Archived — Eastern Ontario Wood Furniture Manufacturers Benefit from Government of Canada Funding

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For immediate release
February, 23, 2012

Casselman, Ontario — Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment that will enable Groupe Convex Prescott-Russell Inc. to explore innovative ways to access new export markets overseas.

"The Government of Canada is committed to creating jobs and growth in southern Ontario, and to ensuring that francophone communities can continue to prosper," said MP Lemieux. "The funding announced today will enable Groupe Convex to develop a good understanding of the export market potential in Europe for wood furniture manufactured in Eastern Ontario. This could lead to long-term benefits for the economy in this community."

Groupe Convex plays an important role in community economic development in Prescott-Russell. They form a network of nine social enterprises that together employ over 100 people. Their mission is to generate meaningful jobs, through business projects, for residents in the community who face employment challenges.

The contribution announced today will support the development of a market analysis report for wood furniture manufacturing firms in the Prescott-Russell area. This will enable them to assess the market opportunity to export their products abroad, specifically to France and Switzerland, two areas in Europe that have already expressed interest in cedar and pine wood furniture and accessories.

"In the wake of our new initiatives aimed at growth and development, we suspected that exports could be a potentially effective means of meeting our job creation mandate," states Caroline Arcand, Executive Director of Groupe Convex. "The Economic Development Initiative is helping us to analyze the feasibility of this eventual strategy. It is an excellent program to help us make the right decisions for the future."

The Economic Development Initiative is part of the "Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future", the Government of Canada's official languages strategy. The initiative is delivered by FedDev Ontario in southern Ontario.

As part of this initiative, the government is providing funding to promote the development of new expertise through innovation, diversification of economic activities, partnerships and increased support to small- and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario Francophone communities. This funding will stimulate economic growth in Francophone industries such as tourism, culture, knowledge and manufacturing.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. 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 encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Carolyn Savoie
Legislative Assistant
Office of MP Pierre Lemieux
613-996-2909

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

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