Archived — Economic Action Plan Supports small- and medium-sized Businesses in Southern Ontario

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For immediate release
February 21, 2011

Brampton, Ontario — Small-and medium-sized businesses throughout southern Ontario will have greater opportunities to diversify and enhance their operations, thanks to a new investment by the Government of Canada. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced the funding at Embassy Flavours in Brampton, Ont. Minister Goodyear was accompanied by the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State (Seniors).

"Our government is helping businesses grow, become more competitive and create new jobs," said Minister of State Goodyear. "We are committed to making sure the people, businesses and communities of southern Ontario have the tools they need to be successful and strengthen our economy."

Through FedDev Ontario's Prosperity Initiative, the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters SMART program will receive up to $4.2 million to fund projects that will help small- and medium-sized manufacturers throughout southern Ontario increase their productivity and competitiveness in the global economy. Embassy Flavours is a local business that has previously received funding through the SMART Program to improve their production capacity.

"Our government recognizes the importance of investing in businesses and not-for-profit organizations in southern Ontario and providing them the tools they need to expand into promising new areas," said Minister of State Fantino. "This support will allow businesses like Embassy Flavours Ltd. to undertake projects that will result in a more diversified and competitive economy in our region."

The CME SMART program provides up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $50,000 per project, and focuses on key areas such as lean design and manufacturing, quality improvement, energy efficiency, information technology best practices, and environmental impact reduction.

"We are very pleased to extend support through our SMART program to Ontario manufacturers that are taking the initiative to improve productivity and expand their business in a very challenging business environment," says Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President & CEO Jayson Myers. "The support that CME has received from FedDev Ontario clearly shows that manufacturing competitiveness is a priority for the federal government and a critical component in sustaining Canada's economic recovery."

The Prosperity Initiative is a direct result of feedback from business leaders, academics and community leaders from across southern Ontario, who suggested FedDev Ontario take a leadership role in bolstering innovation and economic growth in our region.

Under the Prosperity Initiative, up to $210 million will be awarded over the next three years to support businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post secondary institutions with projects that enhance productivity, diversify the regional economy, and build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its second year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity.

To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505

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For media enquiries:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599
Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

Backgrounder

Prosperity Initiative

The Prosperity Initiative will encourage businesses, not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in southern Ontario to undertake projects that will result in a more productive, diversified and competitive economy in the region. Up to $210 million has been allocated to this program from 2010 to 2014.

Funding is available for projects that:

  • enhance productivity, by accelerating the adoption of new technologies, processes and skills to enhance businesses and sectors in southern Ontario to achieve higher output in relation to their investments;
  • diversify the regional economy, by increasing the number of new industries or opportunities in southern Ontario communities or regions with the potential to have long-term impacts on their economic diversity; and
  • build a competitive advantage for southern Ontario, by building on the assets and strengths of southern Ontario businesses and regions to create or expand economic clusters and enhance their global competitiveness.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. All project activities must be completed prior to March 31, 2014.

Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan, FedDev Ontario's mandate is to work with the people, communities and businesses in southern Ontario to create the conditions for economic growth. Created with a five-year mandate, the Agency is working to support southern Ontario's ongoing economic resurgence to ensure the region will emerge as a stronger, more diverse world leader.

For more information, please refer to the FedDev Ontario web site at www.feddevontario.gc.ca, email info@feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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