Archived — Minister of State Goodyear Announces New Measures to Help Small Businesses in Southern Ontario

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For immediate release
August 31, 2009

ESSEX, Ontario — The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario [FedDev Ontario]), today announced a Government of Canada investment in Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in Ontario to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — key drivers of economic activity in southern Ontario.

"This investment will help rural communities strengthen and diversify their local economies," said Minister Goodyear.  "It will also give small and medium sized businesses in southern Ontario opportunities to grow and create new jobs."

Southern Ontario's 37 CFDCs will receive $30 million from the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) in the current year. This funding is part of the $350 million that the CAF will receive over two years for projects in Ontario. The new measures will increase access to capital and business support for rural SMEs by enhancing products and services offered by Ontario CFDCs.

The Essex CFDCs will receive $1.3 million in capitalization funding and $91 000 for operational costs.

"Essex CFDC recognizes that small business's contribution to job growth forms the backbone of our communities," said Paul Foster, Chair of the Essex CFDC. "Last year Essex CFDCs provided over $1 million in loans to small businesses in Essex County who created or maintained over 140 jobs.  With the additional support being provided through the federal government we can continue to assist these businesses in revitalizing our economy."

Recently, the Government of Canada proposed a five-point stimulus plan for CFDCs in Ontario to improve access to capital for rural SMEs. The points focus on:

  • increased capitalization for additional loans;
  • increased loan cap from $150 000 to $250 000 per loan;
  • increased operating dollars (up to $100 000 per CFDCs) to allow CFDCss to perform outreach and get more loans out, more quickly;
  • enhanced partnerships with the Business Development Bank of Canada and other commercial lenders; and
  • heightened awareness of CFDCs and the services they provide.

CFDCs are community-based, not-for-profit organizations funded through the Community Futures Program. They are run by boards of local volunteers and are staffed by professionals who encourage entrepreneurship and the pursuit of economic opportunities. CFDCs offer a variety of business and community economic development services, including business planning and guidance, access to capital, and strategic community planning.

The CAF is just one in a series of initiatives introduced in Canada's Economic Action Plan designed to address the short-term effects of the economic decline on communities across Canada, while preparing our communities for long-term growth.

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, 613-943-7599

Media Relations, Industry Canada, 613-943-2505

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