has now grown to include a dedicated Kintore Coffee café in the town of Embro. At 21, Todd Pearson, owner of Kintore Coffee, found himself on a work vacation at a small coffee farm […]

Schep’s Bakeries Finds Recipe for Success

More than $1.9-million to help Oxford County manufacturer expand, diversify to reach new markets and create 17 new jobs Established in 1984, Schep’s Bakeries Ltd. (Schep’s) is a family-owned manufacturer of Double Dutch Syrup Waffles and other private label waffle cookies, operating in the rural Township of Norwich. After moving to Canada from Holland over 35 […]

Attn: Oxford County Business Owners – Are you Hiring?

Is your business currently experiencing a workforce shortage? Are you planning an expansion and need more staff to meet increased demands for your product or service? Parental leaves? Retirements? Etc. If you are looking for a great way to streamline your search for good employee matches, you need to know about the Local Jobs Hub. […]

Oxford County Delegates Attend ROMA Conference to Speak to Key Issues Affecting Rural Communities

This month Oxford County delegates attended the Rural Ontario Municipal Association’s annual conference at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The main issues brought forward at the ROMA annual conference were internet, housing, transit and healthcare. Presenters included politicians, provincial ministers and various experts. A summary of the day’s agenda can be found here. The conference […]

Community Futures Oxford to launch Thrive Oxford, a program to support female entrepreneurs starting and growing a sustainable business

With funding from the Libro Prosperity Fund, Community Futures Oxford will offer a 6-month program that provides training, mentorship and access to capital. Community Futures Oxford was awarded $48,000 from Libro Credit Union Prosperity Fund to develop and deliver Thrive Oxford, a program that will support female entrepreneurs starting or growing a sustainable business in […]

Oxford County Library: Your Community Resource

The Oxford County Library (OCL) system is comprised of 14 branches across the County. They operate in rural communities and small towns like Ingersoll and Tillsonburg. While you have likely seen one of the OCL branches, what you might not realize is that each branch offers a variety of support services for both small businesses […]

Join us in welcoming Ronda Stewart to the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation

We are excited to introduce Ronda Stewart as the Economic Development Officer for the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation. Stewart is a certified Economic Developer bringing 10 years of experience helping business owners plan for and navigate growth. She is also an elected Board of Director with Libro Credit Union representing 105,000 owners across southwestern […]

There is More to Mine in Rural Oxford than Gravel and Limestone

This past Oct 17, The Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation and Oxford Country Library held a networking event at the Embro Town Hall. The event brought together entrepreneurs from rural Oxford County under the Oxford Rural Entrepreneurs banner – ORE. The networking meeting was the first effort to create a virtual community of ORE. I’m […]

ROEDC Welcomes New Board of Directors

Rural Oxford Economic Development Board of Directors Back Row (L-R): Nancy Demarest, Don Edmiston, Dean Jancsar, Rob Parkhill, Jim Palmer, Keith Stevens Front Row (L-R): Jim Pickard, Geof Gray, Wayne Buchanan Absent: Doug Turvey June 4, 2019 –  Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation (ROEDC) recently elected a new Board of Directors at their Annual General […]

Business is Booming

During 2018, the rural economic development team has been talking to local business about their unique needs and opportunities. The initiative, known as a business retention + expansion (BR+E) study is an action oriented and community-based approach to economic development. Funding for this project was provided in part by the Province of Ontario through the […]

Go Beyond Entrepreneurship

We’re excited to partner with Community Futures Oxford and the Woodstock & Area Small Business Centre to bring this exciting series to Oxford County. We know that you’ll gain insights into how to grow your business beyond start-up. Go Beyond Entrepreneurship: Accelerate the Transition to Wealth-Building Business Owner One Session per Week | 4 Weeks […]

The Future Oxford Legacy Fund

The Future Oxford Legacy Fund provides seed funding to entrepreneurs, businesses and partnerships to develop new and sustainable community and regional opportunities that align with the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan. What is the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan? Applications for funds are granted in two streams: Access to Capital and Community Development Support. The “Access to […]

Meet Nancy Orr

Join us in welcoming Nancy Orr back to the Rural Oxford EDC We are excited to introduce Nancy Orr as the Project Coordinator for the 2018 Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) study. Nancy has worked alongside ROEDC staff on numerous projects and will be a tremendous asset to us as we connect with business to […]

Oxford Fresh Signage

Are you a local food producer in Zorra Township?   Join us on Wednesday, March 7th at 1:30pm to discuss an exciting new signage program for local producers. At this workshop, Bernia Wheaton of the Rural Oxford EDC will unveil how we’re working along side Oxford Fresh, Tourism Oxford, and the Oxford OFA to promote […]

Welcome, Doug Turvey

New member from Zorra appointed to ROEDC Board Representing the Township of Zorra, Doug was voted to this position in January of 2018. Doug owns Country Geek Computer Sales and Service out of his home just outside of Embro. He is a retired dairy farmer. Doug has always been active in the community with various […]


TICKETS ARE NOW ON SALE With the dawn of 2017, the Rural Oxford EDC has a goal of bringing business together in our inaugural Business Forum. Scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, April 12, 2017, we have reserved Reeves Hall at Cowan Park on the north edge of Woodstock as a venue to host 300+ […]

Meet your WINNERS!

Did YOU #BuyCloseBy in Rural Oxford? These people did, and they’re being rewarded for their loyal shopping! Congratulations to these 5 winners who have each won $200 in vouchers that can only be spent in Rural Oxford. Susie K. from Tillsonburg who turned in her completed card in South-West Oxford Christina S. from Embro who […]

It’s Time to Buy Close By

The Buy Close By program is back for 2016. Until December 31st, you can support Rural Oxford businesses when you #BuyCloseBy.   Pick up a punch card at any of the participating businesses that are listed below, and be sure to show your card every time you make a purchase in Rural Oxford. When your […]

Regional RideShare is here

DID YOU KNOW? The average annual driving costs for a Chevrolet Equinox are over $11,500 or $0.66 a kilometre. ~SOURCE:  CAA, 2013 What is a Regional RideShare? Regional Rideshare is a FREE website that matches potential carpoolers in Southwestern Ontario. Simply sign up and enter your driving preferences. The system will match you with other […]

ROEDC is Hiring!

WE’RE HIRING! The ROEDC is seeking a full-time summer student to fill the position of Land & Building Database Administrator. To apply for this position, send resume and cover letter to Bernia Wheaton at bernia@ruraloxford.ca JOB DESCRIPTION Land & Building Database Administrator PURPOSE: The Land & Building Database Administrator provides support to the Economic Development […]

Train4More in Rural Oxford

Train4More in Rural Oxford March 2, 2016 — In 2016, you can Train4More with the assistance of the Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation. Train4More is a program designed by the ROEDC to address the widely reported gap in local access to skilled training. According to Bernia Wheaton, the economic development specialist for this area, “by […]

Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show

Where Farmers Meet September, 16, 17, and 18th, the fields will come alive at Canada’s Outdoor Park in Woodstock. Stop by and see us. On Tuesday, you can find us in the Salford Farm Machinery booth On Wednesday, we’ll be show how proud we are to have Sevita International as a part of our business community. On […]

You’re Social…Now What?

Oxford Business Builder Program Professional development for our rural Oxford workforce The ROEDC is planning a series of programs are for individuals who are looking to broaden their perspectives, acquire new professional skills, refresh their knowledge, exceed their goals or gain competitive advantage. The Business Builder program offers a wide variety of learning programs and formats […]

Verspeeten Cartage Buys Moe’s

January 24, 2014 INGERSOLL, Ont. — Verspeeten Cartage has purchased Moe’s Transport. Scott Verspeeten, general manager of Verspeeten Cartage confirmed the deal this afternoon. Even before the deal, Verspeeten ranked as one of Canada’s biggest automotive specialists. According to the Top Tier report published by Motortruck Fleet Executive, Verspeeten ran 280 tractors and 518 trailers. Moe’s […]

The Rural Oxford Economic Development Corporation (ROEDC) Announces New Economic Development Officer

Ingersoll, ON — September 25, 2014 — The newly formed economic development corporation to serve rural Oxford, today announced the appointment of Bernia Wheaton as their Economic Development Officer, effective September 3, 2014. Ms. Wheaton brings more than 16 years of relevant industry experience to her new role. “We welcome Bernia’s experience and leadership to […]

Oxford County employment site refreshed for efficiency and effectiveness

Oxford County’s most popular employment website, WorkinOxford.ca, has been expanded and improved so users can more easily post jobs, find work and volunteer opportunities, and access entrepreneurial support.

Salford Group Acquires Valmar Airflo, Inc.

May 06, 2015 (Salford, Ontario) –Salford Group, a global leader in the manufacturing of tillage, seeding, and fertilizer application equipment, is bringing a whole new level of choice to the fertilizer application market through its acquisition of Valmar Airflo, Inc., a leading manufacturer of seeding and granular application equipment for the agricultural industry. “We are […]