Stepping up

When a business closes in a small town the loss is felt everywhere. And it doesn’t really matter for how long that business is closed. 

I was sad and concerned when I went by Jammed Lovely in Elora to buy a wedding card about a month ago and saw that it was closed. The lights were on and it looked like things were happening, but there was no sign and I dreaded having to find a new card store. (Note: I had to scope out Jammed Lovely after Roxanne’s Reflections, my previous go-to card store, closed last year in Fergus). My fears were unwarranted and Jammed Lovely is open for businesses once again. 

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all small business closures. 

In December L&M Food Market in Elora closed due to a public health order and numerous infractions, one of which was critical. The grocery store has not reopened. That has left the community without a local grocery store; the closest alternative would likely be in Fergus. 

However, on Feb. 18 at the Elora Legion, Centre Wellington District High School teacher Chris Jess will be leading a community meeting to discuss the possibility of a co-op grocer. 

It’s great to see the community looking for interesting and innovative alternatives to business challenges. 

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Another brilliant way to overcome staffing challenges in many locations is to tap into the wealth of knowledge presented by the immigrant network in Canada. 

On Feb. 20 Wellington County, supported by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, is hosting “Immigration Summit: The Economics of Rural Immigration” at the Elora Mill. 

The event is open to anyone interested and costs $40. Tickets can be purchased at

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It’s always nice to have a fresh look every now and then. Shoetopia in Fergus recently closed for a week to renovate the store with new carpets, paint and store fixtures. 

Grand re-opening activities will begin on Feb. 15 with drinks and treats all weekend and shoe, boot, sandal and grab bag giveaways. The store, which opened 20 years ago, will also be giving away $50 every hour on Saturday. 

Owners Tammy and Peter Mohr have also launched a “Donation Location” program. For years the store has been dropping off footwear to the Centre Wellington Food Bank, but now the Mohrs are hoping to help not only shoe recipients but also customers who have “gently used” shoes that could use a new home. When customers drop off items they will receive a gift certificate towards a purchase at the store. 

When I see a business helping the community make donations to help others, I’m inclined to make my purchases there in the future.  Thank you, Shoetopia, for being a helpful and contributing member of the Fergus community.

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